I’m two months shy of my 25th birthday and I’ve done some reflecting. I have had some amazing experiences thus far and I would like to pay it forward with a few lessons that define me. Hopefully this helps someone who may be lost to not feel alone. “Be the friend you needed when you were younger.”
Here we go…
“I am self-propelled; fueled from within. I appreciate people’s opinions , but I am not attached to them. I learned a long time ago that if I give them the power to feed me, I also give them the power to starve me. “
The most important thing I’ve learned is self-love. And with that self-love comes a fully independent woman who doesn’t seek attention or affection from a partner. I consider myself a lone-wolf; an outsider. I skip to the beat of my own drum and never apologize for how I feel. Life is too short to hold anything back and I live my life fearlessly and recklessly. I have always stood on my own and have experiences far beyond my years. So with that being said, shouldn’t that make me independent? In a sense I suppose, but I never really felt emotionally stable until now. I’m always waiting for someone to save me; someone to come in a sweep me off my feet and make everything better. But you can’t place a band-aid over a bullet hole. You will keep having to change the bandage until you finally fix the real problem. I’m tired of lowering my standards to fit someone else’s ideals and I’ve finally had enough. I realized just because you are lonely doesn’t mean you are alone. How do you expect someone else to love you the way you deserve if you don’t love yourself that way first. I am self-sufficient. I am enough. Instead of worrying and spending all my time trying to please someone else, I get to spend time finding things that make me happy. Like taking up a new hobby, exploring nature, booking last minute trips and deepening my friendships. Nothing is better than having a great support system and I am nothing without mine. So, I think maybe I’ve just gotten better at balancing my plate. I truly value my friendships and would never want anything or anyone to come between them. In a relationship I’ve learned that you need your space. Just because your partner takes time for themselves doesn’t mean they love you any less. Absence makes the heart grow fonder. Most importantly I’ve learned to guard my heart. Not everyone deserves the chance to truly know me which makes it special for the ones that do. Guys come and go and voice their opinions when it isn’t needed. I don’t take it to heart because I know who I am. I’m very secure and very confident and the words of someone who doesn’t know me no longer define me. I define myself.
2. It’s Okay To Say No
As an extreme optimist I find it very hard to say no. You never know where you’re going to go, who you’re going to meet, and where the new adventure may lead. But most times I find myself over promising and under delivering. I have to realize that I can’t do it all. It’s more than okay to say no to going out in exchange for staying in and bettering yourself.
It’s really easy to get caught up in the LA scene. It’s easy to get coerced down the wrong path and sucked into a black hole that makes you forget why you even moved in the first place. I’ve been fortunate enough to stay grounded in my beliefs. I’ve been blessed with more opportunities than I can count and moving to LA was half the battle. It was the best decision I have ever made. I never want to take my blessings for granted because they can be taken away in an instant. I don’t want to regress in life either, only progress. I’m at the stage in my life where being the center of attention and having people know my name doesn’t do it for me anymore. Quality > Quantity. I would rather save money for a weekend trip with my girlfriends than go out and spend money on drinks. Because let’s get real, everyone is on the struggle bus in LA and guys will rarely buy you a drink, let alone dinner on a date! Buying a girl an $8 drink to maybe get laid for one night just doesn’t suit. I’m not that type of girl anyway, so good riddance!
I reject fake love. The kind that only calls when it’s convenient. The kind that wants all of the perks of being in a relationship but with no actual commitment. I don’t want that. Temporary love doesn’t satisfy my hunger. I want a real, all-consuming, passionate, intense, core-shaking type of love. A lot of people try to shame me for being so vocal about what I want. I’m decisive and when I see something I want, I have to have it. That’s a typical trait of a Sagittarius. We are picky people but once we find something we want, we launch our arrow into the object that has the eye of our affection. We will do anything to get it. People try to keep me in a box because the way I think scares them. They are still trying to figure themselves out when I already know who I am. They try to make me feel powerless and weak for being vulnerable when it’s THEM who don’t have the emotional capacity to handle my love. Some have demons they would rather keep in the closet than face them. And that’s fine- do you. But I like to leave people better than when I left them and be an ear to help you through whatever adversity you are facing. Being the passionate person that I am, sometimes I get hurt in the process. But I’m okay with it because I too am learning.
Dating is so disheartening. You have to sit through a meal (if you’re lucky- most times it’s just drinks) to find out that the guy across from you is boring as hell. People are so shallow. Not even with looks. I’m talking about shallow with their feelings, with their conversations- it’s rare to find someone you genuinely enjoy and can talk to about anything. So, it’s okay to say no to things that are a waste of time. I’ve learned patience. I’m a determined soul, so I have to hold out for the real thing because if you aren’t available, you just might miss it.
3. Image Is Everything
There’s nothing that makes me feel better than throwing on a cute outfit that expresses my mood, doing my makeup and fixing my hair into a cool style that completes the look. I used to not really care how I looked. Actually, I think that’s false. I have always cared but was depressed in high-school which hindered me from expressing myself outwardly. My train of thought was that I’m a bomb person and if you can’t handle me at my worst, you don’t get me at my best. (Still true).
But, over the past few years I have really enjoyed expressing myself through fashion. Especially living in LA where everyone is in the industry. You must always look your best. You never know who you will run into on the lot, ordering coffee from your favorite barista, or casually walking on the street. (It happens more times than not!)
When you look good, you feel good. I one-hundred percent get ready for myself. I wear what I want. Anything from modest to risque. Here comes that box again… I don’t like to be placed within a certain style, a certain friend group, a one-track mind way of thinking. I believe in color. I like to learn about all the different shades in between.
My biggest inspiration in life is Carrie Bradshaw. She’s a writer, fashion trend-setter, a lover of love, and a really strong woman. She too, would be nothing without her forgiving friends who pick her up every time Big drags her heart around.
She worked her way up starting from her news paper column, then for Vogue and, then became a successful author. She never let a man dictate her life and that’s exactly how I want to be.
4. Trust My Intuition
I feel I have a sixth sense. I know that sounds crazy but I’m very in-tune with myself so it’s pretty hard to get lies passed me. There has been multiple occasions where I have felt that something wasn’t right, confronted the person (where of course they lied), and found out later that I was indeed correct.
I get this really overwhelming, dire need to randomly send a message to the person I was thinking about. Almost as if I heard a whisper in my ear to do so. I then become on autopilot until I’m done relaying the message. It’s weird but kind of cool to be the one to tell someone the message they’ve been needing to hear. It’s rewarding to help others.
Every decision I make is based on my intuition. There’s a lot of instances where I have been right but lacked the confidence to back it up. I wish I knew then what I know now.
The last relationship I was in was extremely toxic. I heard screams the whole time we were dating and knew for a really long time that I’ve made a mistake. I didn’t know how to get out until the last real fight. I had been asking God for answers and I kept making excuses until finally, the answer was staring me in the face. I could no longer deny it. I missed all the signs that I KNEW were right because I was listening to the opinion of someone else instead of myself.
He made me feel crazy. Broken. Damaged. Unlovable. Worthless. And worst of all, I let him strip me of my faith. I was so far from anything that felt remotely familiar so I clung onto him. It’s exactly what he wanted. That’s what a weak, insecure person with a complex tries to do to a strong woman- break you down until you can no longer feel. Words hurt.
The turmoil that ensued left me feeling empty. If I’ve learned anything about myself it’s that I adapt. I can always bounce back better than before from any situation. The lesson was a huge one. I’m forever grateful. I’m glad I’m finally feeling like myself again. I’ve grown closer to God and became stronger in my faith. I used to think the devil was really easy to spot. He would be apparent and would show himself clearly. That is not the case. The devil disguises himself; and yes, I’ve always known that, but now I’ve experienced it. See, I used to think God only showed up when big, traumatic life events happen, but no. He’s there in small instances too. He’s there when you’re searching for a new friend and he’s there when you can’t decipher the path he’s chosen for you. He’s there to help you all day, everyday.
Same with the devil. He will disguise himself as a person you should trust. He knows your weaknesses and preys on them. He will test you and you might fail. That is okay. God is right there behind you picking you up. He never lets to fall further than he can catch you.
I believe we all have the ability to tap into higher levels of thinking and spirituality. Everyone communicates differently and when you see the signs-listen to them. Don’t ignore them. Listen to yourself. You are probably right. Only time will tell.
5. Fall In Love
Ah, yes. My favorite lesson of all. Love fuels me. Love is the end all be all for me. It conquers all. As a hopeless romantic I find beauty in all things. Damaged people are my favorite. (Which, if you haven’t figure it out yet, we are all damaged. So all people are my favorite). I fall in love with the way the stars dance in the dark sky while laying next to a stranger. I fall in love only for a night at a time where a stranger turns to a lover then are gone by morning. I want to fall in love constantly. Sometimes only for a moment.
I never want to stop executing the lessons people bring into my life without realizing. I fall in love with the way music hits my ears. I have such a profound admiration for the way the words I can’t seem to find, find me in a beautiful melody.
I’m also in love with the not-so-great parts. Like when every path I keep turning down is a dead end. Or when the people you think will never leave you eventually do. Or even death. Without devastating pain, one can not grow.
Life is meant to be lived and that’s exactly what I intend to do with this temporary life. I don’t know where I’m going, but I’m enjoying the journey. And just because I haven’t gotten there yet, doesn’t mean I’m not going anywhere.
I love the way I love people unconditionally. Have you ever felt that before? Have you ever been so incredibly reckless that you give this person your heart without fearing the consequence?
I’m in love with the pain because it reminds me that I’m not finished. I still have a beating heart and purpose meant for finding.
I’ve really enjoyed my first twenty-five years. It has brought me a great love, a devastating loss, a new zip code and everything in between. I hope the next twenty-five are even better. I truly believe everything happens for a reason and whatever is meant to be will be. I’m working on being more consistent, a better friend, to not be so jaded. There is so much of this world I’ve yet to explore so I intend to do that with amazing friends, sorry- family, by my side.