if you’re new here- at the end of the year i always write a post about whatever i think i learned throughout that year. for whatever reason i chose the number 24. don’t ask me why because i don’t have an answer for you. i don’t have much of an answer for anything these days actually. last month i turned 24. and to be honest- it was as devastating as i imagined it to be. there’s a lot that goes unsaid about how confusing your life can be when you’re in your 20’s. everyone just pretends they have it together, but we all know on the inside were just trying to be the best people we can possibly be. while simultaneously trying to balance everything else in our lives. our jobs, our friends, our free time, our families. this year especially has been a pretty hard one. being someone who works in the medical field- working through a pandemic is one of the hardest things i’ve done. its like i work the same amount of time, but somehow i end up 20 times more tired than i used to be before all of this. i feel like its been hard to be myself. because im violet, but tired. i’m so tired i fall asleep so easily now. i used to struggle with that so much because i overthink everything way too much. and listening to all too well before you try to sleep is not the best idea (or so i’ve heard). but you know, the good part about this year is that i’ve seen myself grow in ways that i never would have imagined. i feel so close to being the person i’ve been wanting to be for a long time. so close i can feel it. so close that when i look in the mirror i don’t look away anymore. i guess you really attract what you think you deserve. i feel worthy of so much more than ever before that i attract things, i attract people who don’t step all over me or make me feel ways i never want to feel again. i’ve somehow gone from asking people to stay even when they didn’t want to, to feeling like i never have to ask that again. i don’t even have to say anything, i just hear my friends tell me that they’ll never leave and for the first time in a long time i understand what it means to have people really stay. to have people who care about you so much they don’t care how introverted you are. they don’t care about how much you love harry styles or about how much you cry whether its during happy or sad moments. if any of you read my very first post, you would probably see how i felt back then and how i feel now. and what a huge difference that it. although i honestly think the biggest growth i’ve seen in myself has been in the past year. its really incredible how much changes when you just change your environment. its incredible what happens when you realize that all you need to be happy is to be content with what you have, its to be happy with simply having people you love and who love you back unconditionally. so i think that at least for me, this year- as unfortunate as its been- has taught me the true value of being happy and not basing it on your circumstances but basing it on how you choose to live each and every day. of course, some days are harder than others, but its in those moments that we can decide if were going to dwell on them or if were going to focus on all the blessings that we currently have. if we focus on all that we do have- we remember to be thankful. and when were thankful, we can’t help but to be happy.
so here is my attempt at making some kind of sense in what i (think) i’ve learned this year.
- one of the most important things i’ve learned and have honestly had to remind myself of over and over this year is that joy is not circumstantial. that its something we can be despite our hardships. if you look for it, i promise you- you will find it.
- having real emotions is not a sign of weakness.
- it’s not unrealistic to ask people for explanations for their behavior towards you. i’ve learned that between actions and words-actions always win.
- people don’t really change unless they want to- that goes for myself and for anyone else. you can’t make someone be a way they’re not prepared to be.
- and on that note- i’ve learned to stop excusing people for the ways they hurt me (or others). if you tell someone they hurt you (or if someone tells you that you hurt them) you’re not in a position to tell them they didn’t. you cannot speak on someone elses emotions- even when you really want to. there’s no way you can know what caused them to get to that point. the only thing you can do is apologize.
- i learned to stop dwelling in past feelings. it can be easy to be sad about something if thats all you’ve known for years. trust me- i know how hard it can be to do that. i know that sometimes it can feel comfortable because its the only thing you’ve known. but it really really doesn’t help you.
- what helped me was to focus on my blessings. to start counting them one by one. whenever i felt lonely, whenever i felt sad, whenever i felt like my feelings were overwhelming.
- this year i can sort of embarrassingly say i learned to be more confident in myself. i learned what it really meant to value myself as girl and just as a person in general.
- taking care of yourself can be as simple and small as saying no.
- i learned to stop worrying about how others were viewing me so much. not to say that reputation isn’t important but i think if you’re certain of yourself and that you’re not doing anything to be spoken of negatively- its better to just focus on bettering yourself.
- i usually pretend to be happier than usual when i’m really not, i guess to overcompensate for that fact. its something i don’t remember when i started doing it. but it always worked so i got used to pretending a lot. i’ve learned to let that go. even when its hard- i try to talk to someone i love when i don’t feel great.
- from doing that, i’ve learned that having someone just listen to you without any reservations is one of the best things in the world. not having to go through things alone is one of the most heartwarming things i’ve experienced in the past year.
- one of the scariest times in my life was when i didn’t have anyone else. this year i learned that i don’t have to go through that ever again.
- this year i learned that i didn’t have to keep myself constantly busy anymore. it always helped me stay out of head as much as possible if i filled up my days with everything I possibly could.
- i learned that i don’t have to have it together all the time anymore. and it honestly feels like taking a big deep breath. i used to micro-organize virtually anything i could in my life in the fear of things falling apart if i didn’t. but to my surprise- things haven’t fallen apart even when i don’t try to control everything.
- i learned this year that i’m actually pretty brave. i haven’t always thought so. but if i told you the things that have happened to me, i think you would understand. its only when i’ve said them out loud that i remember that i really am strong enough to brave the storms that come my way.
- i learned that when people keep becoming lessons over and over again- you have to take the lesson and get out of there. i don’t respond to subtext anymore either. i’ve stopped listening to passive-aggressiveness. i truly think that if there’s something to say, it should just be said.
- i deserve the kind of love and respect that i give to other people. this is something that i will be constantly learning and re-learning for what feels like a very long time. it took me a long time to get to a point where i actually believed it.
- opening up to others doesn’t have to feel like a chore. it doesn’t have to be like all the other times. it took me a while, but i feel like i’ve learned to open up to others.
- its okay to hold off when it comes to letting others in until you’re sure that they will treat you in the ways that you need. if people tell you that you can trust them and that they love you, its okay to believe them.
- this is something i feel like a lot of people don’t really talk about but- i’ve learned that its okay to not want to be alone. being a girl in your early 20’s can sometimes feel like every possible person that you know is married or engaged or having kids every time you do as much as open instagram. its okay if that makes you feel like you want to throw your phone across the room. there’s so much unspoken pressure to be at a place where other girls your age are. it can be really hard to deal with. and honestly- i think its okay if you don’t want to see it. if that means you have to get off social media then go right ahead. you do what you have to do.
- also- very important. there is nothing wrong with you just because you aren’t in a relationship. thats something thats probably taken me the whole year to be okay with. and honestly sometimes i still feel down about it but in learning to be more confident in myself i’ve also learned to stop questioning if im really good enough for someone else to like or not like. i know im good enough that should be enough. i know how many days i’ve goes through in the past not thinking i was good enough- so only i know how hard i’ve worked on myself and how hard i’ve worked to know and believe that i am a good person.
- i’ve learned that being healthy person is so much more than not eating cookies or working out all the time. i’ve learned that being healthy means sleeping enough and taking care of yourself in more ways than a set plan everyone seems to push down on every young girl. i used to control so many things just to look a certain way- maybe i thought people wouldn’t like me if i didn’t look like that so i controlled everything i did. and that in itself isn’t healthy. our bodies change so much all the time. and its time that we accepted the fact that eating something you really want is okay. its also okay if you don’t want to go for a run or to the gym or whatever else you think you have to do obsessively. you don’t really have to do all of that. this is probably the first year in a long time that i just got tired and stopped controlling all of that. its hard to talk about. but as a girl you always feel like you have to look a certain way. and the thing is-the only way you have to look is truly happy. happiness looks good on everyone. it looks better than someone who doesn’t eat much or is worried about the way they look all the time. the people who really love you will not care about that.
- and the last on this years list- you’re not expecting too much. you’re not expecting too much. it can be hard when either there was just not much reinforcement in your life- it can be hard when you were never really told what there was to love about you (being extra vulnerable here). so if you had to grow up really fast like i did, you know what its like to feel like you’re still a child on the inside at times when you’re supposed to be an adult. sometimes i have to do things that any adult would just normally do but i’ve been doing them for much longer than i was supposed to so sometimes i really just feel like a little kid on the inside. i know that its impossible to go back- but it is possible to expect good things and good people. and when you have them, its okay to expect them to be good to you. its okay to expect for them not to leave. of course, we all mess up. we all go through times and seasons where we don’t have it together. but when we have people who lift us up and remind us what there is to love about us- sometimes just that is all we need. its never too late to change the narrative. i don’t think its ever too late remember that you are indeed, worth it. you are very much worth loving.
this year i have been fortunate enough to have found people who aren’t afraid to tell me what they love about me. it makes me feel braver than ever before.
” you deserve a love that stays. even when it rains. especially when it rains.”- f.e. marie
this year i have found love in myself and i have found love in other people. this year i can honestly say that i’ve become the version of myself that i’ve been wanting to be for a very long time. even when i feel sad- i still feel hopeful. there was a time when i didn’t even feel that. even when i don’t feel my best- i still try my best to see the best in whatever situation i am in. and i can honestly say that its working. it truly feels amazing to know you are so secure in yourself that you attract equally secure people in your life. it feels good to know you no longer attract people who look past your worth and only focus on what you can do for them in the long run. a real bond with someone consists of both giving and taking. it consists of good communication. it consists of understanding each other so that you know how they love and what they love and even when you don’t do things that way- you’re okay with it because you simply just love them.
when i first moved here, i was a girl who was very scared. i knew in me, that this was the right time-more than ever before to make the move i was about to make. i knew that if i didn’t do it at that exact time, it wouldn’t be as monumental as it felt. but i was scared out of my mind. no one knew me. i was worried about being treated i the only way i had known for so long. but instead- i was treated in ways that i never really have been before. i feel like the best thing i have had the privilege of feeling this year has been a feeling of belonging somewhere. its like i was lost and i finally found my way home. and that feeling honestly makes all the difference. when i feel anxious in the mornings- i always pray and tell myself- violet, you are safe. you’re safe. everything is okay. does it sound silly? probably. but when i tell myself its not a lie- it reminds me that i am in a safe place, because i belong somewhere. i’m sure that i still have a lot to work on. and i always will be working on something. but right now- i’m doing my best to remember that not everything and everyone has a sad ending- not anymore. i’m doing my best to remind myself to be content even when i’m working towards being a better person always. i hope that anyone who reads this remembers that its okay to slow down. its okay to expect just common decency from the people in your life. its okay to not settle. its okay to want and uphold certain values that you don’t see as interchangeable. its okay to dream big. like really big. have big goals, have all the big goals and honestly give yourself the time to reach them.
and although i can honestly say i feel secure where i am, i know things will change. i know at the end of next year everything i know now will be different. but i am also different. i used to hate when things changed fast- mostly because that meant i would be alone once again. but i’ve started welcoming change more than ever. although i can say i absolutely adore this season in my life, i know it will come to an end. the apartment stairs i know so well will someday maybe soon or not be different. my best friends 3rd floor apartment holds my most genuine laughs in the past year. but one day- i won’t ever be able to go back there and stop and look at how much the plant by the second floor window has grown this time. we will all be somewhere else at one point or another. other people will live there and laugh there, and maybe that sounds sad to you-but to me it sounds pretty beautiful. maybe a little nostalgic. but if you don’t know this yet, i’m a fool for anything nostalgic. all i know is that this is the place and with the people whom i have felt most at home with. it feels so sincere that I never ever want to let it go. and i know that in my head it will always hold a special place. always and forever. because this is the first time that i don’t feel like i have to constantly ask the people in my life where we stand. so here i am sitting in my room- not knowing what this year will bring. all i know is that it can only get better as long as i’m happy and content. all i know is that it will be good as long as i remember how worthy i am. it will be good as long as i’m surrounded by my people. it will be good. (it has to be good).