Life’s Hardest Pills to Swallow

As I’ve went through life and experienced different setbacks, I have come across what I call some of life’s hardest pills to swallow, which are the harsh truths of life that kind of contradict everything that we have been told at a young age. 

When we were kids, we were taught several important lessons. And these lessons can range from always chew with your mouth closed to the mantra of “sharing is caring.” Our minds are filled to the brim of different wisdoms that cause for us to cultivate some sort of expectation about how life should work. We learn that if we say sorry, then we will be forgiven. We are taught that if we treat people with kindness, then people will be kind in return. And, if we love someone, then they will definitely love us back.

But, as we grow older and gain more experiences, we learn that this bits of wisdoms are not as rigidly true as they are made out to be. Life cannot be contained into following the path that you want it to. People aren’t going to act the way you expect them to. And these facts can lead to you facing some realizations that you weren’t ever really prepared for.

As I’ve went through life and experienced different setbacks, I have come across what I call some of life’s hardest pills to swallow, which are the harsh truths of life that kind of contradict everything that we have been told at a young age.

Sometimes People Are Just Not Going to Like You

This was extremely difficult for me to accept because I am the definition of a people pleaser. I have this unyielding desire for everyone I meet to like me. I want everyone to smile when they think of me and only ponder over my good qualities. But life isn’t like that. There have been several people who disliked me from my first impression due to my terrible case of RBF and I was able to rationalize that they just haven’t gotten the chance to know the real me. But even after people have seen my real personality, I have had people who just didn’t like me and there was nothing I could do to change that.

And, at first, I couldn’t stand it. I wanted people to like me so badly that it wounded me when somebody did not. I would spend all of my energy trying to convince these people that I was worth their time and that I had qualities that I felt they would enjoy. And the only result of that was me wasting my time on people who completely lacked interest.

So, I decided to invest my time in people who actually cared for me then those who did not. It is so much more beneficial to the care of your deep friendships rather than sacrifice them because you’re so busy trying to impress those who don’t even care. Instead of obsessing over what was wrong with me, I started to see the qualities of myself that the ones close to me adore and I continued to build on those instead.

Learning this life lesson caused for me to suffer a big blow to my confidence, but in the end, I think it has helped me grow in ways that I can’t really articulate.

You Can’t Decide When You Should Be Forgiven

When you do something wrong, you should say sorry. That’s a simple fact. And you should apologize when you hurt somebody, don’t get me wrong on that. But the thing that is often glossed over is that when we say sorry, we immediately expect someone to accept our apology and forgive us. But that’s not really how life actually pans out.

If you hurt someone’s feelings, you can’t decide when the person should be over it. Even if you are truly sorry and regret what you have done, it’s not up to you to feel that the entire ordeal should be forgiven. You don’t have control over the emotions of others. The only thing you can do in this situation is be respectful of the other person’s feelings and be aware that the world doesn’t move at the pace that you wish it did. I know it’s difficult when you apologize to someone and they don’t forgive you because that goes against everything that we have been taught since we were little. But life doesn’t always perfectly mirror all of the morals that we have ingrained in our minds. My only advice to someone in a similar situation is to remember that action speaks louder than words, so truly show your remorse through your behavior to this person.

You Are Not Entitled to Have Someone’s Love

This seems to be one of the most difficult pills to swallow for some people. When it comes to love, we have been told that true love will always win out in the end. And if you love someone but they haven’t given you that love in return, then you should continue to make them fall for you. But that is definitely not the case.

If someone doesn’t love you back, respect that. Just because you feel that you deserve a fairy tale ending with someone does not mean that they will ever feel the same way. Sometimes people just simply won’t reciprocate your feelings and you can’t get angry with them because of that because you are not entitled to have them be returned.

Does it feel like you are being stabbed in the heart when someone doesn’t love you the way you love them? Yes. But you have to remember that you cannot control someone’s heart. You can’t make them feel something that they cannot. And if you try to convince them into feeling something that they don’t and try to force a relationship, it will only hurt you even more because you are not going to be as happy as you thought you would be. Someone might make you the happiest person on Earth, but that doesn’t mean that you are the person that makes them happy. And that’s the cold, hard truth. But you can maintain a relationship with this person and use this experience as a lesson for the next time you devote your love to someone because you will find your person eventually.

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I know that this post may seem a little dark, but I don’t intend for it to feel that way. These are all important lessons in life, and even if you haven’t experienced these situations before, you can take a lot away from this.

Personally, I have taken away the knowledge that you cannot have complete control over every aspect of your life, no matter how badly you want to be in control. Life has it’s own plans for you. You may not enjoy the paths it takes you down, but you will come from every situation having learned at least something of worth. Your heart is going to be broken. You will have days where you don’t want to get out of bed. And yes, life really does have the nasty habit of kicking you while you’re down. And while everything doesn’t resemble the idea of how situations should pan out in your head, it does give you the opportunity to find other ways to make yourself happy.

And even in the most hopeless moments when life is sucker punching you in the face, remember that you’re lucky. You’re lucky to be alive. You’re lucky to be around people who care for you. You’re lucky that you get to witness the sun set everyday. You’re even lucky that your life gets to have dark moments, because every dark moment will have a light of promise for a better tomorrow to shine on it eventually.

I hope you enjoyed this post! It’s been something that has been stuck on my mind lately and I just had to get this off of my chest. Comment below with your thoughts or even your own opinion of what life’s hardest pills to swallow are. Also, be sure to like and follow for more of my posts! And, as always, stay rad.

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How to Find Happiness

We deserve to be happy. But it’s easier said then done when the world is in the current state that it is. Happiness can seem so unachievable at times, so how can we be happier? 

Happiness. I’m sure the webster dictionary defines it as a feeling of joy that one may feel, but we often don’t talk about how even though everyone likes to pretend that they are experiencing happiness, it is not as an abundant of a feeling as we are led to believe. No single person is happy at any given moment, I mean, even babies cry and they hardly have any stressors in their lives.

We all strive to be happy, and I think that’s a great thing. We deserve to be happy. But it’s easier said then done when the world is in the current state that it is. Happiness can seem so unachievable at times, so how can we be happier?

It’s not simple. There is not one certain thing that will make every person on Earth instantly happy. Some people feel rejuvenated by self care and some people hate it. I wish that there was a life hack that every person could take part in that would instantly make the world a happier place, but there isn’t one because every person is different.

But there are a few tricks that every person should try so that they could make their days feel a little brighter. I encourage everyone to try at least one of them and see how it feels.

1. Clean Your Living Area

Wow,  I turned into my mother by just typing that. And I know it sounds cliche and like a waste of time, but believe me— this works. Whenever your living area becomes extremely messy and chaotic it can make you feel like your life is messy and chaotic too. Also, if you have anxiety, sometimes you can feel overwhelmed by your surroundings and a great way to not feel like everything is closing in on you is to allow yourself to have more space. So, get up, and organize at least one part of your living area. It might be an annoying process while you’re doing i, but afterwards you will actually feel proud of yourself. Plus, no one can get onto you for having a messy room.

2. Set Goals for Yourself

Now, this one can seem a bit daunting. When people hear the word goal they think of long term things like becoming a billionaire or starting their own company from the ground up. But your goal doesn’t have to be that intense. You can have the goal of finishing a puzzle by the end of the week or, hey, the goal to clean your room! Goals don’t have to be elaborate and life-changing, they just have to be something that you have the urge to want to complete. Setting a goal for yourself can also give your life purpose. If you’re having trouble getting out of bed everyday, you can combat this by waking up and thinking “I’m gonna take one more step to finishing my goal today.” Having a goal, no matter how big or how small, makes your life feel meaningful. And the feeling of happiness when you achieve your goal is indescribable.

3. Cross Something off Your To Do List

Okay, so this might sound like setting a goal, but it’s not. This can be something that you’ve needed to get done but just haven’t had the motivation to do so. It can be washing the dishes or going to see that movie you’ve been wanting to see. Just do something minimal that you’ve been meaning to do and then allow yourself to be proud when you finish it. Not only will it make you feel more efficient, but it will also alleviate some of the stress that you’ve built up by not doing the thing that you’ve wanted to do.

4. Socialize with friends

For me, this is one of the most difficult but rewarding things to do. When I’m having an episode of sadness, I often want to shut in on myself. I won’t want to hang out with a friends and I even have trouble texting them back. And it’s not because I️ don’t want to be around them, personally I believe I have some of the best friends on the planet. It’s just I sometimes hit this mood where I can’t reach out. But after I force myself to find a way to slide into their schedule, I couldn’t be happier. Being around people that love you for you and want to laugh with you is honestly one of the best ways to combat sadness.

5. Get Organized!

I’m aware of how cliche this is. Believe me. But for some people this actually works. Doing things like sorting their clothes by color or purchasing a planner can cause for a person to be really satisfied with their lives. The feeling of being in control of the small things in their lives makes them feel more in control of their bigger struggles. And hey, it never hurts to at least try to organize your life.

6. Compliment Others

This is something that often isn’t talked about when giving advice on how to instill happiness in yourself. I mean, you’re trying to make yourself happy, so why are you complimenting others? Well, I’m a firm believer that smiles are contagious. If you take the time to make someone else smile, then you can’t help but to smile too. Also, what’s the harm in telling someone your honest and kind opinion. If you think a girl has a pretty necklace, tell her! If a guy has some cool hair, tell him! Don’t be afraid to pass out respectful compliments to people, because their smile will make you want to smile.

7. Give Back to the Community

This is my number one method to make myself happy. As I mentioned before, the world can be a dark place. Or so it seems. We see so much focus on the bad that we forget to notice the good. Heck, we forget to be the good. So, if you’re feeling down, find a local charity to contribute to. Help others and dont expect to be rewarded for it. Just contribute to the community and then you will feel happier. Not because you did your good deed for the day, but because you will be able to see firsthand that there is a lot of faith to still be had in humanity.

8. Make Time for Yourself

Sometimes you can stretch yourself too thin. You might have a thousand different obligations and your brand new planner can be already filled to the brim with tasks you have to accomplish for other people. Life can be extremely stressful, especially if you don’t make time for yourself. So the best way to combat this is to find the time to relax. Even if it’s just for five minutes everyday, try to block out a time where you can just breathe and praise yourself for all of the things you’ve accomplished. Because you deserve it.

9. Find a new hobby

Sometimes life can feel like you’re stuck in a rut. You fall into this routine of normalcy that can make you feel a little lackluster when you wake up each day. The things that once brought you joy have became part of your daily motions and you feel yourself losing passion for the the things you used to love. A great way to combat this feeling of being stuck is to add something fresh and exciting to your routine. Taking on a new hobby can rejuvenate your daily routine and make you excited as you go through your day. Whether it be to try your hand at drawing or practicing yoga, find something that you find mentally stimulating. Finding a new hobby can be the trick that you’ve been searching for to relieve your stress.

10. Be a little selfish

I know, this seems odd to have in the same list that recommends you do some community service, but bear with me. Oftentimes, we stretch ourselves too thin. If you’re anything like me, you’re so busy saying “yes” to others that you forget to say “yes” to making yourself a priority. Sometimes we can do so much for others and forget to do anything for ourselves until we feel empty. So, my advice to you is to be a little selfish. Make yourself a priority. And I’m not saying to only do things with your benefit in mind, but instead make choices that you know won’t cause you too much stress. Ask for help if you need it. You don’t have to spend your whole life being the person who does everything for everyone else. You’re allowed to take a step back and say, “Hey. I do a lot for others. I deserve to do something for myself.” Because as soon as you recognize your own need to take care of yourself, then you can start on the path to making yourself happy.

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I know that I said it before, but please keep in mind that there is not a ritual that exists that can instantly make every person happy. Depression cannot be cured via a bubble bath. You can’t achieve life satisfaction by buying a planner. Being happy with the state of your life cannot be accomplished in one day. You have to work towards happiness.

You can find happiness by taking part in some of these things, or even finding your own thing that puts a smile on your face, but it’s a lifelong journey. You’ll face trials in life that’ll make you feel upset. You’ll have times where you want to give up on everything. But keep in mind that without the ugly parts of life, you wouldn’t be able to have the beautiful parts too.

So take care of yourself, do things to make you smile, do things to make other people smile. Because you deserve to be happy.

I hope you enjoyed this post! Leave a comment below about which method you use to lift your mood, I’d love to try it! Also be sure to like and follow if you enjoyed this. And, as always, stay rad. 

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Woes of a Child Prodigy

They told me I was smart, they told me that I was destined for greatness. All because I bubbled in correct answers on a standardized test. I understand that she said those things to motivate me, to push me onto the correct path. But all she really did was put an obscene amount of stress on a child’s shoulders. My teachers, family, and classmates looked at me like I was ‘advanced,’ and I believed it. I took every word that she said to heart and tried to be the prodigy that she painted me out to be.

But what she forgot to forewarn me of is that every human inevitably has to fail.

When I was six years old, I was pulled out of my math class and was told that I was ‘special.’

They talked about my subpar test scores, and for the first time in my life I had the mentality that I was supposed to be perfect drilled in my head. My teacher spoke to me in words that were too large for my young self to fully understand, but I walked out of her small office with an entirely new outlook on life.

They told me I was smart, they told me that I was destined for greatness. All because I bubbled in correct answers on a standardized test. I understand that she said those things to motivate me, to push me onto the correct path. But all she really did was put an obscene amount of stress on a child’s shoulders. My teachers, family, and classmates looked at me like I was ‘advanced,’ and I believed it. I took every word that she said to heart and tried to be the prodigy that she painted me out to be.

But what she forgot to forewarn me of is that every human inevitably has to fail.

Everybody screws up, that is just part of life. But when you are told from a very young age that you are special and above average, failure simply does not seem like an option for you. Any grade that is not a hundred makes you feel like you should be doing more. Any question that you might have should be left unsaid because it is expected of you to understand everything at a faster rate than everyone else. This mentality of expecting for yourself to be better than you actually are makes you spiral quickly into failure.

And when you fail, it feels like you are doing more than just failing yourself. You feel like you have let down your parents, your teachers, and your peers. It’s a harsh fall from superiority to realizing that nothing about you makes you any more special than anybody else. And while it does help you gain perspective about life that every person has something that makes them special in some way, it can still hurt you greatly.

The transition from knowing that you are something special to realizing that you are nothing has caused for an increased spike in teenage depression in the past few years. This flawed system of dividing kids at a young age due to their academic performance has created an environment that builds stress for children on both sides of the spectrum.

Why was there never a lesson where the teacher explained that every person has the capability to be extraordinary, and that academics is not the most important aspect of one’s personality? When will we not feel confined to the labels we were given at a young age?

Being a child prodigy was not easy, especially now that I am an average student at best. But being on the opposite side of the spectrum was not easy for those students either. I get aggravated with myself for not living up to everyone else’s expectations, but I know on the other side that the ones who were labelled as below-average are proud of themselves for not confining themselves to the expectations they had years ago.

I believe that this means that, overall, we should not define ourselves to others expectations. Part of growing up is realizing that you’re going to mess up, but also that sometimes you will succeed. How you performed on a standardized test in first grade does not define the person that you are now, and it shouldn’t.

The only thing that should define who you are is yourself.

An Honest Letter for High School Seniors

As May quickly approaches and the life that you were so familiar with is coming to an end, you can’t help but to ask yourself: what now?

As May quickly approaches and the reality of the fact that the life that you have lived for the last thirteen years is about to end, you can’t help but to worry.
For the majority of your life, you have been told how to feel, how to dress, what to eat, and even when to use the bathroom. You were discouraged from being too expressive, and might have even gotten in trouble for trying to make decisions for yourself. The schooling system is extremely robotic and honestly exhausting, but you cannot help but to feel a crushing wave of fear once you realize that in a few short months you will be released to the world and nobody will be there to control your every move. The prospect of this freedom can seem both daunting and exhilarating.
For the first time in your life, you can get in a car and drive away for hours if you desire to.
For the first time in your life, you can do ‘adult’ things like buying a house, getting married, and having children without having society judge you for it.
For the first time in your life, you get to choose.
And I know people might act like the only option for you after high school is college. Or they might act like you should immediately enter the workforce. Or they might even tell you that you should get married and start a family because you won’t stay young forever. And any of those things are completely valid options and you should consider everything that interests you, but the most important thing that you can do during this time of your life is to do what makes you happy.
I know that you are scared, that you feel like the choices you make at this very moment can determine your entire future. I know that you might feel that you should be doing one thing to make those around you happy even though something else might draw to you more. I know that you are worried about losing the friendships that you have had for years.
And, here’s a secret that nobody likes to tell us. It is absolutely okay to be scared.
Do you think that our parents knew exactly what they were going to do for the rest of their life when they were seventeen years old? Do you think that your grandparents knew that they would one day spending most of their retirement scrolling through Facebook? Do you think that ANYBODY is 100% certain in the decisions that they make?
Of course not!
We are humans. We make mistakes. We do not know the answer to everything. And I know sometimes it might feel like everybody else around you has their life perfectly planned out, but I promise it is not.
Life is a fluid thing. You might think that you are destined to be a teacher in a middle school right now, but when you go to college and you could realize that you despise education classes. Or you might think that you want to immediately go into the workforce, and find yourself six months later googling online classes to be an engineer. Everything can change in the blink of an eye because nothing is ever set in stone. You can be the happiest you ever been on one day and then experiencing your biggest heartbreak the next.
Not many things are in our control, and that just becomes more evident when you graduate high school and are no longer taking part of a daily routine. But the most vital thing that is in your control is your freedom of choice.
Don’t let the people around you make your decisions in life for you. Look inside your heart, find what makes you feel excited, and chase after that.
Are you going to screw up as you navigate through your life? Of course. Everybody does. Are you going to experience moments where you feel like you are lost and alone? Sadly, yes. But those moments are what makes the times when you’re smiling so hard that you feel like your cheeks are going to break so much more worth it.
I know it can be scary to have this era of your life end, but you need to remember that this is not the end of your life. This is simply just the start of your next chapter.

Welcome to the Real World

Do you have zero idea about what to do with your life? Do you feel like you are letting everyone that you care about down?

Welcome to the real world.

For essentially the first two decades of our lives, we are controlled.

Every thought we have, every meal we eat, every choice we make, hell, every time that we use the bathroom was closely monitored by the adults in our lives. We are told to be independent and strive for greatness, but in the same breath we are reminded that if we break any of the thousands of norms that society has established for us, we fail at life. Everyone from our parents to our peers to our teachers are molding us into this codependent human being that feels trepidation before making any type of decision alone. And if we try to break free and make decisions for ourselves that aren’t traditional, we are immediately berated and forced back into the confines of society.

And we don’t complain, because the confines are the only thing that we know.

Until we reach the magic age of eighteen and everything suddenly transforms into a menacing world of self-sufficiency and major life-changing decisions. It is like as soon as you finish your high school degree, everyone thinks that you should automatically have life completely figured out. You are expected to know which college you want to go to, what major you will have, what career you will do for the rest of your life, where you’re going to live, what person you’re going to marry, how many kids you’ll want, if you will live in the suburbs or in the country, and how to file taxes when just a few months ago your school would not even trust you to go to the bathroom by yourself. How does society not see a flaw in this?

We are forced into being codependent, mindless beings for most of our lives and then the next day we are expected to make some of the biggest decisions that we will ever make. And if you express that you are confused or scared, you get berated because “You’re an adult now. You should just know.

But how can we know?

It’s not like our high school systems devote that much time to helping students actually preparing for the real world. We weren’t given courses like “Intro to Tax Forms for Dummies” or “How to Not Drown in Student Debt.” Instead, we spent years of our lives memorizing information to regurgitate back onto the standardized tests that (SPOILER ALERT) actually demonstrate very little of the actual knowledge that we hold and will never be applicable to life outside of the classroom.

And I’m not saying that we should attack teachers for how horribly underprepared we are for life. The teachers want to teach us valuable information and wish that they could break away from the rigid goals of the standardized tests. The problem is not the teachers. It’s the people who think that distinguished test scores are more important than fostering young minds to find passions and gain knowledge that will actually make them grow as a person. It’s the people who get angry at students when they try to express individuality and then later on get upset when the same student tells them that they can’t decide what they’re passionate about.

Students are being dehumanized into walking test scores, and not only is it damaging to our minds. But it sets us so far behind when the real world shoves it’s unrelenting presence in our faces. Students that excelled in school find themselves struggling when success is no longer a game of having a stellar memory. The students who fell behind are entering the world discouraged because they’ve spent their whole life hearing that they are simply just not good enough.

When you are already broken down mentally, it is hard to make massive decisions for yourself. And it is even worse to confess to others that you don’t know what you will ever be able to do with your life because you don’t want to fail at being an adult before you have even got started.

But, there’s a bright side to this. If you’re a young adult finding yourself in a similar position to the one that I’m describing, know that you’re not alone. Seriously.

Nobody has a clue about what to do with their lives.

The girl from your high school who has always been so sure about being an Engineer is probably having a mental breakdown and deciding to be an artist instead. The boy who you always just knew would become a lawyer is probably talking on the phone with his mother right now telling her that he wants to go into journalism instead. And your best friend that is currently a biology major? Be sure to motivate her when she starts crying and tells you that she definitely cannot complete the Gen Eds, let alone actually get a degree to be a doctor. We are all going to change our minds at least a million times about the direction that our lives will go. And when we think we have it figured out, it’ll probably change again because life is funny like that.

I know that this sucks right now. That the construction of the school system and society itself seriously needs to be fixed and that it can be seriously discouraging to feel like you can’t answer any of the thousands of questions being hurled your way. But just know that you are not alone in feeling about the world’s biggest idiot and that everyone is going to mess up. Welcome to the real world.

Let’s mess everything up together.