I’m finally 18! Here’s what I’ve learned

Having suffered from anxiety and depression for so long, I NEVER thought I’d make it to my 18th birthday. Suicide was always on my mind or I always thought that my father would end my life before it. But here I am! Healthy and feeling grateful to be alive.
So I thought I’d share with you 18 things I’ve learned in my 18 years of living:

  1.  Speak to yourself as you would speak to your best friend
    When I recognised how horribly I was critiquing myself in my head constantly, it shocked me. I thought, if I’d never speak to my friends like that then why I would I speak to myself like that?
  2. Rejection isn’t always personal
    There are some things in life I have pursued and been rejected from. There are various factors which can go into rejection and I’ve learned not to automatically assume that it’s because I’m not good enough. Sometimes it’s not you, it’s them.
  3. Be honest
    It sounds very simple but I didn’t realise how much easier life is when I’m straight to the point. I don’t talk in riddles, say things vaguely or play mind games any more. I try to cut the bullshit and prevent misunderstandings.
  4. Think the best of people until they prove you otherwise
    Instead of negatively judging people before I’ve even gotten to know them properly, I now give people a chance. It’s amazing how many more people I appreciate as a result.
  5. You don’t have to be friends with everyone that wants to be friends with you
    As a person with low self-esteem who previously only had a maximum of 2 friends at a time, I thought that the more friends I had, the better. After letting in too many people, I realised that friends can be very toxic and it’s about quality – not quantity.
  6. School isn’t the most important thing in life – Education is
    Learning and expanding my horizons is an important responsibility. School is a medium which can help me with that, but it’s also a very stressful and flawed system. I wish I didn’t let exams stress me to death because in the end they do not matter.
  7. Social media is a huge waste of time
    Since I’ve deleted a few apps like Snapchat and Instagram, I’ve been feeling the hours in the day more. I don’t just lose them to mindlessly addictive scrolling. It makes room more many opportunities and making real, deeper human connections.
  8. People are unreliable
    Because we’re humans, we’re all prone to making mistakes. The mistake I made is thinking that I could always count on people – not just friends but also professionals, and I’ve been let down. The only person I can truly count on is myself.
  9. If you want change, take action
    I’ve always felt this impulse to fight for what I believe in and seek answers, but it’s very scary. Also I can be a bit lazy (oops). Pushing myself to do things that are seemingly uncomfortable has made me realise that I’m braver than I thought.
  10. It’s not natural for the woman to be the pursuer
    Sure, it could work. But in more cases than not, if the woman is doing all the work and is starting to feel like a fan that the guy has no time for then it’s clear where the woman stands in his life. If he liked me back, I’d be his priority.
  11. Don’t befriend someone just because you feel sorry for them
    I have a soft spot for lonely people because I know how painful it can be, so I like to take it upon myself to be their hero and befriend them. This has always backfired because it turns out we aren’t necessarily compatible as friends.
  12. Smiling is powerful
    I’ve built up a good rapport with senior teachers just by giving them a big smile every morning and they smile back. It becomes a special regular thing. In a society where smiling at people has become rare, it’s a powerful tool to radiate good vibes.
  13. Most people are willing to talk about anything
    I thought being a good conversationalist meant knowing exactly what to say before even having the conversation, so I was a nervous wreck whenever I spoke. Slowly, I realised that I’m supposed to go with the flow and speak my mind in the moment.
  14. People’s opinions don’t matter
    I still have a hard time constantly keeping this in mind but before I recognised this, I took everything that was said to me to heart which hurt. Just because someone says or thinks something about me, it doesn’t make it true.
  15. Everyone has problems. Literally everyone.
    Family problems, money problems or health problems, we’ve all got them. I thought I was the only sad person in the universe before I learned that depression was a thing. People look like they’ve got everything together but they don’t.
  16. Don’t equate your life experiences with other people’s life experiences
    There’s nothing worse than when people tell me about a similar life experience they’ve had and completely undermine the pain that I feel by making it about them. Everyone has unique experiencesIt’s never the same.
  17. Being alone is okay
    I thought that being seen alone was a weakness because I’ve grown up hearing people use words like “loner” and “loser”at school. Now I feel like being alone is a strength. Solitude is important. If I enjoy my own company, why be ashamed of it?
  18. Everything happens for a reason
    All the amazing and excruciating experiences I’ve had have shaped me into the person I am today. In the moment it can feel like overwhelming, but now I look back and feel so grateful because they were all opportunities to learn and grow.

71 thoughts on “I’m finally 18! Here’s what I’ve learned

      • Yup. I had a restraining order against mine by 16/17 so he finally lost custody. But what a whirlwind of drama that all was. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oh yes. He called me on his deathbed in 2014 all apologies and asking to see me. I told him no.

        I’m married and moved to another country now, and he has no idea. Doesn’t even know how to contact me.

        He ended up not dying, as the gods would have it, but it makes me content to know he’s living with the demons of his mistakes for however long he makes it.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Haha we’re so similar. People make it out as if I’m crazy when I say that he doesn’t deserve me in his life – biological father and whatnot. Good for you, escaping his grips and living your own life 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

      • They wouldn’t understand. They’ve never been there. People said the same to me too. I told then they were free to take him into their lives if they felt so inclined, but he was not welcome in mine.

        When he called I wasn’t married at the time. You could hear the desperation in his voice when he asked if he had a son-in-law or if he was a grandfather. He had missed out and he knew it. I hope he continues to know it til death. Good for him.

        Liked by 3 people

  1. Hi you are so wise, some people take a lifetime and still don’t come up with a list like that!

    I have nominated you for the three day quote challenge. I hope you will join in, it’s fun! You have to post a quote for three days, one you like, something you have written yourself or something from a favourite book and nominate three other people whose blogs you like each day. Check out the rules on my blog. Hope you join in 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Some of the things you’ve learned took me until I was into my late 40s to learn. Learning late comes with a price, so I’m glad to see that you’ve advanced so far in just 18 short years.

    Specifically, the things you’ve learned about people and social networking are powerful. I used to befriend others who were depressed, or I’d accept every person who even casually entered my life as a friend. My Codependency is what I suspect kept me dragging all of this on for so long. The worse the person was, the tighter I would cling. Not anymore.

    Also, outside of blogging and some YouTube comments, I completely abandoned social networking almost 2 years ago. It’s highly toxic, and is the Wasteland of the Narcissist. Since then, I can tell that my quality of life has improved greatly. I think it may have something to do with me spending this time on me, instead of mindlessly flipping a switch to get a pellet.

    I think that you’re on-track.This one blog has done more for me than all those wasted years on social networking combined. I admire your ability to figure these things out so early in life, and I wish you the best. Thank you for writing this.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Wow! I feel incredibly touched by your comments and I’m very pleased that my writing resonated with you. I think there’s always something to learn from everyone, regardless of age and that’s a beautiful thing. Thank you so much for reading 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. You are wise beyond your years. I am almost 21 and have only figured the majority of these out in the last year. I am so glad that you’re appreciating life now, I think going to that edge that suicide takes you to means that when you come back you’re kicking and screaming and fighting to be here and it makes you value life more. Good luck with your exams, I look forward to more of your posts. Thanks for following as otherwise I would have never found your blog xxx

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I risk repeating what others have said, but as someone in my 40s who still feels like a child inside emotionally (despite having three children of my own), you have an amazing maturity for your age. This post is good advice for anyone, not just those with depression, as following it can help prevent problems as well as solve them. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. You’re welcome. One of the great things about blogs is being able to learn from others more freely than we might do in person. I wish you luck with your exams – sleeping and eating well are as important as revision so do look after yourself, and I look forward to reading more from you when you’ve finished them.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This post is spot on. I’m happy for you that you have learned these things at a young age. Some, like me, learn a little late. Others never learn it. Good job!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. If you’ve received all these insights and are able to articulate them so clearly and beautifully and honestly by the time you’re 18, you don’t have to worry – you are clearly a wise and thoughtful human being, and you will bring much joy and understanding to this world simply through your daily interactions. The world sorely needs people like you. Good on you!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. You are a very wise gurl for such a young age ; )
    I love your blog post even at my old age I am learning from you lol…Never to old to learn a thing or two right??!!! lol…
    Keep posting amazing blog post and I will keep reading gurl..

    Liked by 1 person

  9. You sound as though you are doing amazingly! I lived in France for a year when I was 19. It was difficult at times, and lonely, but I made friends I have stayed in touch with for *whispers it* nearly thirty years, I came home fluent in French and have kept my language skills going as a result ever since. Blogging is a great way to connect with others going through a similar experience, isn’t it? Keep going, you are doing a great job. And take care of yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well hello fellow French speaker! I’m amazed that you’ve kept in touch with them for that long. That itself is quite an achievement. Yes I love blogging, it’s such an awesome platform. Thank you for the kind words Anna ☺


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