Remember: Sometimes the best thing you can do is just roll with the punches. This can be a difficult thing to come to terms with, especially because it will sometimes feel like inaction to you—something you’re really not a fan of when it comes to conflict. But the person who makes it out of choppy waters isn’t usually the person who stops to fight the waves but the one who keeps swimming through it all. It won’t be easy, but learn to be flexible and just keep going.
Big changes are coming in your life, but just know that you’re equipped to handle them. Sometimes you psych yourself out or convince yourself that you’re not ready, but we often underestimate ourselves in the face of conflict or uncertainty. You’re ready because the timing is right; you’re ready because you’ve had the power to be all along.
During difficult times, it’s easy to keep to yourself, to shut down or avert people’s attention away from you. What’s hard is allowing yourself to be vulnerable and admitting when you need help, especially when you’re not always comfortable admitting that to yourself. But you don’t have to do this alone. You don’t have to be the strong one all the time. Choosing to turn to your people in times of need is one of the most beautiful parts of having a community.
As the summer comes to an end, take time to soak up what’s left of it. Go out of your way to read in parks; go swimming as many times as you can. Pick flowers and make trips to the farmer’s market and ride your favorite biking trails. Live in the moment and make an effort to remember all the little parts about it that make you feel happy—the sun on your skin, the smell of the air, the wind in your hair. Cozy season will be here soon, but don’t forget to take advantage of what you have now before it’s gone and you start to miss it.
If life is a blank canvas, fill it up with as many colors as you can. You have the power to make your life interesting and creative and fun; you have the power to create beauty every step of the way. Oftentimes people will try to convince us to tamp it down, to take up less space, to fit ourselves into the status quo, but forget that. You have this one life, so right here, right now, do what you can to make it magic.
Remember: Happiness is not a constant state but an emotion. When you’re trying to chase happiness, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment because you can never always be happy—life is full of ups and downs, of eventual sadnesses and angst. So stop pressuring yourself to always be happy and instead choose to chase meaning. There is often happiness in meaning, in passion, in self-actualization, and even on the days when that joy is difficult to find, you still have something so important to hold onto,
Please have self-compassion. You have high standards for yourself, which can be a good thing when it pushes you to challenge yourself and do the best that you can, but it can also come back to hurt you when you fail to meet the goalposts you set. But you are not perfect; you are going to struggle sometimes, you’re going to stumble and fall. In those moments, I hope you choose to see yourself as a human being who is trying. I hope you give yourself grace instead of beating yourself up.
There is so much goodness up ahead, but it’s not always easy to see the view from where you’re standing. You have the capacity to feel so deeply, but sometimes your emotions are so strong that they’re difficult to see past. But know that these difficult moments always pass; the mistakes you make now aren’t going to define you forever. You just have to keep moving forward, shedding your past every step of the way, to find the things that will make every moment of the journey worth it.
There is someone who loves you but isn’t sure where they stand with you. Maybe that’s because you’re not always the best at communicating your thoughts and feelings. Sometimes we assume that people understand what they mean to us because, to us, it seems so obvious—we forget that humans often crave clarification and validation. Sometimes we have to spell it out and put all our cards on the table—and for the right people, it’s always worth it.
You’re finding your way. It doesn’t always feel like it—at times, it feels like you’re always taking the wrong turn or walking straight into a dead end. It’s frustrating and it might even make you question your own worth. But here’s a little secret: We’re all just wandering around trying to figure out where to go. Even people who seem to have a map end up taking the roads they’re told they should, only to choose to diverge from the path. No one knows what they’re doing, and it’s perfectly okay to admit that you don’t, either. Just know that you’ll figure it out.
Remember: There is always another way. When you feel like you’re out of options, there will always be something else that you’re forgetting. So when something feels wrong, trust your intuition and look for another path. It won’t always be the easiest thing to do, but you’ll thank yourself for listening to your gut feeling and doing what you knew was best.
It is not your job to save anyone. In fact, it’s important to remember that you can’t save anyone. You can be there for people, and you can love them, but at the end of the day, you do not have the power to do the work for someone else. So stop beating yourself up for thinking you’re not doing enough to fix someone or for not being able to control the outcome of someone else’s journey.