Seventeen Life Lessons from 2017

Woah. Another year gone in the blink of an eye. This year has been a rough one but it’s only up from here right? In 2017 I’ve had my heart broken, lost people I thought would be around forever, failed assignments and cried my eyes out on more than one occasion. It’s been a year of self discovery and acceptance, but with each bad thing come one hundred good things. In 20117 I’ve travelled through Europe, met so many new people, made some amazing friends, survived my physics class and laughed so hard I’ve cried.

Through all of this I’ve never stopped learning, learning about the world, learning about myself and learning about the people around me.

Here we go, 17 things I’ve learned in 2017.

1. Sometimes you have to put yourself first

This is something that I have fought with my entire life and it’s taken this yar for me to finally admit to myself the truth; sometimes you have to put yourself first. You can’t spend your whole life running around after people and letting your own dreams suffer. Yes it’s important to be able to put other people first but sometimes you have to put your needs above theres’. This has been really hard for me simply because I was (still am) obsessed with the idea that people think I’m selfish. Stupid right? Theres this tiny voice in my head that makes me re-think everything I do to make sure no one will see it as selfish, but you know what?

You have to put yourself first occasionally and if that means people thinking you’re selfish then so be it. After 17 years it’s finally sinking in, the most important person in your life is you.

2. It’s okay to say no

Once again something that I am still not the best at. I almost never say no to anyone. I just physically can’t bring myself  to do it. To say the dreaded ‘n’ word no matter what the task. Yet, it has come to my attention that but never saying no you allow anyone and everyone to walk all over you. By all means say yes, but if you don’t want to do something say no.

3. Not everyone has a good heart

This is new territory for me. I’ve always tried to see the best in people, look for the good and assume that everyone cares. Over the past year I’ve started to accept the fact that, everyone doesn’t care. In fact 95% of the people you cross paths with won’t give two shits about you until you go somewhere. Especially in high school.

4. Do it TODAY, not tomorrow

As a high school student trying to balance, her school work, social life, decent amounts of sleep, and blogging I’ve learnt to do things right away. If the task is due in two weeks start today, not in two weeks time. If you plan a blog post three weeks in advance start writing it as well. Leaving everything until some unknown, tomorrow, nothing gets done and boy does that stress pile on.

5. Confront whatever is bothering you, because it isn’t going anywhere

For the longest time I’ve been afraid of confrontation, terrified in fact. Yet, I’ve finally come to terms with the facts. If you don’t confront what you’re feeling or thinking it won’t go away. Instead it’ll manifest into this giant issue blown completely our of proportion because rather than dealing with it, you hid. Confronting a person, scares me shitless but it’s something we all have to do. Now that I’ve finally started talking about the things that bother me rather then letting them fester, my mind is much clearer.

6. Friendships recover after fights

Whoever said that about breaking a mirror and sticking it back together but still being able to see the cracks is wrong. We are all human, conflict is in our nature. But just because we fight doesn’t mean we can’t forgive and forget. If you’re friendship is strong and you both still care about each other you can move through it, it will take time. Months maybe even years, but if you care enough you can repair the damage and rebuild something even stronger.

7. You can’t read minds

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I have always hated that I couldn’t read minds. Not so I could invade everyones deepest thoughts and find out their secrets but because I have anxiety. My anxiety is rooted in the fear that everyone is going to leave me and therefore they all secretly hate me. Of course the only way to know that, is to read minds. Which I can’t do.

8. Some days you won’t want to get out of bed, but do it anyway

I’ve had days, I’ve had moments where all I want to do is curl up in bed, alone and just wallow. While we definitely need those days we also need the strength to be able to get out of bed even on off days. Because once you’re up surrounded by people chances are your mood will improve. Mine always did.

9. Take photos of everything

Looking back on the year I barely have any photos to remember it by. Take photos of bad hair days and good ones, take photos of your friends in pjs and get everything developed. So one day when you’re old you can look back on the good and the bad.

10. It’s okay to go it alone

So many of my friends have been getting into relationships lately I started to feel a little alone. As if I needed a relationship to be whole. That’s a lie. You can be happy and strong and free without a boyfriend or girlfriend.

11. Not all friendships are forever

This year I’ve lost people I thought would be in my life forever. It hurts more than words can express, and just like a break-up takes a long time to heal. My heart broke over friends who were once so close to me they could tell me how I would react to just about anything. It’s taken a lot to accept their absence in my life. But from this in my 17th year, I finally understand when they say, people are in your life for a reason, season or a lifetime. (Something like that!)

12. Sometimes you have to find closure in yourself

There will always be lose ends, sometimes you’ll never really know; why? And that’s okay. Find closure in yourself through acceptance, however long it takes.

13. Travel whenever you can

Travel is the best thing for our soul. I truly believe this, if you want more in-depth reasoning check out my post // here. All about the benefits of travel, but to summarise, it expands your horizons and offers you a new perspective on just about everything.

14. People are selfish

We look out for others but we look out for ourself first. Maybe I’m just a cynic? But if there’s one thing that’s come back to bite me over 17 years it’s giving more of myself to people who give nothing back.

15. Be the person who runs straight into cold water

For as long as I can remember I’ve been the girl who stands by the edge of the ocean letting my feet get wet. Then slowly wades in further allowing time for my body temperature to adjust as each new body part is submerged. It’s a slow process that drives some of my friends insane. Every time I say to myself this time I will jump in. The moment my foot touches that cold water I slow down. I think this has become something holding me back not just from swimming but form succeeding. I get so afraid of the cold that I  slow down, I let everyone else have a head start. Forgetting that within seconds of jumping in that cold feeling turns to warmth as our bodies adjust.

This year it’s really hit me, I need to be the person who runs straight into cold water. While carefully calculating your every move isn’t a bad way to live sometimes we all just need to dive right in no matter how cold that water is.

16. Show gratitude always

I am so fortunate to live a lifestyle where I never need to worry about where my next meal is coming from or if I’ll be warm tonight. The simple things we take for granted which only lead to more and more indulgence. Always be grateful for every opportunity, for every person, for everything. You never know how long it will last.

17. Don’t think too much

All overthinking breeds is anxiety. Breath and relax, whatever’s in your head is never as bad as reality.