I started this draft back in August 2014 around my birthday but never sent it to publish. I just reread it and think the sentiments still ring true, especially with a new year ahead. Be good to yourselves this year, and be good to the people around you too.
As my birthday rapidly approaches, I’ve been thinking a lot about the things I wish I knew when I was younger. The past couple of years has been a period of growth bigger than any other point in my life, and while I don’t live with regret, there are some things I wish I had learned/accepted sooner.
Life is short and precious and messy and perfect and no part of it should be spent living in fear. Fear of rejection. Fear of heartbreak. Fear of failure. Fear of the unknown. All of these fears are pointless and will not help anyone lead a fulfilled and happy life. We all get rejected, have our hearts broken, take risks, and fail sometimes. That’s part of being alive and being human. Despite knowing this on a fundamental level, my own actions and behaviors were driven by fear for a long time. It’s something I’m still working on.
Love yourself for who and what you are, and always strive to be the best version of yourself possible. When I say love yourself, I mean all of your unique imperfections. Your so-called flaws. Insecurity, especially for a woman about her body, will eat away at her slowly over time. It took a very long time for me to love the body that I have. Even though there are things I’d like to improve for the long-term health benefits (bad back anyone), I no longer live my life constantly thinking that I’m fat and would be “so much prettier if I lost 10 pounds.” My curves are beautiful and womanly and something that should be celebrated, not cut-down when I look in the mirror.
Let go of toxic relationships – the bad friends/frenemies, the shitty significant others, the family members that you don’t owe anything to simply because they’re family. This is one I definitely still struggle with. I find myself always giving people the benefit of the doubt and have a hard time letting go of relationships that don’t make me happy. The people in your life should help make you the best version of yourself and you should do the same for them. If they aren’t, let them go. You don’t owe it to anyone else to be miserable.
Celebrate every part of your life. You only get to live it once.