Make an effort to love with intention. As romantic as it is to get swept up in your emotions, remember that love, in its way, is also a choice—the choice to put your best self forward, the choice to show your love openly, the choice to put your loved ones first. Love others not just in the way you want to be loved but in the ways you know they need it.
Sometimes being a good person just means doing the best you can. There will never be one right way to do anything, and there will never be a way to please everyone. People will try to convince you life is black and white—you may try to convince yourself of this, too—but there is so much gray area to get lost in. Just know that as long as you’re trying, you’re doing better than you think.
It’s okay to chase dreams and hold onto fantasies—so long as they aren’t holding you back in reality. But sometimes when we hold onto them so tightly, we blind ourselves to the other opportunities in life and let good things pass us by without even realizing it. Don’t be afraid to step away from the path you always thought you wanted to take and try something new—sometimes we’re happiest on the unexpected routes.
Just because people don’t love in the same way you do doesn’t mean they don’t love just as deeply. Instead of feeling hurt because they don’t seem to match your energy, try stepping into their shoes to examine their own ways of connecting with others. Love looks different to everyone, and maybe their image of it simply doesn’t match your own.
There is no room for shame in self-love. To think otherwise is to say that you are only worthy of self-love when you are without the flaws that burden you, but no one is perfect. Learning to truly love yourself means appreciating where you are in your growth journey and knowing you still have a way to go but choosing to show care and compassion for this version of you anyway.
If you’re going to love something, don’t do it halfway. Throw your heart onto the fire. I know you’ve got a thing for self-preservation but heartbreak isn’t always the worst outcome. Sometimes the worst outcome is never getting the chance to be honest with your feelings, or never getting the chance to be who you truly are, or never getting the chance to love something fully while you can. If you’re going to love something, then fuck it—just love it.
You can love something—or someone—and recognize that it’s not good for you. That doesn’t mean you love it less, it just means that you love yourself enough to know your boundaries and what’s best for you. It won’t always be an easy distinction to make, but when you notice the signs, don’t ignore them. Be strong enough to put yourself first.
Life is always changing, and you have two choices: to stay stubbornly where you are or to adapt. You can choose the route of consistency but know that growth never happens when you’re standing still. Use your comfort zone as a place to rest, not a place to settle your roots. You’ll never know the person you could be if you never give yourself the chance to meet them.
Accept others for who they are, not who you want them to be. Not everyone will see life the way you do, but that’s okay. You were meant to share your viewpoint, not dictate others’. If people don’t agree with you, it’s not your job to change them or fix them. And if you can let them know that they’re accepted, they’ll be more likely to fully accept you, too.
Say what’s in your heart. There’s a million reasons for you to hold back and there always will be, so long as you keep looking for them. But this is your sign to say what you mean, to express what you feel as authentically as you can. If the world sees you differently, it’s only because they’re seeing you for who you are, and that’s not a bad thing. Let yourself be seen.
There’s nothing wrong with taking the road less traveled, but there’s nothing wrong with taking the worn path, either. Sometimes we romanticize being different so much that we feel pressured to always be different. Feeling pressured to do something just because it’s what people think you should do and feeling pressured to do something because it’s not what people expect from you really aren’t that different in the endl.
You can wish for something a million times but it doesn’t mean anything without action to back it up. You may never get your dream job if you aren’t willing to take those first tumultuous steps, and you may never see the world if you aren’t willing to start planning the trip, and you may never catch someone’s attention if you aren’t willing to tell them how you feel. Start with what you can do now where you are and work up to the rest.