Things you learn when getting older...12:08 AM
Melancholy is a part of my soul. Looking back, reminiscing and analyzing past moments are everyday activities in my life. Which can be cruel to my present moment or enlightening to my future self.
When we take a look back at what we have been through, the mistakes we've made and the decisions that lead us to our now, everything becomes clearer and lighter. You realize little life lessons you wished you had learned sooner, you realize you didn't need to do things that way, you didn't need to suffer so much.
Although I have yet a lot of life to live and numerous lessons to understand, I wanted to share some of the most important ones I have thought of, until today.
How to say no
The one thing I used to do the most when I was younger was make up fake excuses for not doing something or not going somewhere. I felt like I would hurt someone's feeling if I said "no" and that was the last thing I wished to do. Confrontation is not my forté. Along with maturity, though, came the knowledge that I do not need to explain myself for saying "no" and I am allowed to simply say "I just don't feel like going/doing this". Everyone needs to respect each others desires and wishes. I needed to respect my own and let go of what others would think. Trust me, my friends enjoy my company a lot better when I actually feel like being with them then when I'm counting the minutes to leave.
Appreciating flawed parents
Most children have the idea that their parents are superheros and perfect human beings. Parents know everything, what to do when you fall from the tree, how to talk to your crush, cooking and basic math. They seem like they have it all together and are so sure of themselves.
When I hit my teenage years, however, I realized that these ideas are all illusions. Parents don't know anything at all, they aren't sure of themselves and many don't even know what to do with their lives, still! This broken illusion made me angry. How could I have these role models for so long and then find out they aren't real?
Over the past few years, such anger turned into understanding. The fact that I now saw my parents as flawed gave me a knew perspective. They were never superheros. They are human, like me and you. Their feelings, fears, doubts and dreams are just as real as ours. The only difference is that they have to look after their daughters and sons first, and we only have to look after ourselves. This obvious and mindblowing lesson absolutely changed me, helping me get over my frustration to start appreciating my flawed parents and understanding how their flaws affected our relationship and my own personality.
Letting go of "but you don't know him/her like I do"
Raise your hand if you have maintained relationships (be it with girl/boyfriends, friends or even relatives) that were harmful to you. Yep. I raised mine too, don't you worry.
See, from what I've experienced, when we are in that relation it is difficult to accept the fact that the other person is bringing you down. We like that person, we share memories and private moments with them. All those good memories and qualities shadow our vision of the bad, so when someone else comes along and points them out to us with ease, our immediate reaction is denial. They don't know them well like we do. They haven't seen their fears and dreams. They don't know how they treat me when we're one on one. How can they tell me they are bad when I know him so much better then they do?
Stop tricking yourself. If the person is an ass with others, he's an ass. If the person is putting you down, he's not worth your time and care. It does not matter your history, it does not matter "who they are when you're alone", it does not matter that they say they love you. The people you share your life with should treat you well and add positivity to your life. If your alone or in a huge group. If the person acts differently in certain situations, drop them. They are not being sincere with you or anyone else and you deserve better.
Do not stop doing what makes you happy
As a kid, I did ballet, I played piano, I liked to make up stories and I loved painting and drawing. There was a huge list of activities that made me happy and that I never actually do anymore. Sometime ago I realized how much I had stopped doing while growing up and started wandering why and pinpointing how much those activities not being there anymore changed me. Not playing piano, not doing ballet, not writing and exploring my creative side numbed me to a point where I was not sure how I ever managed to practice all these activities in the first place.
So I went back. Not with the same frequency and not to all of it, but I'm slowly re-exploring all the things I remember I loved as a child. What I'm learning is that they never stopped making me happy. Life happens and things get left in the past. That does not mean they should stay there. That does not mean they stopped making you happy. It only means you got carried away by life's five billion other distractions.
There will always be people in better and worse situations than you
Moving around and changing schools a lot teaches you this hard but essential lesson in a heart-beat. If you ever feel like you are the prettiest in a room, the smartest, the kindest, the strongest, whatever it is, you will always encounter someone who is better. There will always be more successful people showing up in your life to keep your humility in check.
This same thought works for when you think you are the one with the worst problems and difficulties and you suffer so much that no one understands you because no one hurts as much. Stop. Everyone suffers. Everyone is in pain. You are not the biggest sufferer in the world and you believing you are is probably the number one thing keeping you down.
It's true that the fact that there are people dying does not make your problems lesser problems and the fact that Malala Yousafzai is the biggest voice in feminism at the tender age of 18 does not make your personal achievements irrelevant. That is not what you should take from this lesson. This is a lesson of humility. This is a lesson of acknowledging the different people around you. This is a lesson of acceptance of yourself amongst that variety. This is a lesson of empathy.