Remember: Every day is a new one, a clean slate. Every morning you can choose to wake up and say, “I’m going to start doing things differently starting right now.” The day you choose to change your life doesn’t have to start out in any significant way—all it takes is one decision and the motivation to begin.
Never underestimate the importance of people who feel like home. The people who offer their shoulder when you’re upset or create a safe space in their arms. Life will always be full of adventures, of ups and downs, of new experiences, but these are the people who will act as your lighthouse, the bright light in the dark that guides you to safety and brings you to the shore.
You’re never too old for a new dream. You’re never too old to reevaluate your values, your beliefs, or your opinions. You’re never too old to change your mind about how you want to live your life. Never think that you’re too far down one path to ever go back. You are allowed to journey to new places, to explore the roads you never considered before.
The world will try to convince you that nothing good comes from being a romantic, that it’s weak and naive and unrealistic. But there is so much value in passion and gentleness, in looking for the beauty in even the ugliest situations. As long as you aren’t ignoring the red flags, there’s nothing wrong with painting the world every color.
There’s a difference between being alone and being lonely. You could be on your own and still feel perfectly content, and you could be standing in a crowded room and still feel completely alone. The cure for loneliness comes from two places: in feeling comfortable in your self and in curating your social life in a way that keeps you surrounded by people who see you, who understand you. Both are incredibly important.
You deserve a break. You deserve the chance to sleep in, to spend time doing your favorite hobbies, to spend time doing absolutely nothing if that’s what you prefer. Because if you just keep pushing yourself and punishing yourself when you aren’t being productive, you’re only going to burn out. Please be kinder to yourself.
Sometimes you feel the need to choose between what you really want and what you think is best for others. It’s not always an easy balance—too much of the former and you start to feel selfish, too much of the latter and you end up miserable all the same. Compromise is healthy, just make sure you aren’t giving too much of yourself away in the process. You don’t have to feel guilty for prioritizing yourself.
You don’t always feel like opening up to people, but that doesn’t mean you have to bottle up all your thoughts and emotions. Write them down in a journal; fashion them into art. Sing them out at the top of your lungs or sweat them out at the gym. Find ways to express yourself one way or another, because while it may feel safe to keep everything to yourself in the moment, you’ll find yourself growing more and more restless if you don’t have some sort of productive outlet.
Sometimes you feel like a candle burning from both ends—you know that if you keep it up, you’re going to burn out, but you don’t always know how to stop. Sometimes it feels like there’s too much to do, so much of the world to see, more and more people you want to meet. Just know that none of that disappears if you choose to stop moving for just a bit. Even if you miss out on one opportunity now, there will always be another one later. It’s okay to rest.
You sometimes have a habit of judging people faster than you can truly get to know them. The truth is, you can never know someone by just an initial impression or by seeing them in one social setting alone. The people you think you have the least in common with may be the ones who have the most insight to offer you, and the people you assume you won’t get along with might be the ones who become the dearest to you, if only you give them the chance. If you don’t give people the benefit of the doubt, you’ll never know.
Sometimes you feel like you exist in a different reality than others do. Things that other people struggle with oftentimes seem obvious to you; on the other hand, things that come so easy to others feel impossible to you. Just know that this doesn’t make you weird, or better than anyone, or even all that different at all. Instead of focusing on the ways others are different from you, look for their similarities—it’s only when you find common ground with them that you can learn from them, and vice versa.
I hope you know you deserve the same quality of love that you give others. Sometimes you feel like you just love differently than others, and oftentimes that leads you to feeling disappointed with what others are willing to offer you; just know that you don’t have to accept anything that doesn’t feel enough for you. It is not your job to fill others’ cups at the detriment of your own. It is not your job to love someone into a better place. You are allowed to say “this is what I want” and then refuse to settle for less.