A few very important things it’s taken me 22 years to really learn

Sometimes I feel like I’m fighting a losing battle with myself — second guessing my decisions, undermining my own thoughts, and worrying about things that really don’t deserve my worry! And then I remember just how much I’ve learned in my 22 short years on this Earth. I certainly feel stronger and more self-assured than I did just a year or two ago, and while I of course have SO many more life lessons to learn I wanted to share with you just a few of the important lessons I’ve adopted that have helped me to grow up and feel more comfortable with myself and my choices.

Now I want you to do something for me. After you read each item on this list I want you to really think about it. You’ve definitely heard some of these before but internalize them, think about them, feel them. They could totally change your life.

Don’t believe everything you hear or read

. . . Whether it’s something you see in a magazine, those nasty words people are saying about someone you’ve never even met, or the ideals society likes to shove in your face. Guess what? Not everyone is going to be a size 2 with supermodel legs and a Barbie waist, and that’s ok. Also, you don’t have to be your most productive self in six easy steps. Magazines and media might tell you there’s a certain way you have to be and live, but there isn’t. The world would be a really boring place if everyone looked and thought the same, so embrace how wonderfully unique you are.

You aren’t always going to agree with everyone

Opinions. Everyone has them. Not everyone is going to have the same opinions as you, and that’s just fine. Having friends with different opinions than your own can make life and friendships really exciting, but don’t be afraid to stick up for what you believe in. Oh and not everyone is going to like you. That’s fine too.

Real friends matter more than followers

I totally understand why having 5,000 Twitter or Instagram followers can seem like something incredibly important. But, spoiler alert, it’s not what really counts. What really counts are those IRL relationships. And about those IRL relationships, don’t choose your friends based on who other people think is “cool” pick your friends based on who YOU think is cool. As for your followers, it’s fun to see a big number but chances are you’ll never even meet most of those people. So let’s focus on the real life 3D relationships instead.

Selfishness isn’t always a bad thing

This is one that I really struggle with, but it’s ok to be selfish. If you don’t want to do something you can just say, “no thanks.” Don’t worry about what anyone else will think. If you want to stay in and watch an entire season of Covert Affairs on Netflix and eat a pint of ice cream instead of going out for a friends pre-birthday drinks, then you should totally stay home and watch Covert Affairs. If you want to hide away all weekend doing nothing but knitting and organizing your apartment, that’s fine too. Alone time is crucial, recalibrating is really important and people are always going to want things from you. If we said yes to every little request or invitation we’d have no time for us.

Dreaming about your future is actually quite healthy

It’s a-ok to think about the future. It’s fine to wonder how many kids you’ll have, who you’ll marry, and where you’ll live. It’s ok to dream about that job you’re working towards and share your hopes and fears with your friends. The best thing about thinking about the future is that it actually reveals some truths about what you want and need out of your life. So pay attention to those dreams! They’re probably telling you something.

Sophie Holgate is a 22-year-old UK lifestyle blogger and YA fiction writer writing anything and everything and drinking a lot of tea. You can follow her on Twitter and her blog.

(Image via.)