Advice Appreciation

There’s some advice that I would receive as a teenager that I didn’t appreciate at the time. Here is my list of small bits of advice I can appreciate now but I couldn’t when I first heard it:

1/ Comfort over fashion

How many times was I told to take a jacket because it would be “cold when I got there”, only to think “no way, it doesn’t go with what I’m wearing!” Fast forward to an hour later, where I’m standing there very freezing and very envious of the crowds of people in their jackets. Wear the dang thing, even if it doesn’t quite match your dress. Everyone’s in the same boat. Well, except for those annoyingly stylish people who look good in everything all the time. (Seriously; how do they do that?)

2/ Go to bed earlier rather than later

When you go to bed late, you wake up late, and my theory is that if you wake up at nine or ten in the morning, half your day is already gone. I always feel better when I go to sleep before ten thirty. Even if I fall asleep at one in the morning and sleep in so that I’ve got enough hours of sleep, I feel stale, sluggish, slow.

3/ It’ll taste the same

(No matter what it looks like…) You’re standing there making cupcakes and one of them kind of explodes over the top, while another has the most rugged top known to man, while another is too small. Well, no matter what they look like, they’ll all taste the same (except those ones that end up having only one chocolate chip, leaving you bitterly disappointed).

4/ Don’t take offense

Ooh, this one is a hard one. But holding onto something that someone said or did does so much damage to us, not to the person who offended us. It’s like drinking poison and expecting your enemy to die. It holds us down, makes us bitter, and hardens our heart. Sometimes something that someone has said or done can take a long time to forgive, and the process of letting go is a big task that we have to continually be rehashing; this is different to holding onto offense. Holding onto offense is not releasing our tight grip on it, whilst trying to forgive is slowly uncurling our fingers off it.

5/ It’s okay to say no even if someone else wants you to say yes

This will never not be relevant in my opinion. It’s not worth doing something that makes you unhappy or stressed at the expanse of someone else being annoyed at you for a few weeks. That’s their problem. It’s not up to you to carefully tread around their feelings. I mean, be polite and respectful, but don’t take on too much just because someone else won’t understand why you don’t want to do something.

6/ If you don’t try you won’t know

Isn’t this just the cheesiest piece of advice you’ve ever been given? People throw this around like confetti it’s so annoying. Yeah bro, of course I know that if I don’t try I won’t know. And yet it’s made this list, because the older I get (I sound like a wise old lady now) the more I understand the truth in it. If we shut ourselves out, we won’t see how far we can go with something. (I’m also currently listening to the Moana soundtrack, which possibly added into the inspiration of this point.)

7/ High school isn’t everything

When you’re in high school, everything feels like the end of the world and you wonder how life could change after it. But once you’re out of high school, you realise how small it is and that what happens, whilst being important at the time, doesn’t determine your whole future. You’ll find a way of doing what you want to do and you’ll make new friends and you’ll move away and things just won’t matter as much. Your life moves on, even though at the time it feels like it never will.

8/ Don’t stress out so much

Ha. Ha. Ha. I wonder why I needed to know this. Seriously though, in year 12 one of my teachers before our exams told us all not to stress, and after class he came up to me and told me that was aimed at me, because I looked so worried. Turns out, the HSC went fine, and while a little stress is unavoidable and not necessarily bad, I can easily stress more than need be, which complicates everything and makes all my tasks seem more daunting and overwhelming than they are.

9/ You’re unique

You betcha we have another cheesy one. But it’s so true. As a teenager, all I wanted to do was fit in, regardless of whether I was happy squeezing myself into that box. Most of the time, squeezing myself into that box was painfully disappointing, unsatisfying, and, regardless of what I assumed, lonely.

10/ Confidence doesn’t come from what you wear

I always had high hopes that buying new clothes would make me confident. It might work for a day, but then I’d go back to my closet later and be frustrated that ‘I had nothing to wear’, and I would continue to feel awkwardly not good enough in what I was wearing. Well, campers, let me tell you: clothes can enhance your good features and can flatter you, but they don’t make you confident. You need to believe in yourself, not in what you own.

Well, this was only going to be a list of five things, but now look at where we are, ten points later. I hope you enjoyed this list; I’ve been writing it slowly over the past few days, and it was incredibly satisfying thinking of another nugget of wisdom that I’ve gained over the years. And everything I wrote is just so true to me and has become more and more true as I grow older. It’s nice to look back and see where I used to go wrong, and it’ll be even more nice in ten years to see where I’m currently going wrong ha haaaaa.

Sarah xx

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