Today's post is going to be a shorter one, but I had to put this one out there. Last week I had a few questions on how I decide who to keep in my life, and who doesn't make the cut. The whole process seems a bit insensitive at a glance, but once I found this quote a year ago it everything fell into place:
This right here is exactly how I decide who I keep close, and who I stay distant from. Sometimes it can be hard to distinguish people with good intentions verses people with bad intentions. Sometimes people who have good intentions might not be good for YOU. We are all fighting different battles. Figuring out which category the people in your life fit in to can be a difficult task, but once you do it's a fresh breath of air. Self freedom is our goal in life. Bottom line, don't allow people to stay in your life out of guilt. Let them stay because you actually want them there, and discard the rest. I hope this helps any of you who feel trapped by guilt, whether it be yours or someone else's. Love you all.
Our crazy, beautiful life wouldn't be complete without some lessons on our life journey. We all make mistakes, but I like to refer to mistakes as lessons. We wouldn't be the people we are today without a little trial and error. It's interesting to reflect on the person you were just a year or two ago, and see how much you've learned. Everything changes. Some for the better, some for the worse. I'll share some of the things I've learned since I've turned 20.
1. It's okay to step away from some people in your life.
This is my #1 thing I've learned, and not a day goes by that I forget it. The day you stop surrounding yourself with people out of guilt and start surrounding yourself with people who really care about you, that's when your life begins. Sometimes it's hard to distinguish between people who actually care about you, and those who guilt you into being in their life. This is the single most important thing I've learned, and it wasn't an easy task!
2. Quality over quantity.
My New Year's resolution this year was to start being happy with what I already have by living with fewer, better things. I sold all of my clothes, and started over with a more quality closet. I started to think twice, three, and four times before I bought something. This also falls into my #1. Living with fewer, better people in my circle has also changed my life dramatically. Living a more minimalistic life has been another fantastic decision I've made!
3. You must do what scares you.
I used to live such a safe, unhappy life. I have my wonderful fiancé to thank for showing me how to take risks. It almost seems we've accomplished the impossible together, and we're only 20 years old. Sometimes all you need to succeed is to take a risk, and stop fearing failure.
4. Stop caring so much what others think.
I think we're all familiar to what it feels like to be judged by others. We forget that other people may not live life the same way as we do, and that's okay. None of us are perfect. No matter what there's always people who decide to be closed minded, but who cares what they think? It's your life. Never let anyone make you feel guilty for the way you choose to live it.
5. Don't take anything for granted.
I think a lot of us find ourselves being guilty of this one. We fall into routine, and forget to embrace the life we're living. God's plan for us could change at any moment, so we need to be more mindful of the people we care about. Those things that annoy us most about others may be the thing you miss the most when they're gone. I try to be more present in every moment.
6. Go to therapy. You probably need it.
Everyone could use a little guidance in their life. If you say you don't believe in it, you're probably the one that needs it most. Refer back to #3, and do what scares you. There's absolutely no shame in asking for a little help. We all could use it.
7. Everything you think you know now will be different in a year.
Just when we think we have life figured out we get a curveball thrown at us, and that's okay! It's all part of the journey! Change is scary, but it can end up being a good thing in the end. So don't get too comfortable. Change is growth.
8. Anything worth having requires a lot of time and work.
Living a quality life doesn't come easy, or overnight. It takes time. While it seems there are lots of free handouts in this life, taking that route isn't going to give you the life you want. All of those homes on Pinterest weren't just given to those people overnight. Working long and hard for the things you want make you appreciate it a lot more than if it's just given to you.
9. Marriage is a life-long commitment, so don't feel rushed into it.
It's been proven that it takes at least 2 years to really get to know someone. While I do think you can have a successful marriage from a short dating/engagement period, I don't think it works for EVERYONE. My 4 year dating period and 2 year engagement/living together with my amazing fiancé is unheard of here in Utah. I have no doubt that my marriage will be a successful one, but we didn't rush into it either. And that's okay!
10. Change your thoughts and you'll change your world.
Living with a negative mind is something I consciously have to work on every day. Imagine how much more we could do if we had nothing but positive thoughts, even for just a day. I've learned to be more conscious of my thoughts, and it's really taught me how negative I am.
11. One quote can change your world.
Whenever I have free time on my hands, I'm on Pinterest reading quotes. There are quotes I've read on there that have stuck with me for years. I believe that one quote can really change your whole outlook on life. If you're feeling down in the dumps, reading an inspiring quote can remind you that life goes on. I hope one day I can have my own quotes to inspire others, just as the quotes I read inspire me.
12. Do things that bring you joy.
There are zero judgments here! If watching YouTube all day makes you happy, do it. If going outside for a walk makes you happy, do it. If spending time with your family makes you happy, do it. Doing the things that bring us joy are what makes the world go round. Life's too short to be wasting our time doing things we don't really love.
So there you have it! I would love to hear some of the lessons you all have learned over the years. Maybe some of you can relate to my lessons, and start applying them to your own lives. We are the biggest teachers to ourselves. I can't wait to see what other lessons will come my way in the future.
It's amazing how much can change in just one year. You learn, you grow, you love, you lose. Change is hard, and we all are going through our own daily battles. Reflecting on my past year, it's been a tough one. 2014 was the worst year of my life. I promised myself I would make a turnaround in 2015 and make it the best year of my life. So far it's been successful, but there are still things I struggle with every day. The scariest day of my life is quickly approaching in June, and I'm not exactly sure how to handle it:
The one year anniversary of my grandmother's death.
For those of you that don't know me, my grandma and I were very close. I lived with her for most of my life. She lost her year long battle to cancer last June. I was living 12 hours away at the time, so I could only come see her about once a month during her battle. A part of me is glad I didn't see the worst of it, and the last living image in my head is of her alive and well. The other part of me wishes I could have spent every last moment possible with me by her side. It's tough to reflect back, and see how you would have done things differently with the people you love. All of those missed calls and voicemails that you take for granted, mean the world to you after they're gone.
I would give anything to hear her sweet voice just one more time. I would give anything to hear her Crocs scuffing on the floor as she walked across the room. I would give anything for her to call me five times a day just to check on me and tell me what she was doing. She had the most contagious laugh, and you couldn't resist a smile while she was cracking herself up. It's an internal struggle every day now that she's gone. Some days are harder than others, but not a day goes by that she isn't in my head. I miss her deeply. There are so many things we take for granted with the people we love. Some of those things might even make us angry, or annoy the heck out of us. Funny how those are the things you miss the most after a person is gone.
So hold your people close. Don't take anything for granted, because maybe tomorrow is that person's last day here on earth. Maybe it's yours. We never know what God has in store for us, so live well and love with everything you have.