2013 has undoubtedly been the best year of my life. I learned to truly love myself, opened up my heart to new people even after having my heart broken just a few months before the year began, made more new friends in a single year than in my entire life, traveled a bit, and got closer to my family. This year has been such a beautiful journey for me. I’ve learned so much about life and love, and I have a few things I want to share with you all, as cliche or obvious as they may be. I’m no expert, but here are a few lessons I’ve learned this year that I think people might find useful:
- Be honest and open, always. A few months ago, I made the choice to be totally open with my thoughts and feelings. From starting this blog and turning my painful past into lessons in articles, to coming out to everyone I know, to just telling people daily how I feel about them or what I think, my life has improved so much just by being more open. I live with less regret and less worrying, and I feel great.
- The only person who can heal you is yourself. Even at the beginning of this year, I sought people who could fix my emotional wounds that festered over time. I learned that trying to use other people to heal me only made those wounds deeper. Only after I learned to take care of myself and love myself did I really begin to heal those wounds.
- Alone doesn’t always mean lonely. I used to be so afraid of being alone and went from one committed relationship to the next. But I’ve learned that it takes time to get over each relationship, and that time you spend alone makes you stronger. Now I need lots of alone time just to be happy!
- You don’t need a boyfriend/girlfriend to be happy. After being single for awhile, my life gets increasingly better. I’m much happier and more fun to be around.
- Nobody cares. I used to worry so much about what people thought about what I looked like or how I acted, but really, nobody notices the little flaws about me as much as I do. Nobody cares if my hair looks unwashed or my clothes are wrinkled. Other people are often so wrapped up in their own problems that they won’t notice your little imperfections, so don’t sweat it.
- People care. People may not care about the tiny imperfections, but they care about you. This year has taught me that there are so many people out there who will be there for me, there are so many goodhearted people in the world. Even if it sometimes feels like it, you’re never really alone.
- There will be people who don’t like you. I used to always stress over getting people to like me and pleasing others. Although I still do this a lot, I understand that not everyone will like me, no matter what I do. And that’s okay. I have people who love me whom I love back and that’s all that matters.
- Just because someone thinks you’re attractive doesn’t mean they’ll be the only one who thinks so. Don’t settle for the first person who hits on you; stick it out, be picky, and wait until you’ve found the person who truly deserves you.
- You are beautiful. In a society that constantly tries to remind womxn that we are flawed and far from the unrealistic yet ideal beauty standard, it’s important to remember who created these beauty standards. Corporations (controlled predominantly by men) create a fake image of what womxn should look like, in order to break down our self-esteem so that we spend our money on beauty products, clothes, and other services, trying desperately to conform to that unrealistic beauty standard. Forget what they say, do what you want–whether that means wearing makeup or not–but just do it because it makes you feel good, not because you’re trying to look the way men want you to.
- You don’t owe prettiness to anyone.
- Tell the people you love that you love them. You could die at literally any second, and so could your loved ones. Don’t let a day go by when you don’t tell people you love that you love them; you may regret it if you don’t. Plus it really brightens people’s days when you tell them how you feel, so why wouldn’t you do it?
- Haters gon’ hate. Everyone has their own problems and you will always have to interact with negative people. People are bound to be mean to you at some point, but don’t let it get to you. More often than not, people will project their own insecurities or problems onto you; don’t take it personally.
- Live your life for yourself, not for anyone else. You can major in a subject you’re not really interested in just because your parents tell you to, you can take a job because your parents want you to, you can live your life staying in the closet because you’re afraid of what people will think of you. But really, it is your life, not theirs. Spend your time doing what you love, with people who make you feel happy, and pursuing your passions; you don’t want to look back on your life years from now and realize that you only did things to make other people happy and ignored your true ambitions.
I’m incredibly grateful for everyone who has been a part of my life this year–from my loving family who supports me with whatever I do, my friends (new and old) at UCSB who inspire me and helped me make great memories this year, my friends back on Guam who’ve been so supportive of my writing, and everyone else I’ve met this year that has brought positivity to my life. I love you all, and I hope I can continue to provide quality writing on Lovescrewed as I keep going on my path of self-discovery and self-love.
Happy New Year!