Me when I was 14 vs now
In a few days (November the 30th) I will turn 20.. It's weird to think about it, honestly. It sounds old (I know it's not, but still), and it sounds mature. I don't feel like I'm an adult yet, and I don't want to be one either. I'm actually rather reluctant to turn 20, but time can't be stopped. So today I'm going to reflect on my teenage years and share the things I've learned.
My parents were right (but not always).
I think this is the main thing I've learned. Despite their advice not always being what I wanted to hear, it usually was right. Even now, I still look back at things they said recently which turned out to be true. Now that I know that I value my parents' advice more, and take it more seriously. Though of course there were also enough cases where they were wrong. But in those cases they would always admit that they were wrong. That way we both learned.
Being yourself is important.
At the beginning of my teenage years I wanted nothing more than to fit in. Be popular. Have loads of friends. But the popular kids didn't really like me. I tried to change and fit in many times, but it only made me feel unhappy. So at one point I stopped trying, and I just became myself. And once I started to make friends I realised that I didn't need popularity and loads of friends to be happy. Actually, I prefer to have only a few close friends. Being myself just makes me feel so much happier.
Think about things twice.
I was (and sometimes still am) rather impulsive when it came to buying things or doing things I really wanted. But often I didn't need those things, or it turned out to be a bad idea afterwards. But I wanted it because it was popular, or because I was convinced it would make me super happy. Thank god my mom stopped me a couple of times from making mistakes (although I still need to convince her to let me get a tattoo). But I've learned to think about things twice before actually going through with it. Although sometimes I still make mistakes, but I'm learning!
Appreciate things more.
The past few years I've started to appreciate things more, and stop taking everything for granted. I suppose that when you're younger you don't think about those things, but now that I'm getting older I do. For example, I've come to appreciate education more. Or the fact that I'm happy and healthy. But also small things like seeing the beautiful sunset in the evening.
It's okay not to know what you want.
I still don't exactly know what I want. Of course, I have more of an idea about what I want now than I did a few years ago, but I still don't know it all. And that's perfectly okay. If only I had known that sooner. I used to stress so much about these kind of things, but now I know that it will all come in time.
Don't grow up so fast.
I remember saying at 14-years-old that I was almost an adult. Thinking about that makes me laugh. It was naive, but a lot of teenagers say such things. I wish I could've enjoyed being a teenager a little more, without focusing so much on the future. I guess that's partially the school system's fault, though. Speaking of school, now that I'm doing an internship I've learned to appreciate the free time you have when you're in school.
I'm still young, I know that. But this feels like a new chapter, and honestly I'm excited to see what will happen. I have discovered so much about myself and I feel like I'm so much stronger than I was a couple of years ago. I might be reluctant to turn 20, but it's gonna happen. So I best make the most out of it.