Last week I celebrated my 20th B-day ( yes I’m young, I know!), I got to spend time with people I truly love and had an amazing week. Despite studying for finals and going through end-of-semester-itis, I made the most out of it. I had plans on recording an episode of my podcast on the things I learned in my teens, but I’m a bit under the weather and my voice is not cooperating. So I decided why not write it on here, so….
What I learned In my teens & still learning
- Self Love: I know this sound cliche, in fact, everything I’m going to say in the post will sound cliche. The majority of my teens, I had no Idea what self-love was, I had low self-esteem, hated my reflection in the mirror. I struggled with depression and had many thoughts of committing suicide…etc. Needless to say, the person I was less than 10 years ago is a complete opposite of who I am now. I never connected the way I felt about myself to the way I treated others, and it wasn’t until much later in my teens that I started to make that connection. My self-confidence started to improve going into my first year of High School ( At least I thought it was), but I found myself having to always push someone down in order to lift myself up. What I mean by that is, instead of looking in the mirror and being disgusted by my reflection, I would compliment myself by saying something like ” oh, you look better than Lala ( random name)”. I came to the conclusion that I was confusing self-love with being narcissistic. It wasn’t until towards the end of my teenage years that I truly found the true meaning of self-love. I knew I found it because I no longer had to degrade someone to feel good about myself. I can now stand confident within myself and love who I am as a person and still able to compliment another woman next to me, and to me, that’s the true essence of self-love.
- We all have a purpose & so do I – As I mentioned above, there was a point in my life when I didn’t always feel like I belonged anywhere. Now that I think about it, these last two years have really been the highlight of my teens, everything meaningful I’ve learned has happened in the last two years. My purpose is never something I thought about, I just knew I had to go to school, get a good education and find a good paying job. In my short time of blogging and getting closer to God, I have learned that I have a purpose. Now, I don’t know exactly what that purpose is, but I know I was made for more than just existing and maintaining. In as I step into my 20’s I plan on finding that purpose,
- Be Present– This is something that I struggle with and still struggle with because I have what people call a type “ A” personality, meaning I’m very ambitious but very impatient, competitive, aggressive…etc. In better terms, I’m a control freak. I plan out my days, my months, every hour of every day, because I have to succeed, I have to succeed, I have to succeed. Imagine how overwhelming that can get over time. So this year ( really in the last six months), I have learned to meditate. I have made meditation a daily ritual because, in the midst of my crazy to-do list, meditating keeps me present and in the moment.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help – Did I mention I have a type “ A” personality? yea, so for the longest having to ask people for help was so intimidating to me. For example, I started blogging two years ago, everything I learned was from the internet, it wasn’t until this year, that I started to interact with other bloggers and reach out to people and ask for help.
- Giving up is not an option– If I could count the amount of time, I’ve said: “ I’m dropping out”. This is something I am still improving, but I’m slowly getting out of the habit of wanting to throw in the towel whenever things don’t go my way.
- Failing is Ok– Part of being a control freak is overreacting when everything is not according to plan, and if there’s one thing I’ve learned “ when you fall, you get back and try again”. I had to constantly remind myself that, that the one C I got in statistics class won’t ruin my chance of graduating and it surely doesn’t mean that I won’t have a career ( yes! it was that serious).
- Stop selling myself short– This is something I’ve recognized in the recent months, especially when it come to blogging. There’s no doubt that I love blogging and have been doing an amazing job at it. For some reason, when people ask me what I do ( you know, other than my part time job and school), I immediately start minimizing my skills. My usual response is “ nothing serious, I just have a lifestyle blog, I just do it as a hobby”. Then I realize, “ WTH Maria, that could’ve been a potential sponsor or someone who can help you”. After I experienced one of these moments a few weeks ago, I made myself a promise “ NO MORE, I work too hard on my blog and invest too much, to just make what I do seem like nothing”. If you haven’t realized it by now, I have tons of conversations with myself.
- Get out your comfort zone– I’m an extroverted introvert if that makes sense at all. I love to talk to people and meet new people, but If I have to walk to you and introduce myself, I’d probably run. I knew I had to get out of my comfort zone when I had to go to New York over the summer and found out I was going to be alone. Although I had my boyfriend with me, I was practically alone, it was his first time to New York and I’m used to being with family members. So, the thought of scrolling through NYC without anyone to guide me scared me. I wanted to cancel the trip and back out, but I went and I enjoyed it.
- Gratitude will take you places– You would think gratitude would be something that is installed within me, considering that I was born in a 3rd world country, but truth is I never appreciated anything I had, In fact, I used to think I didn’t have enough, like I always use to envy people who had more things than I did, but I came to the realization that material things are not the source of happiness, well at least for me. I mean it’s nice to have those material things, but I try to keep in mind that “ God gives and he takes away” and that if you’re not grateful for the things you have, no matter how many pair of jordans or Louboutin you buy, you’ll never really be happy.
Shoes- Steve Madden