March 09, 2019


Hi guys, welcome back to the blog!

            So if you’re new here or didn’t read my birthday post from last year, I did a post for my 17th birthday where I share some of the things I learned at 17. And I thought I would do the same this year for my 18th birthday.  Tomorrow, I enter a new year in my life.  A new age, and this year is pretty special because it’s my 18th birthday which basically means I can’t get any youth discounts and I have to do this thing they call “adulting.”

            Before that happens, I wanted to share a few things I learned and things that happened to me while I was 17.  I honestly didn’t feel any different than when I was 16; however, I feel like my brain aged by 50 years.  I feel like I did the most growing up this year than I did the past 16 years before that.  Regardless of age, though, I just want to jump right into this and tell you what all I learned when I was seventeen (and I’ll try not to ramble too much.)

            I feel like the biggest thing I mastered maturity wise was patience.  Now please understand that I am not a very patient person so when I say “mastered” I mean most of the time.  My whole life, I’ve never been able to wait.  When the latest and greatest toy came out, I wanted it that day.  When there was anything I wanted, I wanted it right then and right now.  I could not stand waiting.  This goes for other opportunities for life as well.  I have never been a patient person.  This year, however, I feel as though I handled the impatientness much better.  I’ve learned to trust God’s timing for things and understand that even though I may want something, now may not be the best time.  Furthermore, when I’m patient, I’ve realized there may be better opportunities and better things to come if I’m patient enough to wait for them.  

Be less bothered by the little things
            This kind of goes along with the whole patience thing, but let me tell you about another one of my issues: I let small inconveniences get to me wayyy to easily.  It was almost ridiculous.  I would get mad after getting left on read (but who doesn’t?) or if I had to wait on someone.  And the fact that I would get bothered by those things REALLY bothered me even more.  It was so bad that I couldn’t even enjoy being around people or doing fun things because I was so upset over something so little.  This is still an issue that I’m working to master, but I thought it was worth mentioning because maybe you have the same problem.  One of the things I do when I start to get stressed or angry over something is to just take a minute and tell myself “this is only one moment in time.  Don’t let something so small ruin your potential to have an amazing day.”  And most of the time, the things I get angry about aren’t even worth the energy to be angry!

Starting a new and healthy lifestyle
            This was big for me.  Basically I wasn’t happy with my life and where I was before I turned 17.  I decided to change that, and started taking steps to move towards a healthier and better life.  Some of these steps included: developing good sleep habits, changing what I eat, staying productive throughout the day, exercise, and surrounding myself with positive influences.  I think I’ve said this before, but if you want to change your life, you have to change your lifestyle.  You cannot move towards a better version of your life if you don’t make any lifestyle changes.  I believe the state of your mental health is dictated by your lifestyle.  If you have a healthy lifestyle, you’ll have a healthy mindset.  This has been true for me because as soon as I changed the way I was living before, everything became so much better.

Living day by day
            “Do not worry about what tomorrow will bring” is a principle I have been living by this past year.  I like to anticipate, I love dreaming up scenarios that will never come true.  The problem was that I was focusing on that too much and not taking the time to live for the day and appreciating what I have now.  Every day I wake up and I formulate a plan for the day: what are my priorities NOW?  What is important to me NOW?  How can I make TODAY a good and productive day?  At the end of each day I write down one thing I’m grateful for that day.  Sometimes its just small things like getting an A on a math test or eating a good meal.  Whatever it is, it really helps to keep my attention on the present day and being content with what I have now.

Surrounding myself with positivity
          Ever heard the phrase “you are what you eat”?  When you think about it, it doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense.  So if I eat lettuce does that mean I turn into a plant?  Yeah probably not, but you get the idea.  I believe the same principle applies with what you surround yourself with.  For an example, I once knew someone who was sad and at a low almost every single day.  Every time I talked to them, their negative energy would drain out all the positive energy I had stored up.  Unfortunately, it took a few of those people to figure out what was happening.  Ultimately, though, I think this is one of the key ingredients to the recipe of a happy life.  You are what you eat, and you become what you surround yourself with.

            All of these lessons, which have taken me years to learn, have brought me to the happy place I’m at now.  Most of these things have taken place over the past year.  Without any doubt, I can say I’m living my best life.  I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again:  if you want to change your life, you have to change your lifestyle.  The fact is, no matter how many drugs you take or whatever it is that takes you away from your real world, those things are only temporary.   If you really want to change your life forever, you have to make some huge lifestyle adjustments and that’s never easy, but I did it and so can you.  Life is a rollercoaster sometimes, but you just have to hold on until you reach the end.

And that’s what I learned when I was seventeen.

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