Looking back on being 19

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Today is the day. I’m saying goodbye to being a teen and will be joining the ties. Twenties, thirties. I’ll never get rid of the ty at the end. Except for when I’m hitting 100, then it’s a different story.

I like to look back. Not because I like to dwell on the past, but because I want to see how much I’ve grown and still am growing. About the things I’ve learned.

People leave

This was probably the hardest on me. No matter what you’ve done or even if you haven’t done anything, people will leave. I do this thing called ‘blaming myself’, but in reality it’s not my fault. No matter what, people just go. People stop talking to you and eventually you give up trying. Friendship has to come from both sides. It’s not a one way high way. I learnt that it’s not my fault when people leave. I can’t beg them to stay. I stopped trying. It’s not my job to keep a friendship alive when the other person doesn’t even bother. That’s how I’ve lost quite some friendships. It’s unbelievably sad, but it happens quite often.

Don’t be too hard on yourself

Another one of my struggles. I tend to talk myself down and push myself too hard. Last summer things went south with me. I was struggling with panic attacks and heavy anxiety. I kept blaming myself for not doing anything, for not getting a job, but looking back at it, I just wasn’t able to. I had to find myself again and heal.
When I say I’m going for a run and not do it that day, I feel disappointed. I’m still struggling with being too hard on myself. It’s okay to skip a run. Life happens. Life goes on. There’s another day tomorrow.

Health before school

People keep telling me this. Last year was one of my busiest years ever. I studied 7 days a week for most of the day. I had so much homework. The year before that I had to quit school, due to my migraine attacks.
Health is way more important than good grades. Feeling confident is better than crying at night, because you still haven’t finished your homework. It’s okay to fail a test. Do a retake. It’s okay to choose yourself over school. Even though I still feel disappointed when I’ve failed a test, I also know that it’s important to take time for yourself. I do this more, even though it had taken me a long time.

Stay true to yourself

You’re okay. I’m okay. I’m allowed to be here and so are you. We are all allowed to be here. It’s okay to like books or comics or games or whatever you like. Who gets to decide you’re not allowed to like that? No one. Only you.
I’m too nice to people. I give them way too many chances. That’s my character. It’s both a flaw and a strong point. Because I’m always too nice and too kind I tend to let people walk over me. I lose myself in that process. It’s okay to be kind, but not when people take advantage of me. Whenever this happens, I’m the one who gets hurt. I learned that it’s okay to say no. No, it’s important to say no. It’s important to get rid of toxic people. The process is hard, but what you get in return is way more rewarding.

Live

No matter what, just live. Live boldly. Enjoy, see the world, think outside the box, be creative, find love, be you. The most common thing my mom says to me is: just enjoy. And she’s right. She always is. I find it hard to enjoy things, due to being bullied in the past, but I’m learning it more and more. I’m allowed to enjoy things. Everyone is.
It’s okay to fall and it’s okay to take time. Recovery takes time and getting up, too. It’s okay to struggle and more than okay to have bad days. They’re part of what makes you you. Don’t punish yourself. I’ve done this way too many times.

Here’s to being twenty! I ate lots of cake today and am still waiting for my books to arrive. Unfortunately, they didn’t come today. If they did, I had a birthday present.
Here’s for more adventures to come.

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