hello beautiful!! my 18th birthday is coming up in a few days and before i become a legal adult i'd like to share the most important things i've learned thus far. some of these are serious and some of them less so, but each of them is relevant so let's get into it!
1.) listen to your body. it will tell you what you need to know, so give it what it needs. take care of it too because it's the only one you've got.
2.) try to make your self-improvement goals come from a place of love. make improvements because you want to be the best you can be and because you are capable, not because you won't feel worthy until you make the changes. you're worthy now, you're worthy as you're working towards a goal, you're worthy when you fail (& get back up!), and you're worthy when you accomplish something. love the process.
3.) prioritize yourself. relationships come and go, but the one you have with yourself is forever.
4.) understand how social media influences you and make it work for you. i love social media, but when i notice it taking up all my time or making me feel bad about myself as opposed to being inspiring for me, i take a break. cleanses are awesome and whenever i take them i never notice myself missing social media. i find myself having more energy and investing in the people around me.
5.) have something to be passionate about. it will fulfill you.
6.) know that you can create happiness for yourself no matter where you end up. this is for all my seniors out there who are trying to figure out what college they're going too. everything happens for a reason, so maybe not getting into your dream school is just what you needed to end up at a college you didn't even know was the perfect fit for you.
7.) dunkin' donuts coffee is better than starbucks. sign up for their rewards program.
8.) your interests will change and that's okay. i had danced at a company level for as long as i remember, but i quit my senior year. i still take one class a week to keep me at the studio, but i realized dance was no longer something that made me happy, even though i had always been dancer girl. the labels given to you based on what you do aren't defining, so if what used to be "your thing" no longer feels like it is, go ahead and find something that brings you more joy.
9. people like being around happy people. you don't have to fake joy, but choose your actions carefully and try your best to be the light people need in their lives. having a positive impact on the community around you will make you feel good, as well as the people you're around. i still have a long way to go with this one, especially with my family. be patient and be kind.
10.) don't waste your time with people who make you feel like crap. period. this one took me a while to learn, but you are much too valuable of a person to give yourself to those who don't appreciate you.
11.) "love the lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. the second is this: 'love your neighbor as yourself.' there is no commandment greater than these." -mark 12:30-31. if you remember any verse from the bible, make it this one. and if you've been hurt by a christian who wasn't making god's priorities their own, i'm sorry for the hurt. i hope that more and more christians remember to prioritize love and acceptance over judgement and hatred, because jesus's message is actually all about love and rejects evil.
12.) sometimes you just need to take a nap or call it a night. you'll do better work when you're well rested, so think of sleep as an investment into becoming more efficient in the future.
13.) don't beat yourself up if you don't reach your full potential all the time. sometimes we fall short because we can't be 100% 24/7. cut yourself a break and be proud of what it is you have accomplished.
14.) burt's bees and smith's rosebud salve are the best chapsticks.
15.) once you get in the habit of healthy eating, you'll crave it. the way it makes your body feel is better than any junk food could taste (usually). ice cream on the weekends is still amazing though.
16.) get a reusable water bottle and take it everywhere you go. hydroflasks are 100% worth it, but anything is better than plastic.
17.) use google sheets and track the money you make. understanding where your income is coming from (even if its not a lot!) helps you understand where it goes and will make it easier to save and prioritize where your funds are going.
18.) fall in love with yourself. not because you can't love others without first loving yourself first (which isn't actually true), but because you are the one you're spending the rest of your life with and you deserve the most beautiful kind of love. take yourself on dates, do what makes you happy, and have fun hanging out with yourself. respect yourself and invest in the totally rad person you are, and be proud of where you're going.