When most people think about growing up, they think about paying bills, grocery shopping, working and other things that slowly suck the life out of you each and every day. I was one of those people a little under two years ago. But, what I've learned in my short time on my own is there are many more reasons to be excited about the future than to be scared of it. Throughout this time, I've been put through some of the best experiences and the hardest tests of my life.
Here are some of the most important things I have learned:
1. Your backbone will come.
Whether it's through a sh*tty job or a stressful living situation, if you have an idea of what is best for you, you will be able to get yourself out of that situation. Though sometimes it starts off with stuttered words or holding back emotions, one day, you will make the difference in your life to become successful and happy. Remember you will be OK without that job, and you will be OK with out those people.
2. It's OK to miss out.
Sometimes after a long day of work, you're just really f*cking tired. You drive home and you see Snapchats of other people your age out having fun, and all you want to do is go home on the couch and watch Netflix. If that's the case, then do it.
Sometimes, you really want to chug an entire bottle of wine all by yourself after a long day of school or work. And if that's the case, then do it just as well. Either way, do it for yourself. Base your decisions on your happiness, and don't let anyone make you feel bad about it.
3. Your SO might become your best friend, and that's OK.
We are at a point in our lives where are relationships get serious, and we start to spend every day with that person we love. At this age, it's important to be with someone who understands when you say, "My best friend is crying, and I have to go," and doesn't get angry with you after you leave.
If you start to feel like your girlfriends have too much drama and don't come around as much as a result, that is normal. I used to overthink it, but what I've realized is I am in a healthy relationship, and deciding to put my boyfriend first is perfectly OK.
4. Sometimes, you have to let friends go.
This has been the hardest thing for me to learn. I never thought I would have to let my heart let go of so many friendships, but I think we get to a point in our lives when we realize some people only bring negativity.
Whether it's how they talk down to you, how they aren't there for you, how they make you feel like an outsider or how you simply just don't trust them, these people aren't healthy for you anymore. I've had to stop and think to myself, "Why try? I am not stuck with this person, and I can leave. I have the option to surround myself with positive, supportive people, and this person is doing nothing for me or for my life."
When you look at it like that, it really does change your perspective. With that information, it's up to you to make the decision if you want to spend this life miserable, or uplifted and happy. You will be OK without these toxic friends. I promise.
5. Work your ass off.
When you get out on your own and start growing, you'll feel frequently defeated, and you'll think it doesn't get better. I constantly wonder if I was smarter, prettier or luckier, then maybe these things wouldn't happen.
But, the most important thing I've learned is to get up and try again. Take the extra shift, study the extra hour and run the extra mile. Stand up for yourself, put your happiness first and work your ass off. Your life and where it goes is up to you and what you choose to do with it.
Don't let growing up be something that sucks the life out of you. Let it be happy, uplifting, life-changing and successful. Let it be all about figuring out who you are be becoming, which is something greater than you ever could have imagined. Your happiness is up to you, and this is your chance to rewrite the pattern.