17 October 2014

What I learned as a teenager

So, I'm 20 on Tuesday. Twenty years old. It's an odd thought and idea to me. It's not really something I thought about as a teenager, reaching 20 and whether I'll feel or be any different. But I do.
I'm both thankful and grudgingly annoyed about my teenage years. It's a true journey, you find yourself and explore what makes you happy. Things that you would have turned your nose up at 15, at 19 you love. 
I'm definitely talking about dark chocolate there, calm guys.
So, I decided to type it down on this little blog of mine, what 20 year old Samantha learnt from being a teen. A lot of this follows through on life, but with a few of them the penny dropped in late teens, so I wanted to type it down. 
The years of 18 to now I really finally felt confident to pursue things in my life and take a few leaps, I've changed more since September 13' then I have in years. 

1) Do not follow what others do.
Please don't. Nothing will F you up more. You need to choose your own path. I'm talking going from secondary school and 'omg guys we have to go to the same college' if it's not for you, do not do it. Unless you're a vampire and can re-do your life 100 times, which I highly doubt. Also, tied in with the whole if it's not right for you do not do it at all. I went to college straight from school, because it's what I thought I should do and what everyone else I knew was doing. In-fact, I was too ill to even have tried and it only made me more ill. If you are not personally fully invested and in love with what you're doing, you shouldn't do it.

"Who gives a shit if you don’t finish college. Who gives a shit if you marry young. Who gives a shit if you go against everything your parents want. Do what makes YOU happy. And don’t you dare give a shit about what anybody else thinks.”

2) Know that everything happens for a reason.
Tying into the whole college thing. Instead I went back when I felt healthier. I met the best group of friends I could have wanted, 3 months later I met my now boyfriend- which never would have happened without joining a different year. Everything slowly fell into place, and it made me think it was meant to happen that way. The time just wasn't right for me, and I needed to understand that. It reminds me of a report about 9/11, of how a man was late to work on the day of 9/11 because he wore new shoes and stopped at a drugstore to get plasters because of blisters, he would have been at work otherwise. It's made me more of a calm person when thing's happen or do not go to plan, it's okay. Even if it really does not feel like it at the time, and you're in tears- it's just the path. 

3) A movie.
When a 15 year old guy says 'wanna come over for a movie' he probably does not want to watch a movie. Or maybe he does and is a real film buff and gent. I made that mistake once and naively bought round 10 films to choose, awkward attempts at trying to have an arm round me and attempt to slobber was an interesting experience and one never repeated.

4) Life
It does not matter if you get your period at 12 or 15, or have sex before at 'x' time. It really doesn't. In secondary school it seems like the biggest deal, you're a prude if you haven't and your tagged a 'slag' if you have. On from that, your own time scale is 100% no-one elses business but your own. It literally does not matter because thing's will come, things will happen and they all happen at the time they are meant to. You will never regret anything more then rushing something if it wasn't meant to be. 

5) Let go 
Let go of grudges. It will anchor you down with negativity. I had bad experiences at the end of secondary school, and it took me years to get over it and over how much people hurt me. But, at the end of the day, I needed to close that book and throw it in the ocean, it was pulling me back from happiness, you do not need it. Change your number, completely cut them out, find new friends, get over it within your self, don't even give them space in your mind and just do you, you will be so much happier.
"Holding on to anything is like holding on to your breath. You will suffocate. The only way to get anything in the physical universe is by letting go of it. Let go & it will be yours forever.”
— Deepak Chopra 

6) Know your limit
Education and work commitments are important but so is your mental and physical health. There’s a huge difference between challenging yourself and going the extra mile to get through something,  and being so stressed about school that you break down and cry.
I've done it plenty and I still do, but as you get through your teen's you will realise your limits and what you can do, do not just do things that hurt your health to please others. 

7) Learn to say no
'No is a complete sentence' I learned to drill into myself that no is a complete sentence. It does not require justification in any sense. If I say no, it's no. Leading from number 6; if I know my limit and how far I can push pass that, then no amount of persuasion will budge me. 

8) Busy body
I read ages ago "what others think of you, is none of your business" and it hit me hard of how important that is. The thoughts of other people and the anxiety of being spoken about ruined the end of school for me. Only now I realise people will judge you, people will speak about you, people you don't even know, strangers. But, letting it bother you and need to seek approval of others will shit you up. Everyone has an opinion, but we cannot hold ourself back from doing something because we're afraid of what people will think, that's way to much power to give to somebody. 
"My philosophy is: It’s none of my business what people say of me and think of me. I am what I am, and I do what I do. I expect nothing, and accept everything. And it makes life so much easier.”

9) Becoming your own happiness is key
Over the last few years I've found happiness in simple things. being excited to use that new lipstick tomorrow morning, realising you have a new episode of something recorded, taking the biggest bubble bath, taking a drive on your own. There's so many things. 
They will all be different to every individual. It's easy, so easy to put your happiness in someone elses hands such as a friend or boyfriend, it's natural if they make you happy. But okay, when their gone, what will you do then? You're sorta stuffed. The simple things in life are best, the little silly things you would never think of. Find you little slice of content and happiness. 
"Take responsibility for your own happiness, do not expect people or things to bring you happiness, or you could be disappointed.”
— Rodolfo Costa 

10) Say y e s 
I'm not going to lie, I literally used to find every excuse possible to not do something because of my anxiety. Being around people I don't know sends me into an anxious mess, being lost, over-thinking and all that fun stuff. I used to turn down the opportunity to go to blogger meets and events, no matter how much I'd want to go. Then one time last summer I went all the way up to London on my own and went to a bloggermeet- still not sure how I managed it. But, I had the best time with so many bloggers and met up with girls I've spoken to for years finally. I still have my 'no' excuse moments, but It's so important to sometimes say yes and push yourself. It's nice to have a friend who knows your limit but also knows when it's appropriate to push you. For example, only last week I nearly 'copped out' and went home because I was somewhere I didn't know anyone, I was on my lonesome watching my boyfriend play rugby and I just wanted to crawl in a hole and hide. I ended up having the best night out in a long time because he encouraged me to stay, 7 hours before I wanted to go home and give in. Start slow and build up, do not make yourself un-comfortable but don't give in to early, you're stronger than you think. 

11) Speak 
More character, but something I learned. Only in the past year have I learned to speak up. I used to keep it all in, someone bothered me? ok, cool I'll cry that out at midnight when I can't sleep. Which for me, wasn't healthy to just keep in. But now days, if someone did something crappy or if I'm not happy with a situation, I'll probably voice it. I actually like talking through things, because thing's are raised by the other person that you may not have known or realised. You need a balance of diplomacy and politeness, not rude and mouthy.

12) You are beautiful with make-up and you are also beautiful without make-up. Society is the problem, not your wonderful face. 

13) It's okay to be proud of yourself. If you achieved something you didn't think you could, you shout that from the rooftop, you celebrate. It's amazing and lovely that you can see what you have achieved is bloody good. It's not just other people who can be proud of you, you can be proud of you. 

14) We all find our little armour or safety blanket over time.

It could be winged eyeliner, suspenders, red lipstick, a band t-shirt, jewellery. Because when something makes you feel better about yourself, it improves your day 100%. If it makes your day easier and nicer, if it makes you feel comfortable, wear it, do it. 

15) There will be make-up and hair mistakes.
I decided at 15 to dye my hair darker. I decided on a dark brown almost black. Trouble is, I decided to pull my hair forward each side of my face and throw it on, forgetting the whole back of my head, so In the sun I had brown/red hair at the back and black at the front. It was terrible and really un-sitely when I look at photos now. I also used to wear pink mascara to school, which then led on to overly thick applied eyeliner (badly)  feeling like a rebel with the no make-up rule.

16) Acknowledge your accomplishments
Little or big. If you managed to pull yourself out of bed this morning when you wanted to hide in the covers and not face anyone, that's amazing. If you managed to get a new job, that's amazing. Attended a party when you're incredibly socially anxious, that's amazing. It's important to be proud of ourselves for doing things we may find hard.

17) Have a safe, go-to place
It's important to have a place to escape to when it feels like the world is attacking you. A library, cafe, the seafront. One of mine is my car funnily enough, which sounds incredibly odd. 

18) Being surrounded by 100's will not make you less lonely
It's not how many people you find yourself with that makes loneliness fade, it's often how they make you feel, how many actually understand you. That good old saying "have you ever felt alone in a crowded room" 

19) Not everyone says I love you
Which I used to find odd. If i'm honest, I have a natural habit of telling people I love them, not too sure why. Well, not always the words. But people also say it in a variety of ways. I'm constantly telling Jack to put his seat belt on in my car, or telling a friend to let me know when their home or buying them food. There are so many ways, so don't get too insulted it you don't always hear it. Not everyone is so open.

20) It's okay to love yourself
There's a difference with being happy with yourself and being arrogant about it. You like your booty? I'm so happy you can see something in yourself as beautiful and be confident and proud of it. I think that's so lovely. People focus so much on the bad, that when someone is happy about something of them self, it's seen as arrogant, oh shh. 

21) Support each other
Support your friends, compliment them, be truthful. Go to their events, promote their work, show them off, let them know when you're proud of them and help them out when they need it. Be there when it's great, and know if they need a coffee or a cocktail when it's not so great. It's so important to have someone there on your team. Your all on this same roller coaster, it's pretty cool when there's someone there to help you. 

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