There were a lot of things I would have done differently growing up, if only someone had told me these 9 things.
1. If a guy tells you he needs “time to think”, dump him.
You deserve better than someone who isn’t sure he wants to be with you. If he can’t see what he has right in front of him, then he clearly isn’t appreciating you the way that he should. You are a bad ass, independent, strong woman. Your love and loyalty holds more value than you know. Any boy who doesn’t realize how incredibly rare it is to find a girl like you, isn’t worthy of your time.
2. Get comfortable with your natural beauty.
As great as it may be to know how to make yourself up for big events, it is always important to understand that your natural beauty is more than enough. Knowing the right way to contour or enhance your features is awesome and definitely can be an instant self esteem boost, but don’t ever believe that your natural skin and hair aren’t good enough. With or without makeup, you are beautiful. Learn to be comfortable with yourself no matter what.
3. A first kiss can tell you a lot about a potential relationship.
If the first kiss is awful, the second probably will be too. And the third, and fourth. Don’t feel obligated to stay with someone because you want to fix them. This goes beyond just kissing too. If they have a bad habit or baggage that is too heavy, it’s not your job to fix them. Don’t like that he smokes? He might say he’ll quit for you, but he will still sneak a few drags when he’s out with friends. Does he have a tendency of being jealous and possessive? He’s only going to get worse over time, and eventually leave you with no friends at all. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you have to fix everybody. Pay attention and watch for red flags as early as your first kiss.
4. Your job is to make yourself happy, not other people.
Don’t apologize for making a decision that is good for you, even if it might offend or hurt someone else. Your number one priority should be doing what makes you happy in life. Not everyone is going to agree with the choices you make, and plenty of them are going to tell you their opinion even when you don’t ask for it. Ignore them. Keep doing what feels right to you, because in the long run, the people who don’t support you aren’t going to be around anyway. Which leads me to my next point…
5. It’s okay to get rid of toxic friends and bad boyfriends.
Some people are more trouble than they are worth. If you constantly feel exhausted by a friendship, or if your friend is bringing out the worst side of you, you’re probably better off without him/her. Likewise, if you don’t feel that spark at the first kiss, and you keep dating out of habit rather than because you feel a connection, you’re going to get bored with the relationship quickly and things won’t end well. You deserve to feel that spark, and to want to be with someone out of desire not out of habit. You deserve to be around people who make you feel good about yourself. Get rid of those who make you feel like shit, and watch how drastically better your life will become.
6. Storms can do a lot of damage, but they also give us the chance to start over brand new.
You’re going to have a lot of rough days. Sometimes it’ll last weeks. And if you’re like me, it might turn into months. After dealing with some pretty heavy depression throughout my life, I’ve realized that even in the darkness there is always a bright side. Hard times can tear us down. We are weathered into a different person than we were before. But rain can wash away a lot of things. It can be cleansing. You can come out of the storm a new version of yourself, and you can start over again. All it takes is the strength to bear the storm, and the courage to rebuild after you’ve been destroyed.
7. Cheating is always an emotional thing.
You either care for the person you cheated with, don’t care enough about who you cheated on, or both. Don’t let anyone try to convince you that he cheated on you purely out of physical desire. If you ever cheat on someone, don’t lie to yourself about what you are or aren’t feeling. Be honest, and demand honesty. Cheating is never acceptable in a relationship, and you should never tolerate it. And any guy who would tolerate cheating does not have enough self respect either. If you are cheated on or if you cheat, have the decency to walk away from the relationship. Everyone deserves better.
8. Always carry an emergency overnight bag.
Once you start driving, know that anything can happen. This will be especially true once you reach college. Make sure you always have a small bag of essentials if you get stuck somewhere and have to make last minute overnight arrangements with a friend – travel size incidentals (body wash, deodorant, etc), a toothbrush, eyeliner, chapstick, hair ties, change of clothes. You might laugh now, but when you get stuck overnight at a friend’s dorm out of town and an hour away from home, you’ll thank me for making you keep an extra pair of socks and underwear in your emergency kit.
9. Cherish the people you love who love you back.
We often take for granted the people we have in our lives, whether it is friends, family, or mentors. We forget that life isn’t a permanent thing, and we don’t always treat the people we love with the respect that they deserve. Recognize when you are being unfair or ungrateful to someone you care for, or who cares for you, and treat them as if you’ll lose them tomorrow. Death can take away the people we love at any given time, and we never know when that time will come. Don’t leave room for regret; tell them how much they mean to you. Show them often that you couldn’t imagine life without them, because someday you will lose them, and you won’t get a second chance.