We live in a world where we’re expected to have our shit figured out at an attainable age. It’s not realistic. It can’t be. People spend their lives trying to figure their shit out, yet we feel like there’s this imminent deadline approaching to have it all figured out before we hit 30.
Part of the pressure comes from the nature of our digital world where we see everyone else and their “figured out lives,” and part of it is just expectations. I can’t exactly put my finger on where these expectations come from, but I can guarantee that you know exactly what I’m talking about as you read this.
I will not claim that I’ve conquered this pressure and these expectations, but there are still so many things I wish I could tell my younger self. Just to help her get though it all. I still tell myself these things and I hope hearing them will give you a sense that you’re going to be just fine.
Almost nothing is permanent.
Except for that bad tramp stamp… That shit will stay with you. But anyway.
Almost nothing in this world is permanent. So take chances, try and fail, and don’t let yourself be crippled by fear. If you move and hate it, move back. If you take a job and don’t like it, move on. Finally chopped off your hair and can’t stand it, guess what — hair grows back. Even the big things — the big, life pain we feel. You recover. You grow. You come out even stronger.
This too shall pass.
When you’re young, everything feels like the end of the world. But in reality, this cliché has validity. That life-shattering moment will, with each passing day, become less painful. The pain fades and you will see yourself heal. It’s important to let yourself feel all the feelings, but know that you will get through it all, no matter how heavy it weighs on you now.
Know the love you deserve.
This applies to every form of love: friends, family, and significant others. There is no room in your precious life for people who don’t deserve to be there and people that don’t make an effort to be there. This is going to sound so lame, but I remember seeing The Perks of Being a Wallflower in theaters, and the line “We accept the love we think we deserve” literally changed my life.
Treat your body right.
Eating clean during the week and then drinking and eating endless French fries at 3 in the morning isn’t doing yourself any favors… Develop healthy habits as young as you can and they’ll be easy to keep as you grow up. Beyond learning how to live a healthy lifestyle, it is even more important to learn to love your body as it is and appreciate everything it’s capable of. It’s an ongoing struggle, but a struggle worth fighting.
Treat your mind right too.
I feel like this is something taboo to talk about, and it shouldn’t be. Your mental health shouldn’t be something you’re scared to talk about and you especially shouldn’t be scared to ask for some help when you need it. I wish I didn’t spend so much of my younger years trying to act like everything was peachy all the time. The strongest people know when to ask for help, and there is so much strength in it.
Our lives are an endless road of lessons to learn, moments to learn about ourselves, and chances to become better people. I’m just thankful to have you all to share it with.
Try your best, learn from your mistakes, and try not to take everything so serious. Your life is exactly what you make it.
Sending so much love to each of you.