19 Things I Learned By 19

First and foremost, to all it applies, Happy Father’s Day!

Now, to continue…

Today is my birthday, and since I am about to enter my last year of technically being a teenager, I decided to share nineteen things I’ve learned over the past nineteen years (although it’s more like my teen, tween, and preteen years, but whatever). I’ve only seen this type of stuff done on YouTube, but considering my hiatus and the easiness of typing, I decided to share this on here. These are just nineteen things I’ve learned, but there is a lot more than what’s listed below.

  1. Don’t apologize for being who you are.
    For such a long time, I kept apologizing for who I was. Like, someone would say, “You’re so quiet,” and I would respond with “Oh, I’m sorry.” Instead of saying “thank you,” I literally apologized for no reason. Sometimes I find myself wanting to do that or think back to the numerous times I apologized for nothing, and I can’t believe that’s who I was. Now, I am so unapologetically myself, and I freaking love it.
  2. If it’s an easy goodbye, they weren’t meant to be in your life.
    There are several people I found myself easily saying goodbye to, and there were people I couldn’t wait to say goodbye to. In those situations, I knew they weren’t meant to last in my life. They served a purpose but weren’t meant to stay forever.
  3. Don’t get too close too fast.
    I learned this very recently (a couple of months ago). There was a new “friend” I made, and we immediately connected. I was a thousand percent myself and vice versa. We told each other our life stories, all the traumatic events and happy moments; we had seen each other in every emotional state possible. All of a sudden, this person stopped communicating with me and kind of started using me while completely isolating me. I spent a couple of weeks being extremely ticked off at myself because I let this person into my very private and personal world. Now this person is walking around with knowledge of my life, and I regret it. Moving forward, I know to be even more cautious than before with who I want to pursue a friendship and a relationship with.
  4. Love does not know age.
    Sometimes I feel like there’s this weird pressure to get married in my early 20s and have kids in my late 20s. Well, I turned 19 today, and even if I met the love of my life in a couple of months, I would not want to marry him next year. A relative of mine recently got married for the first time, and she was in her early 60s. Several people joked (in a very friendly, non-offensive way) that I wouldn’t get married until I was in my 60s like her, and if that’s when my perfect someone comes along, then I don’t mind at all.
  5. When all your other “friends” abandon you and create distance, the ones who stick around are your friends; stop denying it.
    This kind of goes along with #3. I learned this lesson around the same time.
  6. When you answer a call from an unknown number, don’t speak until they speak.
    There are plenty of scammers out here. I only answer because it could be a future employer or family member with a new phone number or an appointment. A lot of people wait to see if they get a voicemail, but sometimes it takes my phone a while to notify me of a voicemail, which isn’t beneficial in urgent situations.
  7. Use your feeling of disappointment to not disappoint others.
    I’ve been disappointed and let down many, many, many times, and now I strive to not be like the people who have disappointed me.
  8. Onion dip on cheeseburgers is soooo good.
    It sounds disgusting, but it is phenomenal!
  9. Killing yourself doesn’t heal nor solve anything.
    There have been quite a few celebrity suicides over the years, including recently, as well as reports of this year showing a significant increase in suicides (or something along those lines). There were a couple of times when I could’ve been a part of those numbers. I thank God for God because He genuinely saved me. I know people do it to get rid of pain, but the pain will make you so much stronger; it just takes endurance and getting over this little hurdle.
  10. Alfredo is a great substitute for Ramen in college.
    It’s quick, easy, and super fulfilling. When I’m too lazy to cook anything or go to any of the eating places on campus, alfredo is my #1.
  11. I don’t give myself enough credit.
    I’m still working on it, but at least I realized it; I’m trying to figure out how to do it with humility and get rid of the feeling of sounding boastful or arrogant.
  12. Everything is not what it seems. (cue The Wizards of Waverly Place theme song)This is evident with the recently reported suicides. Sometimes people wear a façade (I think that’s grammatically correct) to make everything seem like it’s okay or make it seem like they have it all, but that is so far from the truth. We all go through things, and that’s something I try to remember when dealing with people.
  13. Some people can’t move past high school.
    I graduated from high school last year, and I’ve returned home to Nashville three times. Each time I return, this statement becomes more apparent and more true.
  14. Baked beans on hot dogs is just as good as chili dogs.
    It’s like beanie weenies but with a different flavor and a bun.
  15. You can’t let fear control you.
    There’s no fun in living a life of fear. Even when something horrible happens, feel whatever emotions you find is necessary to feel, except fear, then bounce back. Internally, I feel confident and brave; I’m still working on making my outside match my inside by working on my posture and voice projection.
  16. Don’t believe every guy who says (or sends) “I Love You,” especially if they don’t show it.
    This has happened to me with more than one guy, and I am so happy I didn’t fall for it.
  17. Going along with number 16, don’t say “I Love You” back out of guilt or because you can’t come up with a better response.
    I’ve done this a couple of times to the same guy, and for a while, I felt really bad for leading him on. Then he ended up being a giant douchebag, and all feelings of regret and guilt were out the window.
  18. Distance tells the strength of a relationship.
    Being hundreds of miles away from the people I’m used to being around and used to calling on for support and advice, I thought it would deteriorate our relationships, but I feel like they’ve actually gotten better and a lot stronger.
  19. You can care about everyone, but not everyone cares about you.
    This is the story of the first eighteen years of my life, and I came to terms with it my sophomore year of high school. It was a sad truth when I realized it, but in a weird way, I feel like it kind of gave me permission to focus on myself. This also relates to #3, and I’m still trying to figure out who actually cares and will always be there. At this point, it’s all trial and error, but I think the end reward will be worth it. For the time being, I’m focusing a lot more on myself and becoming the person I was intended to be.

Like I stated earlier, this isn’t everything I’ve learned over the years, and I definitely have a lot more to learn. Life definitely hasn’t been easy, but I am grateful for every hardship I’ve had to face, adversity I’ve experienced, and battle I’ve had to fight; they’ve made me stronger.

I’m so grateful and so blessed to see another year.

Cheers to 19!! 🥂

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