What I’ve learned in the past few years:

If you’re unhappy, do something to change it. Most of the time for me, it’s been about changing my mindset just as much as physical changes in my life.

Feeling down about not going to the right school, a good school, or even not going to school at all? That’s usually caused by comparing yourself to others. Stop that. Sometimes it’s caused by outside judgment (small town syndrome). Move. 

Feeling like your day is monotonous? You hate your job? Quit. Volunteer. Find a new job. Join a new community group. Play in a local sports league. 

Feeling down about your relationship? Ask yourself if you’re happy being around that person. If no, stop being around them. If yes, ask yourself if you’re happy with what you’re doing with that person. If no, stop doing those things. If yes, maybe your problem is once again comparing or feeling like you need to fit society’s image of what’s ‘right’ or ‘acceptable.’ Create your own image or decide not to worry about fitting any kind of image at all. It’s your world. 

Feeling like classes are overwhelming? Take a breath. In the scheme of life, is this really all that important? What’s the worst case scenario? You have to retake the class? What does that mean? You won’t graduate on time? So what? You have to spend a little bit more money? Will that kill you? No. Stop rushing yourself, stop pressuring yourself, stop allowing yourself to go through the motions without enjoying your life. 

More or less, if your friends judge you, get new ones. If your family judges you, explain why you feel the way you do and if they continue to judge you, stop listening. I think I’ve worn mine down - we’ve had some struggles but I’ve shown them that I can support myself and make decisions I can live with. I have not let their judgments keep me from making my own choices and over time they’ve stopped their judgments (pretty much) and if they say something that’s condescending, I correct them. 

Don’t settle for anything less than happiness. Don’t accept sex when what you want is love. Don’t accept a “relationship” when what you want is love. Food, alcohol, big groups of people, sex, good grades, and/or nondiscriminatory attention will not make you happy. Take time out of your day to work your body, listen to good music, have a meaningful conversation - nourish yourself in all aspects: physically, emotionally, and mentally.

Be brave. Don’t cave to the pressures of society. Society is diseased and broken. Think outside of the box and live a life you’re happy with. We need to redefine the “American dream.” We need to exist in the present and value ourselves for who we are and not who society wants us to become. We need to eat real food, support our local farmers and businessmen, be active, go outside, live within our means, rid ourselves of material possessions and how we place our value in them. We need to be more present in our community and help those who need it right next to us. We need to love who we please and do what pleases us. 

Stop judging each other and resenting those who are not like minded. Equally important, stop judging ourselves. Find out who we are as individuals and accept it. Forgive yourself for things you’ve done previously. Accept that you’ll make mistakes or missteps in the future. Continue to grow anyways. That’s what we need to do. 

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Posted on Sunday, 11 November
Tagged as: casandra   little life lessons  
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