I was on instagram mindlessly scrolling the other day when I saw this post that was titled "things that will make you feel old" highlighting things that have come out in the past few years.
"Frozen" was on the list it reminded me that i first met Anna and Elsa seven years ago. Animated movies aren't typically my top pick so it stood out to me, why would I be so stopped with the realization of how fast time moves with a movie that didn't even resonate.
When I told my mom, she didn't seem to give it much thought or feel the shock I felt. I then started thinking about how time moves so fast even when you're not even thinking about it or how markers of time can be significant even when the actual event wasn't significant in and of itself.
I tend to think of certain birthdays at milestones, 10 was double digits and 16 will be getting a divers license. But even though 15 isn't often a marker in the world of milestone, I decided to do some writing & pondering on this year cause I'm a writer- its what I do and as someone important probably said, "Everything matters" or whatever.
14 things I learned at 14
You don't have to be who people perceive you as-
I'm learning that the past does not define all of who I am today and there is always opportunity to grow. I have often put so much weight on how people look at me and consumed by the "what if" they are paying attention to what I am doing and what I am not doing and judge me for it. I'm coming to see in my 15 years around the sun that most people aren't looking at me with judgmental eyes if they are looking at me at all. So I can be free to move about in my own skin.
Just because your “stuck” in a place you don’t love doesn’t mean your “stuck” in general-
I've spent a lot of wasted time wishing I didn't live on maui and I tend to think that just because I'm stuck on maui (where I don't want to be living) doesn't mean I'm stuck completely, I can live in a place I don't like and still grow mentally or physically.
Trust the process because the best things are often the things you don't expect-
As most of us learned in 2020 we have no idea what is coming next. 2020 and my 14th year brought me many surprises but reflecting back at those surprises I realized that the best things are often the ones we don't expect so the best thing (& only thing) we can do is trust the process
Pick your battles-
This lesson is a lesson I feel as though I relearn every year. Waking on the earth the best way to survive throughout the years is to pick your battles. It won't be easy, but I think that once picking your battles becomes a habit whenever someone says something to get on your nerves you'll automatically just bypass the issue if its not worth your time. Ultimately you want (& need) to have time for your passions, the things you truly love, and if you spend all your time fighting you'll waste all your energy on problematic people.
Let people know how you really feel, what you really want-
Because of my anxiety I tend to be super aware of what people think of me and I tend to get super worried of telling someone they hurt me or telling someone I need some space. Whatever I need in a moment I won't tell anyone because I'm worried they'll change their perception of me. The reason this lesson is one I learned this year is because I think its super good for me to remember that it's okay to tell people how I feel. I am realizing I will not only survive telling people how I feel but I will thrive.
You are not responsible for what people think (of you) so live your life and let their thoughts be their thoughts-
In life you have to allow people to have their own thoughts and not feel like you have to change their mind. Give space to others and try not to take their thoughts personally as a reflection of you. Like I said in my end-of-the-year post for 2020, live your life how you want to live it and don't be so focused on what other people are thinking.
You don't have time and energy to feel anxious for other people and their problems-
I'm not trying to sound self centered but I think I'm a pretty good listener and I don't always need to be talking about myself, so my friends tend to confide in me, I like that they feel comfortable telling me about their problems because it shows me that we have a close enough relationship that they trust me. But the hard part is, sometimes I'll start getting anxious for them, I'll start thinking, "how can they solve this problem?" or "what advice can I give them?" And honestly, I don't have the time or energy to take on their problems, so what I've learned this year, and what I try to do regularly is I have to be careful about sometimes telling someone I need a break.
Why concern yourself with those that are ahead of you in life when you physically could not be where they are-
I always see 20 year olds living in New York City with amazing jobs or houses, who are so successful and have a great fashion sense and I'll always think why can't I be like them? The thing is, at this point in my life I could not be like them, it would be illegal for me to move out of my parents house because I'm a minor. So, when I start to feel frustrated, wishing I was where they were, I have to remind myself what stage of life I'm in and in turn I can't beat myself up for not being where other people are because I couldn't physically be there.
Stop thinking about where you should be, what you should look like, or what you should be doing, think about where you want to be, how you want to look, or what you want to be doing-
Because I'm homeschooled and I'm not much of a social butterfly, I tend to avoid the trends and avoid hanging out with a lot of people my own age. (what does homeschooling have to do with avoiding trends and hanging out with people..interesting and just curious)
I love having a small group of close friends and not having the pressures most teens have but I always think about what I should be doing. One example is, "the average high schooler is *fill in the blank (like going to parties or drinking) so why am I not doing that?" But then, after stopping and thinking about it I realize I really don't want to be doing "It" whatever "It" is, so why do I feel the pressure to do so? I believe the best thing I can do is take time to think about what I actually want, and whatever I want to do (as long as its legal ;) I can do. and then try to do it.
It’s okay to be behind-
One of my biggest insecurities is how I tend to feel "behind", not just academically, but mentally, physically, or even socially. One of the biggest lessons I learned at 14 is how its okay to be "behind". Maybe i'm not as comfortable in big groups, or maybe my mental game isn't as "strong" but ultimately I'm probably more ahead then I think I am, and even if I'm not being behind is perfectly okay.
Sometimes it’s okay to not always be doing things to help yourself- life isn’t just about furthering your abilities-
Recently, especially with being in quarantine I think a lot of people have been under the mindset that you have to always be doing things to further your abilities. A lot of the time helping yourself and furthering your abilities is good but sometimes its just about having fun and not feeling guilty. In the midst of my "to do's" and tasks, I forget that its not only okay to have fun but it's important. I have to remind myself that fun gives joy!
Don’t be afraid to Ask yourself questions like "where do you want to be" or "what do you want to do"-
Most of the time, people just go through the motions of their lives and they forget to ask themselves questions. Trust me, I know asking yourself questions can be scary, but sometimes facing the hard times can be really helpful. Beginning to ask questions when you are young without having to have definitive answers or using times when you don't have to work or you are "freer" will help you later on in life.So ask questions like "what do I want to do?" or "where do I want to in my life?" Or even simpler questions like, "What sounds fun?", What things am I drawn to?", "Where do I feel alive?" & I promise you'll feel more fulfilled.
Romanticize your life-
I've always heard people say this quote and I've never totally understood it until this year. When I start thinking about how I don't love living on maui but then I realize that I physically can't move off maui, there's only two paths I could take. Path one, I could spend my life in misery constantly wishing I didn't live on maui and every time someone brought up maui I could make my parent "pay" for making me live here (which is probably the easier thing choice). Or, path two, I could just try and embrace where I live, I go through seasons where I don't want to be where I am and I go through seasons where even though I still don't enjoy where I live it's a lot easier to be content. But the best thing I can do is to keep striving towards trying to accept where I live because being in misery and being miserable to the people around me would be a very hard way to live and the best way I do that is going to places I've grown to love on maui, probably not the most popular beaches but favorite restaurants or hidden gems.
Just do it-
I find it very fitting that we end on the Nike slogan ;) I know, I know, the cheesiness of "Just do it" is honestly too much, even for me. But I think I'll be able to survive the cheesiness for today because when you really stop to think about it, forgetting about everything that could be in your way and saying yes. Just doing it, is one of the best pieces of advice I can give you today. Just say Yes!
well, that was the final lesson
If anyone reading this took even just one lesson away from my writing I'll be happy beyond belief. I write these posts so I can remember the trials & tribulations that I go through in my life and I hope you enjoy reading my thoughts.
lots of love,