Lately, I’ve found myself in a constant state of self-reflection. A transition period, if you will. I’m naturally an over-thinker, but this is a different feeling. I’m seeing a shift. My perspectives are changing. Confidence in myself is growing. I’m doing the things that I’d put on the backburner for years. The belief that no matter what I’ll be ok is never-ending. I’m being kinder to myself through my words and thoughts. 

As we reach the end of the year (better yet, era), there have been quite a few lessons I’ve learned in the last 10 years. Each of these have provided me with a solid foundation, granted me change, and moved me towards progress. I’m hoping these 800 words can hopefully mean something to somebody as much as they mean to me.

1. “The more you know yourself, the more you forgive yourself.” – Confucius

2. You’ll be OK.

Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow. Maybe not even next month. But trust, you will.

3. Treat others how you want to be treated.

The golden rule of them all. I hate when people don’t hold themselves accountable. I’ll admit, most times when my family/friends/S.O. and I bump heads it’s because I tune out everything they have to say and jump to why I’m right and they’re wrong. How could I really be aggravated at someone not recognizing their lack of accountability when my actions were a clear reflection of the exact same thing? Hypocritical, I know. And it doesn’t feel too good to be or do what you don’t like. Arguments with the people you love aren’t about winning. The ultimate goal should be to come to a solution together.

4. I need no one’s approval or acceptance.

5. There is strength and power in women and our stories.

To know that you have another woman to lean on, to relate to your experiences, is therapeutic. We are indeed a force to be reckoned with in this world.

6. Stop putting things off. *Edit: And do it now.

7. Don’t look to a relationship for self-identity.

8. Drop it.

There have been so many instances where I’ve held on to ill feelings that were truly insignificant. I’m pretty sure most of us have. I’m still learning to fully let go of the insignificant crap. It won’t matter at the end of it all. But I have learned to dismiss the feelings I had for people who I believe have wronged me. I stopped disliking those who I felt had crossed the line for whatever reason. Alright, let me stop lying. Chances are, I still don’t like a few people. Point is: I don’t devote all of my energy to caring anymore. I’m not the Bag Lady and can’t carry all of that where I’m going in this life.

9. What do you want?

No, seriously. Stop focusing on what everyone else wants, needs, or expects from you. You’re the one who has to wake up and live with yourself, so actually live for yourself.

10. “Don’t be foolish and let your emotions overpower your intelligence.

…especially when it comes to these boys pretending to be men.” — Me, 2013.

11. Everything doesn’t need an audience.

There’s no need to post your every move or entire life on social media.

12. Fear is the thief of dreams.

13. You’re in control of yourself.

No one determines your actions, your thoughts, or your feelings but you. You also can’t control anyone else’s decisions.

14. Sleep is important.

15. And if he wants to leave then let him leave

…you are terrifying and strange and beautiful something not everyone knows how to love – Warsan Shire

16. Don’t be excessively difficult.

17. It’s fine to be the initiator of the “making amends” conversation. Life can be over in a blink.

18. Some things are worth fighting for. Others are not. Decide wisely which is worth it.

19. Your truth belongs to you and is your choice to share.

While I was in Journalism school, I read this quote that stuck with me. “If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.” 

20. Speak what you want.

Whatever you put in the Universe will come to fruition, whether that be good or bad. Stop spewing out poison if you want a harvest to grow.

21. Start being grateful, instead of complaining.

It’s so easy to get wrapped up in all of the bad hands that life somehow deals us. Once you’ve been fueled by the dark it gets harder and harder to see the light. Take a moment each day to reflect and think of what you do have. It’ll put things into perspective. You are who you are. Change what you want to change, but don’t try to morph into someone else. Being your authentic self has always shown to be better in the end.

22. “Success is proving the naysayers wrong.” Eh. Nah.

That’s too much time and energy — either you believe in me or you don’t. My success is going to come regardless.

23. You don’t have to explain anything. Saying no is sufficient.

24. View your parents as humans, too. They’re imperfect beings just as you are.

25. Everything you lose is not a loss.

26. Insecurities will ruin you. Self-doubt is an illusion.

Being your biggest critic can be your biggest downfall. Stop standing in your own way and give up the war.

27. And most importantly: Start falling in love with what you see in the mirror. Entirely.