“In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” Abraham Lincoln
When I turned 18 I was probably the most lost I have ever felt in life. I was confused, anxious, lonely and desperate for some guidance and acceptance as I felt like I was constantly failing. It wasn’t until I met my now husband just before I turned 19 that things started falling into place for me and a lot of that was because I spoke to my doctor and discovered that I was suffering from depression. Everything happens for a reason and i’m positive that I wouldn’t be where I am today if things didn’t happen the way they did but there are some things I wish I had known back then to make it a less painful time.
I really hope these tips can help others and it’ll definitely be something I will share with my own children as they grow.
Love yourself – On good days and bad days, love yourself unconditionally. Have your own back, try new things, chase your dreams and know that no matter the outcome you’ll be okay!
Trust your gut – When something doesn’t feel right, at some level, it probably isn’t. Whether you want to label this feeling as your intuition or something else doesn’t matter. What does matter if that you take some time for yourself when you feel something is not right. Be still, listen, and give yourself some space to let your way forward become clear.
You don’t need to know your passion – It may take years to find your passion so don’t waste time on trying to force yourself to find what that is, put that energy into being curious. Curiosity has the power to transform an everyday situation into a whole new experience and you’ll find yourself being drawn to the things you find most interesting which may lead you to stumble across your passion.
You don’t have to go to university – I know that from the day you started school it has been an expectation that you will go to university and now it’s time to enrol you have no idea what to do. That is OK! University is not a one-size-fits-all’ solution for every school leaver and you can be successful without a university degree.
Don’t compare yourself to others – Don’t waste your energy focusing on what others are doing, make yourself number one priority because by comparing yourself to others you are simply distracting yourself from your own joy.
It’s okay to not be okay – Life is full of ups and downs and it’s totally normal to experience some sadness, hurt or not have things figured out. It’s these events in our lives, good and bad, that we learn who we are and what makes us tick. It’s not about creating happily ever after, it’s about taking it one step at a time and accepting that we’ll go through times when we won’t feel happy.
Own who you are – Don’t change yourself to suit others as their opinion of you is not important. Your experiences are unique and have the potential to help so many others so be proud of who you are and above all be yourself! It was what you were born to do!
Let go of the past – Acknowledge your pain from the past and give yourself permission to let it go, living in the past will do more damage than good.
Slow down – You don’t need to rush your way through life, enjoy the journey and be present in all you experience as you never know what you might miss.
Embrace change – It is not your enemy I promise! Change often presents a new opportunity for growth so don’t fight it. Acknowledge it, accept it and know there’s a reason for it. You may struggle to understand the “why” now but when you look back you’ll know that it was meant to be.
What do you wish you were told when you were 18?
Thanks for reading and make sure you share your smile with the world today ☮