Life Lessons

Growing up; oddly it's something you can not wait to do when you're a child and something you dread once you're an adult. Looking back to my teen years I remember thinking and telling myself how grown up I was and that I could do anything. As I grew older I realized how young I really was at the age of thirteensixteen, even eighteen. It all really hit me when seeing kids those ages, trying to look like an adult by the way they dressed, with all the makeup they wear, and with the crowd of people they hang out with. In my mind, first, off I'm blown away, and secondly, I kept repeating "they're just babies". Now that I'm thirty, I can't help but think what was the rush? Why did I want to bury my face in pounds of makeup? Why was I so insecure about my skin and my body? Why did I want to hang out with the popular girls? Most of all why did I feel the need to be accepted by everyone? I guess what I'm trying to say is if somehow I could possibly share some things with my younger self this is what I would like to tell myself.

Use your voice!
When I was a kid, I was extremely shy to the point that at times I was even mortified to say or ask my parents for something. I think I was most afraid of what the outcome would be. I wish I could have been at least a tiny bit more outspoken. If only I had more of a voice is what I'm trying to say, because I was even afraid to express how I was feeling. It's ok to be afraid and to be a little shy once in a while too. However, at the end of the day, you must speak out for what you believe in. If you don't no one else will and no one else would know what you're even going through or feeling. I guess this is a good time to get into this next topic.

Share your feelings!
As a result of being so shy and never speaking up, I would neglect my feelings. Getting bullied in middle school and a bit through high school was rough. Kids were so mean back then and are even worse nowadays, being put down constantly makes you ashamed and well embarrassed to talk about it. I felt very shameful of myself of all the mean comments people would say only because they thought it was funny. Words hurt regardless of how harmful they may seem to be. I buried a lot of my emotions and to be completely honest I never even told my parents about any of it. Till this day I still do this. If something bad or in my mind traumatic happens I don't like to think about it and I try to completely bury it in my mind in hopes that I'll never be reminded of it again. Something I do a lot of now is to express my feelings with my husband, with my friends, my family with someone anyone. I know it's hard to express things sometimes but honestly, it feels so much better getting to talk about what you're going through with the people that have your back and support you 100%.

Find a good support team!
This is something I truly live by today. I didn't have many friends growing up, I only had a couple at a time. I would hang onto friendships even though they weren't the healthiest. Over the last five years, I must have gone through a reality check because I no longer keep toxic negative friends (people) in my life. It's not healthy to keep people like that in your life. From my personal experience, I always felt so drained and down because of them. It's no fun having a friend that is constantly complaining about one thing or another and that always looks at the bad things in life. You need positivity and people who are more than happy to lift you up and watch (or help) you thrive in life. Don't waste time in an unhealthy relationship because your time matters. I love to give my friends advice and to help them out in times of need. I'm always more than happy to be cheering them on no matter what the circumstance is. That is exactly what you deserve back from your support system.

You are strong!
Looking back now I find this to be kind of silly, but I still remember all of the feelings I went through. I had the worst fear of being alone. Growing up, I was never the girl who had a handful of friends, maybe a close three maybe four, and I was totally fine with that. I always said I rather have one true friend than a bunch of not so great friends. Anyway, my problem was I was so afraid of being alone in school that if a friend of mine called out sick. I remember asking myself, "what am I going to do?", "who am I going to hang out with or sit at lunch with?", "who am I going to talk to?".
Middle school was the hardest for me. I would love to tell myself back then, "hey it's ok to be alone, or by yourself. You don't need anyone. You're going to be ok." What is really funny is that today I prefer being alone. Ironic how things turn out. I think my issue was I had the worst self-esteem issues, and I had no one to help me through it.

Know your worth!
With having such low self-esteem I was always trying to satisfy others over myself. For some weird reason, I felt like I had to make others happy in order to keep myself happy? If that makes any sense? Or maybe it was the feeling that if others weren't happy maybe somehow they would lash out and take things out on me. (I still have a fear of this.) Sometimes I would just shut my mouth and take abuse, however, as I grew older I realized that I don't deserve to be mistreated so that others could be happy. I am worth so much more. I am so much stronger now that the moment I feel someone is trying to talk me down, belittle, or abuse me verbally, I cut things off immediately. I don't take crap from anyone and I won't think twice in letting them back into my life.

I really hope this post somehow made sense. I had so many notes written down on my notebook and wasn't sure how I wanted to put it all together. What I really just want to say to my younger self is, be gentle to yourself and enjoy your youth, have fun, don't take things too seriously, be kind, wander, be cautious yet courageous, make moves, make a stand, seek wisdom, empower others, and above all love yourself.

Comments

  1. This was such great post Juliana! Very raw and honest and I think many of us can relate.
    From the years I've known you all I can say is I see a strong gal who is definitely worth it!

    Pepper | Peppermintheart

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