Lessons Learned for a 22 Year Old

There are two reasons why I have been absent for the last two weeks. Firstly, I was travelling Eastern Europe, and whilst there is plenty to blog about, there is just not enough time. I have taken out my Mac once, probably twice, during the holiday, and that was just to check in for my flight home. The other reason, and I’m going to word this carefully, is that I had a minor mental upheaval, shall we say.

I don’t want to use the word ‘breakdown’ because it wasn’t. And serious mental breakdowns have happened to many people close to me, so I wouldn’t want to belittle what they went through for the sake of a few days where I felt less than good. But nevertheless, the feelings are valid and over the last few weeks I gave myself the time to just think and feel anything. So I did. And I realised a lot of things, things that I was, or had become, that didn’t sit well with me.

Now, everyone goes through days or weeks, months or even years like this. Where you’re so gravely unsatisfied with the person you are. Some may not go through it to the same extent as others but there can’t be a person out there that doesn’t think once in a while, “why am I like this?” It’s healthy, questioning yourself in order to better yourself is healthy, but what happens when it becomes self depreciating, when it turns into self loathing? That, instead of these things wanting you to become a better person, you wonder what anyone, your friends, your family, partner etc, what they even see in you. I can only speak from experience but I became an even more self-conscious person over the last few weeks than I ever had before. And this taught me a good few lessons.

Firstly, no one really cares about what you do. Ok, bar your family, your close friends, etc, they do care, as long as you’re happy. But aside from it all, people only care about themselves and the actions of the world that affect them.  When it comes down to it, someone may notice you for a split second but their brain flips back to whatever is going on in their life. No one cares in the long run if you leave the house looking like crap, or if you cancel plans, or if you do something totally against the grain. If it doesn’t matter in a year’s time, or even a day’s time, to you, it won’t to anyone else.

People’s thoughts of you do not define you or your feelings. I have spent a lot of time whingeing that X person didn’t care that I was sick or depressed. Then I realised that what X thinks, or doesn’t think, doesn’t validate my feelings. If they don’t understand or care about how you feel, that doesn’t make your feelings any less important. You are allowed to feel whatever you wish, and no one can take that away from you. (I always say to my friends, ‘don’t apologise for what you feel’).

Stop thinking you’re not worthy. You are just as worthy and important as the person you idolize the most. Whether that be Beyoncé, Simone Biles, or that person you see in your class.

Stop trying to please people. Again, you might enter a person’s mind a few times a day but you eventually float out of it. So why break your back pleasing people who don’t waste as much time mulling over what they think of you? If you would benefit more from a day off than pleasing your friend by meeting up, then take that damn day off. Pleasing people to the detriment of your own health will only cause the vicious circle to continue. You are the only one you should be trying to please.

So, I know this may come across as a rather cynical and  , and don’t get me wrong, I certainly don’t believe that people don’t care about you. Those who love and cherish you, do. The point of this post was to verbalise the lesson I learned this summer that placing so much of your happiness in other people’s thoughts brings nothing but self-confidence issues.

Thoughts? I’d love to hear what you think. Do these things change as the years go on with family and partners?

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