Believe it or not, I recently turned 18. It got me thinking, I've learnt a lot over the course of 18 years, well especially throughout my teenage years and although obviously I have so much more to learn throughout my life, I thought id name a few things that I have grown to learn so far, from relationships, life, self love, you name it.  I've been writing on this lil blog since I was 14 and in all honesty, it's helped me with so many things and taught me how to grow, life wise and career wise. I know that some day I want to be a full time writer, and of course I don't know where this blog may take me, but I believe that I am capable of accomplishing so much and I have high hopes that my blog will help me one way or another to reach my goals. I've also thrown in a few hard truths, things that I wish I heard when I was younger and have definitely learnt from. So stick around and I'll let you in on eighteen things I've learnt so far growing up.

1. Stop competing against others. Allow yourself to just. do. you. You can not possibly be just like somebody else, the same as they can't be the exact same as you, you can try to look like them all you want, but you will never be them, so really whats the point? be the best version of yourself that you can be, and do the things that make YOU happy, but don't do things in hopes that you'll be better than somebody else. It's not a healthy mindset to have and it isn't likely to get you anywhere in the long run, because chances are you won't be pleasing yourself, you'll only be doing it for social approval. 

2. It's okay to be different. Following up from the last one, it's okay to be different. At school I was always known as "the tall girl", I then left school and became "the homeschooled girl" all because I felt like I couldn't learn at school. I now follow a vegan diet and am looked at as being "the vegan girl". I don't strive to be different to everyone else, I simply do the things that make me feel better as a person and just because its not seen as "normal" to a lot of people, it's suddenly seen as being weird which isn't the case at all. I no longer try to dress the same as everyone else, no I don't wear extremely wacky clothing or have bright coloured hair (thats super cool if you do btw), but I just wear what I want and if I like it then thats all that should matter. I used to think people would laugh at me for having a blog and sharing it across my social media, but I got to a point where I suddenly thought "why should something I love doing be seen as something to be made fun of by other people?" I've had comments and funny looks for having this little space of happiness, but they no longer phase me because it's something I adore, even if it is seen as different.

3. Listen to your mum. Your mum knows how you're feeling just by seeing the look on your face, she can sense a bad relationship from a mile away and is right on just about everything. Of course you're free to have your own mind, your own dreams and what not, but seriously, just listen to your mum. She will always have your back before anyone else and you'll thank her for so many things later on.

4. Cherish time with family. Hanging out with friends is great and all, but never lose sight of who was there for you before anyone else. Family really is everything so make the time to spend days / evenings with your loved ones and show them how much they mean to you. If you have siblings, chances are you bicker with them from time to time, but throughout your life they will look out for you more than any friend you've ever had and will always be your best friend. 

5. Pain doesn't last forever. Seven months ago I endured more pain than I thought was ever possible for one person to feel, I'm still not over what happened and I know I never will be, but the pain isn't so frequent and not so heavy anymore, yes, I cry a lot and many things bring back memories, but I know I will be okay and life will carry on as it should. If you ever go through the pain of losing someone or go through something so painful you feel like you will never be able to cope, I just want to say that you will be okay - I promise.  Your chest won't feel like your heart is being torn out and your eyes won't stay red from the lack of sleep and what feels like a never ending amount of tears forever. You'll start to live life as you should, yes you'll think about it a lot, but the pain will not last forever. 

6. Stop holding grudges, it won't get you anywhere. 

7. Relationships work both ways. Although it takes two people to keep a friendship going, don't let the other person always make the first step and wonder why they suddenly aren't messaging you as much any more and not putting in so much effort. If you don't want a friendship to crumble you need to work hard to keep that person in your life. message them often, ask them how their day was and talk like you used to and if it doesn't work out then it clearly wasn't meant to be.

8. Dream big. As cliche as it may sound, dream big and dream often. You're never too young or too old to create new goals and work hard to reach them, no matter how big or small they may be.

9. Never fall under peer pressure. If you want to do something different and all your friends are doing the same thing, don't follow what they do, stick to your dream. If all your friends want to go off to uni and study the average subject and it's not for you, don't apply. If your dream career is something completely different, go for it! don't let others opinions change your plans. 

10. If you don't want to go to that party, don't go. Order a pizza and binge watch a series on Netflix and don't feel bad about not going.

11. Photos are everything. Make memories, keep track of them and look back at them whenever you can. The feeling of finding an old photo and bringing back memories is one of the most comforting, heart warming feelings. Whether they make you laugh or cry, or even both, they are memories that cannot be changed and you should cherish forever.

12. Take time to read. I know, it's 2017, we live on our phones, it's just how it is. But seriously, take half hour out of your day if you can, when you wake up, before you go to bed, whenever! just to pick up a book and dive into it. It's so refreshing to take a break from social media to read something that's just on a piece of paper. I used to read all the time when I was younger and as I've gotten older I've spent a lot less time reading books and instead spend time reading things online, but I've been trying to get back into reading so much more as it's so important for my mental health.

13. Music is important. I could not possibly ever imagine a world without music, it's so special to me and can calm me more than anything else no matter what mood I'm in. I've always loved singing, so finding new songs or singing the same old songs I've been listening for as long as I can remember is one of the most comforting things to me.

14. Other peoples opinions will never be relevant. I used to spend so much of my life thinking someone might have a bad opinion on something I've worn, how I am as a person, what I like and what I dislike etc.. and in all honesty, I can still overthink things like that sometimes when I know full well that I shouldn't. Everyone will always have an opinion on you whether its good or bad, but those opinions shouldn't change the way you act or who you are in the slightest. If someone doesn't like you, then don't waste your time trying to please them.

15. Create as much as you can. Art is one of the most beautiful things. Whether thats expressing yourself through music, painting, dancing, you name it. Be creative as often as you can and push yourself even more every time. You have the potential to do anything you want if you have the courage to pursue it. 

16. Grades aren't everything. I didn't get the best grades after I finished exams, but I also didn't get the worst. I know people that got higher grades than I did, but I'm still in the exact same position as them education / work wise. Grades aren't everything. If you have good grades, then thats cool, but if you have bad grades, who really cares? There are many successful people out there that dropped out of school with zero grades and own multi million dollar businesses, so don't stress too much.

17. Explore. One of my biggest goals has always been to travel. I love discovering new places and learning about places I've already been to. The world is so beautiful and theres so much for us to see, so why give up the opportunity to see new things and grow as a person?

18. It's okay to not have everything figured out. I used to think that as soon as I hit a certain age I would know exactly what I'm doing with my life and it would be perfect, but boy was I wrong. I know so many people who don't know what they're doing and are panicking because they feel like they should know what they're doing, but over time I've learnt that no one will never have it all figured out. Just take life as it comes - of course set goals, but don't lose sleep over not having it all figured out.

What's one of the best life lessons you've learnt?

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