18 things I've learnt at 18

As of tomorrow, I will be an adult, crazy right? But this week has really got me reflecting on my life so far and what is yet to come. I’ve realised that I have done some pretty cool things before 18 but I’ve also learned so much about myself. I wanted to do a little round-up in this post of the 18 biggest things I have learnt before 18, so hopefully, you enjoy!

YOU CAN’T PLEASE EVERYONE

Not everyone is going to like you or what you do, and at a young age, that is a hard thing to come to terms with. Being a people pleaser myself, most things I do are to please others as well as myself so feeling like I can’t please everyone didn’t sit well with me for a long time. However, with time, I’ve realised that some people are just not going to like you, no matter what you do. And some people just won’t agree with some of the things you do, but that’s okay. I realised that I would rather be true to myself and do what I want to do, instead of adapting my behaviour and actions to suit someone else.

DO WHAT’S RIGHT FOR YOU

It’s hard to be selfish, but that really is all you can do. Because at the end of the day, you live for you, you survive for you and the only thing that is a constant in your life is yourself. I’m no good with decisions, but I’ve learnt to do what I want to do. Not what others suggest, or what others would have done, but what I want to do. Seeing yourself as the priority isn’t always easy but you’re the main characters in this lifetime so you’ve got to put yourself first.

HAPPINESS IS KEY

Growing up, it is really easy to aim high, especially when it comes to materialistic things. You want to be rich, famous, have this car and this house, with this person and this career. But what I’ve learnt with time is that it isn’t about what you’ve got in life, it’s about how you feel about what you’ve got. A career with a great wage or a career you love? Always a hard decision because we all want that balance of financial security but to have a job we love. But your happiness is the priority. It is what makes life worth living. It’s why you get up everyday and look forward to the next. I’ve learnt to do what makes me happy, even if it takes up a lot of my time, even if it stops be from making extra money. Happiness really is key.

REACH OUT WHEN YOU NEED HELP

Reaching out for help was very natural for me growing up. Any issues, I’d talk them out with someone, find that solution. However, from getting older, that openness quickly disappeared. Perhaps because I now have major trust issues with everything and anyone, but you really should reach out when you need help. Even if you don’t fully trust someone, sometimes you just need to get someone off your chest. Carrying a heavy weight, a secret, a feeling, a problem, talk about it. With yourself, with family, with friends, even a stranger. Let it out and work towards that solution.

MUM REALLY DOES KNOW BEST

I’ve accepted defeat. Your mum, or older peers, really do know best sometimes. Although it kills be to admit it, I’m not always right. But that’s okay because luckily, I’m surrounded by so many amazing people in my life who aren’t only wise but so knowledgable about what life has to bring. Especially stepping into adulthood, I really am ready to start listening to my mum a little bit more when it comes to life advice, or even the smaller things.

BOUNCE BACK STRONGER

‘The greatest revenge is success’, one of my favourite quotes of all time and one that encourages me to constantly come back stronger. No one’s life is smooth sailing nor does anyone not face challenges. I’ve had my fair share. But learning to be resilient and stand up again has been one of my greatest life lessons. You learn and become stronger from you low points and your defeats, but it only makes the achievements shine brighter.

CHANGE IS HEALTHY

I’m a creature of habit and I love what feels comfortable. However, some change is needed and it is healthy. A change of lifestyle, routine, hobby, mindset, all are healthy and encourage growth. Whether it be a change for the better or worst, you will always learn something from it. I know I can be very resistant to change and some changes make me feel uneasy at the thought of them. But approaching them with a healthy and open mindset is healthy, as is adapting to those changes.

IT’S OKAY TO MISS PEOPLE

Before 18, I have dealt with my fair share of grief. Whether that be a loved one passing or cutting someone out of your life, it really is okay to grieve them. It doesn’t make you weak and it does’t make you weird. Grief is completely normal in every form and we are all allowed to miss our past sometimes. I used to get frustrated with myself for being hung up on the past, because they were ‘the better days’ and nothing was ever going to match that level of happiness. But I’ve learnt to not be so hung up on what I no longer have and to instead be grateful for what I do have, and what is yet to come.

BE GRATEFUL FOR LIFE

Life really is beautiful and we take it for granted far too often. It’s a battle at times, and sometimes it can feel like things will never get better, but somehow they do and for that, I’m grateful. The idea of life and living your life to the fullest used to intimidate me. I never felt like I was doing enough, or being a good enough person, or making enough of a difference. Or that someone else was more deserving of my time on earth than myself. And sometimes I can still feel like this, but I’ve learnt to remain present and take each day as it comes, being grateful for waking up every morning.

KEEP TIGHT HOLD OF THOSE MEMORIES

Like I said earlier, one of my main ways of coping with grief is to remember the good times. Previous memories that give me butterflies and make me smile, or cry with laughter. Those are the ones I chose to hold onto. I’m quite a sentimental person and I love keeping little pieces of a memory, whether it be a picture, souvenir or weird object that I associate with that time. But I keep them really close to me and I always think that it is important to look back at those times as that act as a reminder that better days are still yet to come.

YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE STRONG ALL THE TIME

We all need to have weaknesses in order to show strength. I would like to think of myself as a ‘tough cookie’ and that thick skin has definitely gotten thicker with time. But no one is always strong. I still struggle talking about the way I feel, but that doesn’t make me weak. And the things I have gone through and will go through, don’t make me any less strong. I think it is easy falling into a habit of having a tough exterior and being strong for others, but you don’t always need to be like that. Being vulnerable is something still very new to me and it isn’t something I’m particularly good at. But I have taught myself that I don’t always need to be strong and that it is okay to cry, ask for help or talk about your emotions.

SOMETHINGS JUST NEED TIME

Patience does not come naturally to me. I am a see it, want it, kind of person. But some things really do just need a bit of time. Whether that be waiting for results or seeking advice, finding a purpose or reaching a goal. They all take a little time and a little time to get right too. Not everything you do first time around is how you want it to go and so it takes time to get it right a second, third or fourth go. But give it time because the results could just be perfect.

FOLLOW YOUR GUT

It is so true when people talk about a gut feeling…you know when you know. But I’ve never had a good time with trusting myself and my instincts. I’m very indecisive and struggle to pick one out of two logical options. However, I’m learning to trust myself and the way I feel. Learning to pursue what I feel is right and good for me. If something doesn’t feel right, I won’t do it. And I am starting to see the difference with what doesn’t feel right and what just makes me uncomfortable because it’s new.

CONFIDENCE STARTS WITH YOU

Compliments are all well and good but confidence starts with you. No one can make you confident, or feel beautiful, or feel worthy, it comes from you and how you feel about yourself. It took me so long to see this. I was depending on other people’s thoughts of me, using that to define my worth and it was unhealthy. Over the last few years, I realised that only I can define my worth. And therefore, my confidence journey has got to start with me. I’ve always been pretty insecure and introverted, mainly because I didn’t know my worth but deciding to go back to the start and realise my worth was one of the best things I’ve done. I’m still on this journey and I think it will always be evolving, but realising that I have control over my worth was a huge learning curve for me.

JUST GO FOR IT

Sometimes you’ve just got the bite the bullet and go for it. Even if it seems absurd or out of reach, just give it a go. Putting myself out there was so scary to me but I guess that is something my blog has taught me. Just go for it. Starting my blog was a big jump for me, putting myself online and doing something unlike anyone else in my life felt like a huge risk. But I just went for it. It’s just one example but taking that leap of faith really can be one of the best decisions you make for yourself.

NEGATIVE THOUGHTS WILL GET YOU NO WHERE

So so true, and something I wish I believed sooner. ‘Your vibe, attracts your tribe’ as they say. Negative thoughts and words aren’t going to bring you any sort of happiness and to get out of that mindset is hard. But to chose positive energy and positive thoughts can really change your mind and how you see yourself. In no way am I a super positive person, but I know that negative thoughts aren’t worth letting in because they are only going to prohibit something that could have a positive impact on me.

STAND UP FOR YOURSELF

I was always told growing up that I needed a backbone. And I finally feel like I’m getting there. Especially when it came to high school, I realised that I needed thicker skin. No one else stood up for me so I had to do it myself. I think back at previous scenarios where I’ve let people walk all over me, torment me, and assume things about me, but I just let them because I didn’t know how to stand up for myself. With time and getting fed up with feeling so misunderstood, I finally took the power back and started standing up for myself. I lost friends because of it but linking back to realising my worth and being confident, it starts with you. And I really am now glad that I can stand up for myself and be comfortable with who I am.

THE BEST THINGS HAPPEN WHEN YOU AREN’T ONLINE

I love the internet and social media, most of the time, but the best things in life happen when they aren’t around. Being present and taking that time away from your phone is so valuable. I say that while I’m writing a blog post… but it really is true. Social media and blogging is fun and I love it, but when I think back to my happiest memories, the majority of them happened without a phone. And that’s okay. But I think it’s important, especially as you get older, to realise that there is so much more beyond your phone screen.

I hope you guys enjoyed this post. It is definitely very different for me, but I hope you got to know me a bit better.
Lots of love,
Grace xx

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