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18 Things I've learnt in 18 years

It's crazy to think about life, from an objective perspective.

We often go by, day in and day out, never reflecting on the week or months before. So, this blog post is a little random but I thought "Why not?" 🤷🏾‍♀️.

2022 is coming to an end, just over two years since starting this blog. And just like every ending a bit of self-reflection is needed.

1) I've learnt to be selfish.

In the best way. I had a horrible habit of making myself responsible for other peoples feeling's, if I told them something that I've done and achieved I would tell myself it was my fault for making them feel jealous, my fault for making them feel insecure.

The truth is any decent person whose supposed to be in your life should be there to support and be proud of you, just like you would them.

2) Read.

Reading has been something that's developed my written and verbal skills. Most importantly, reading has given me the ability to emphasise and understand different types of people. Types of people who I may never get to formally meet in my life. I say all of this to say that reading fictional (well-written) characters will naturally make you develop an emotional attachment to these characters. Therefore, extending your own worldview and emotional intelligence.

3) Making mistakes

When I turned sixteen I realised that hating myself, my body and the attributes that I have was emotionally draining and took out a big chunk of space in my mind. Space that I now use for other things ie my creative projects and ventures.

I am no longer punishing myself for making mistakes, for not being perfect on the first try because the simple truth is the more pressure you add on yourself, the higher the chance you'll fail.

4) Slowing down.

There need to be moments in the day when you just sit with yourself, physically and mentally. Soaking up you’re environment and having time for self-reflection, at least that's what works for me. The human brain can easily get clogged with wants, needs and musts, so whenever I feel overwhelmed, I shut down my laptop and plug in some music.

This is still something that I am working on but at least I've learnt that it's something that I need to work on.

5) Not being afraid to say No.

It's not just about saying no, it's about being able to know and say what you want. Often I found there's this little (but mighty) voice locked inside my throat that wants to speak, wants to say what I want, my vision, my likes and dislikes but I get scared, scared of hurting people. But what’s the point of being ‘scared’ of other people's feelings when…

A) I am no mind reader and I don’t want to be.

B) What’s the point of worrying when doing so is hurting myself?

Your time is valuable, and what you want is valuable, so don’t be afraid to say it.

6) What I/ you feel is real.

Trust in the gut.

Yes, there may be times when your gut instinct can be a manifestation of your own fears and doubts but for the most part, your gut knows you the most, you should trust and believe in what it has to say about people and places. If you're feeling sick because of nerves you are experiencing anxiety, validate what you feel because most people won't always be able to do it for you.

In immigrant households, I notice that our emotional and mental well-being isn't valid as much, this is a whole other debate but as the new generation begins to research and realise that mental health is an important topic, expressing emotion will become more normalised as it should've from the very beginning.

Lack of understanding can come from all sides, even family, so trusting how you feel is extremely important.

7) Don’t just think.

This has always been a motto of mine. I try my best to bring my vision to reality, whether employing the skills of others or simply doing what I can to make my dreams a reality. Not everything you want to achieve will manifest but that would be for the best.

8) Do what makes you happy, do what works for you.

Not every person is the same, not what has worked with other people and generations before you will work on you. You have to make decisions that will benefit you; as long as you're not hurting others, do what makes you happy. A recent example I can give is my decision to switch from manual to automatic. I don't care if Bob or Jane believe that driving automatically isn't 'real driving', they aren't me, and they don't have the same psyche or the same biology as I do.

Therefore, someone else's perspective is irrelevant.

9) Watching Short films

This has the same effect as reading (except reading requires you to have more imagination, making it better) you begin to understand people's stories that you may never come across ever in your life. it widens your sense of empathy for people who could be the complete opposite of you. Short films usually delve into specific topics that mainstream media usually strays away from. Here is a link to one of the most influential short films for ME.

10) Speak your mind as much as possible.

- This obviously depends on the context.

The more you hold it in the harder it's going to come out. If you save up all the things you want to say you will end up exploding. That's what happens to me anyways, I will never be anyone's doormat again.

11) It's okay to be alone.

Being picky about who my company has honestly been the best thing decision for me.

Choosing sanity over toxicity is a choice that shouldn't have to be mulled over. For me personally, belonging to a friendship group during my A levels was extremely exhausting. You can be around so many people but still, feel lonely.

I learnt more about myself when I left people who weren't for me behind. When I glance over my shoulder at my past, I don't have many people. But the people that I have in my life now are the people who are supposed to be in it.

12) Ask yourself the hard questions.

- Scary but important

Why are you afraid of doing something?

Do you believe in something because you generally believe in it or because you've been brought up to believe it?

Is this person really beneficial to keep in your life?

13) Reflecting on my Childhood.

This is where I found most of my hidden talents, well they were always there but not brought to my knowledge. Reflecting on your childhood is important as our caregivers and primary environment greatly impact how we view the world around us.

I've always been a curious person, I ask questions myself and try and find the answers.

Questioning things isn't wrong, it's human nature, and it's what I hope any sane person would do.

Even if we may not like the truth that the answer holds, it will set us free.

At least it has for me.

14) Other people
"You can't do anything about how others view you. Because it's not about you, it's about how they see themselves"- Jaheim.Ozman (a character from my almost finished book 🥳)

15) Get Therapy.

Getting therapy for myself has been so helpful. It is great to talk to someone who is coming from an objective standpoint and who is not directly in my life. Therapy doesn't fix everything, you have to make it work for yourself.

16) Don't be afraid to be you.

My biggest fear used to be of showing my light about people finding out about my hobbies and talents. I had people in my life who would project their insecurities onto me as if I were their personal whiteboard. They would abuse my kindness and in turn abuse me, making me too afraid of to show who I really am.

Nope, not anymore.

17) Thinking for myself.
One of the first things, I think, young people, especially nowadays, should learn how to do is: see for yourself and listen for yourself and think for yourself. Then you can come to an intelligent decision for yourself. - Malcolm X

18) What makes me happy?

In 2020, I found what makes me happy. Writing, producing, and creating in any that I can. People make fun of other people's passions but passion is what adds life to humanity, if used incorrectly it can burn it all down but I will never regret finding what made my soul burn with joy.

Life is too short to live it devoid of colour.

Well, that's it.

I've learnt a lot but I just wanted to summarise it as best as I could. I think this is a great idea as a personal list, so you can congratulate yourself on how far you've come!

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I am looking into opening up the blog to part-time writers, so if you want to get a head start then contact me if you're interested.

Hope you enjoyed see you next time, next year.

By Charis.Clarissa


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