I’ve been doing quite a bit of self reflection, writing, and checking in lately, and have put in to words the things I wish the year-younger version of me would have known. Advice certainly comes with experiencing each situation over and over again and though I still have much experiencing to feat, here are the things I’ve learned—from me, to you.
Be wary of who you trust. The one piece of advice that my mother gave me that has stuck to me for all of these years was during a tough time in high school in a big to-do with mean girls—“Amanda, realize that this doesn’t get much better, you must rise above.” This is all too true and too real as a lady gets older. Some people will always nit-pick and find reasons to dislike whatever it may be about you. So long as you treat everyone with respect that each human being deserves, shake it off and move on. Wasting your time thinking about reasons for somebody else’s unhappiness will only result in your own unhappiness. Your confidence will shine through if it’s really there. Kill em’ with kindness.
Keep a few things for yourself. Your brain is marvelous. Brainstorm ideas—alternate your left and right hand for coffee and a pen. Write it all down, write it freely. Remember that your hand writing is unique and beautiful in it’s own way. Keep some of it for just your eyes, and then put your ideas into action.
Love isn’t about an even playing field. Small acts of kindness are just that: acts of kindness. Acts of kindness from your own heart, to expect nothing in return. Learn to give without even thinking about what will be given. This is one of the hardest undertakings of all.
Genuinely learn how to say what you need. Take time for yourself without feeling guilty. Coming from a true introvert, it’s easy to feel convicted to go out, to enjoy the company of others when you need a night to yourself. Instead of coming off amiss and sullen in a situation you don’t want to be in, be genuine in your asking for time off. Most will understand.
And for the last bit: Stop for a moment to really, really enjoy. Really. Create things just for the act of creating. Smile, love, and remember that we are not timeless and to enjoy one another all the more.