20 things I learnt before I turn 20

HEARTEU

I realized a lot of people have written similar posts, and I could also point out some common lessons which made me deduce that maybe some things, we all have to go through at some point in our lives. They may be things we cannot back away from, but that doesn’t mean we won’t grow from them. I’ll be turning 20 in a few hours so I’ll list some lessons down now:

1- People can appear nice to you but you’ll always never know what their true intentions are. Don’t be too naive, and sometimes you don’t have to see the good in people too much if it’s only going to make them step on you. Learn to be guarded and never reveal your soul to another so soon. At a workplace setting, it is important to respect and be very nice everybody so that you don’t get involved with the politics there. They’ll give you a hard time (half kidding, half not really) but you have to show that you can handle the workload or else they’ll backbite. Again, be cautious.

2- If someone’s draining too much energy out of you, don’t stay with them. Toxic relationships are the epitome of hell. Don’t feed yourself with excuses; that they’ll change for the better and what not. Maybe they will, but it may not be around you. It’s not your fault if separation happens. Perhaps you weren’t entirely good for them either. What’s important after being apart is for you to assess which areas you can improve on about yourself.

3- Things will fall into place if you put your trust in God, yourself, and the ones who genuinely love and support you. Work your way towards your goals–list them down and find a purpose in life. You have to stress this: you’re going to make sure your life in this world is pleasant in order to make the Next much much better. You will have to go through hardships, it’s a no-brainer, but try to see it from a different perspective instead of oh life sucks, things aren’t working out. I know it is difficult but please, hold on. Things will get better. You will get to say and thoroughly mean that in the near future.

4- Don’t rush. Take things slow. It’s understandable that patience can run out at times, but do not stop persevering. There’s a reason why people keep on saying that good things come to those who wait.

5- The hardest part is forgetting those you swore you’d never forget.

6- It’s okay to fail if it means you’re not going to succumb to such a situation again. Make your way back up. Study harder and smarter. Find your strengths; maybe you work better when you make notes and mind maps, or maybe you need to record yourself saying all the important definitions to the Psychology test. Everyone’s method of studying is different. It’s perfectly fine if it’s not part of the “norm”.

7- Confront your fears. It brings about a sense of achievement like no other when you overcome them. However, if people keep on forcing you to get over them (COUGHS), know to take a step back because they’re yours; you overcome them at your own pace.

8- Your mental health > everything else. Take a breather, learn what your coping mechanisms are and surround yourself with people who will only give you positive vibes. Indulge in hobbies that bring you nothing but joy. The stigma around mental health is still strong even in this day and age where you’d think it has lessened but do not give up. Educate yourself and those around you especially the ones who are insensitive towards this matter.

9- Explore. Don’t be afraid of the unknown so much. Sometimes these places may seem intimidating, but you’ll never know what you can find.

10- Create different playlists for different moods. Once you sing along to the songs that resonate with what you’re feeling, you’ll slowly start to feel better.

11- Don’t say his name unless it doesn’t hurt anymore. Even then, it’s really not necessary. Forgive, forget, (and move) forward.

12- Don’t think about death so much if you’re linking it to leaving this world. Remember that one time you were so overwhelmed with all the problems you were facing and you wished you could end it all then the very next day, you almost got hit by a motorcycle? It could have been such a tragic death. How did you feel moments after? You realized you weren’t prepared for death at all. Learn to forgive yourself.

13- You’re going to lose friends. Most of the time, it happens naturally: you stop contacting each other, you don’t ask what’s going on in each others’ lives etc. Your interests differ at various stages of your life and it’s something that can’t be helped as you move towards adulthood. However, if you’ve found some people you’d like to stay in contact with till pretty much the end of time or they’re what you can call “for keeps”, take care of them, keep a lookout for them, ask them how they’re doing frequently, grab lunch or catch up over dinner with them no matter how busy you are. Be there for them.

14- Put yourself first. It should not be to the point where you become extremely self-centered and do not comply to others (obviously), but more of attending to your feelings better.

15- I know how hard this is for someone who overthinks most of the time but do not compare. For God’s sake and your sanity, do not put yourself through that mess. People will have it better than you be it in terms of finance, grades, love and it is not your fault. Count your other blessings at all times especially the ones you have the tendency to overlook such as health; your five senses, your hands that can easily grip things, your legs that can bring you far and all that. Certain majestic things will happen when they’re supposed to. For now, enjoy things the way they are.

16- You will be given the chance to travel one day. Save up some money, work hard, keep yourself updated with offers and pray to God that He will make it easy for you. Make your intentions right.

17- I’ll give you a push: if it all gets too much again, take a trip to the doctor. Get professional help and seek treatment. Since you may likely freak out over the results, make sure to bring a trustworthy friend with you so that the process won’t be as intimidating.

18- Attend religious talks and be more involved with religious activities. For this year’s Ramadhan you did a lot–continue that.  Reach out even more. Do not stop giving back to the community.

19- Work out! Do not underestimate the power of exercising. You want to get back in shape, you want to maintain a healthier lifestyle, you want to be fit? Visit the gym more, and take advantage of the bikes they have now and put them to good use. Also, eat your damn veggies like how your colleagues (and pretty much everyone else) told you to.

20- Cut yourself some slack. You deserve some me-time. I said this last year and I’ll say it again. It’s okay to roam a mall alone, grab a cup of coffee, run some errands, treat yourself to the things that make you happy– the possibilities are endless. Remember to be nice to yourself.

In all honesty, I wrote about 8 of these back in August because I was so excited but then I made a promise to myself to continue it before I turn 20 because then I was sure I’d gain more experiences over the next few months and I sure as heck did. Thanks for being patient with me, everyone. And happy (soon) 20th birthday to me!

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mattress

I’m going to turn 20 in 4 days and I am dreading it. I don’t even know how to explain why I’m feeling this way but I guess it’s the company I have. As much as I’m trying to reassure myself who I’m surrounded with now is more than enough, I can’t help but mourn for the loss–or at most dissipating–of friendships. Turning a year older has never felt so disheartening.

0018

To everyone I have come across in my life, I truly apologize if I have offended in any way, or if you ever feel burdened whenever I pour my heart out you. I get that I’m intense and most of the time people can’t comprehend it–sometimes they even wonder why I function as such. I’m really sorry. 2017 has been a wild ride. Here’s to a month left.

homemade dynamite

It’s funny because sometimes the love can quickly turn to hate. Sometimes nonchalance becomes intense. Sometimes forever becomes non-existent. Sometimes paragraphs turn to mere words. Sometimes good moments make you wish they were bad so it’ll be easier to forget. Sometimes the book you leave open all the time becomes a book you cannot stand the sight of and just close it shut. Sometimes good friends turn to strangers. You made my world seem right for the first time and soon after you turned it upside down. We have become opposites.

best part

Am I in love? Not anymore–so no, and I don’t think I will be any time soon. It’s not like I don’t want to try, rather, I’ll wait when the time is right. I spent so much of the past year hating myself and I want to work on building confidence and independence. I’ve got a lot of takeaways from what happened previously too so I’ll make sure not to repeat the same mistakes and not to fall for what ended up to be insincerity.

I just hope when I give myself another chance, I won’t be let down again. I’m glad though, that now I’m at a place where I was struggling so hard to be. I’m not saying what I’m going through currently is perfect because it’s beyond that (trust me, there are days when I just want to collapse from exhaustion because of all the work I signed up for), but the best part is that I’m growing so much–on my own. It feels good.

I am blessed and I don’t know why it took me so long to realize that. I don’t have the riches of so many things in this world but that’s okay, as long as I have those who understand me and that I’m doing things to contribute to my self-improvement, I have to learn to be more content. Sometimes it gets very difficult but I will always pull through in the end– I mean, I’m still here today, right? I believe you can too.

close to the final lap

Semester 3.1 just ended about 5 days ago for me and so far, I’ve been finding this relaxation and ‘me time’ really good. I did quite a number of fulfilling things the past semester despite being extremely busy with school work and I’ve to say, those definitely changed me. Semester 2.2 was very bland for me, almost too dull to the point I cannot point out even just one thing that built me. I was drowning in misery, letting every tiny thing affect me and that obviously led to my drop in grades, mental health and physical health too. Nonetheless, despite everything, I know that it has already been written down for me anyway. Regardless of what happened, they occurred for concrete reasons and weren’t passing matters. I’ve changed so much and I’m liking it. I’m not being so hard on myself, guys. That’s something.

When Semester 3.1 started, I attended religious classes for about a month or so because my school schedule wasn’t that hectic. I even managed to go to a run even though it was for school purposes, but my friends and I did spend a decent amount of time there. I headed to a new gym called Truefitness which had an amazing ambience I’m considering joining there in the future when I’m financially secure. I also got to carry out the sales process to various business in Singapore. It took a lot of courage, and for someone who isn’t the epitome of sociable, the first few tries were very discouraging and difficult for me. Thankfully I came across a lovely man who was willing to help me out with my school assessment. I also got to finish writing a 20-paged novella despite being overwhelmed with so many assignments because I was so determined to gift it to someone. Up to this day it’s still just there sitting in my Google Drive, nowhere near in the hands of the person in mind.

In June, I visited Yayoi Kusama’s exhibition at the National Gallery and was immersed in different patterns, colours and lights that it’s easily one of my favourite galleries to date. During the fasting month, I also helped out at a nearby mosque to do volunteer work. It was quite tiring but breaking fast with my brothers and sisters in my religion, it created a warmth in my chest that I’ve never felt before. Another part when I had to go out of my comfort zone was to interview a classmate’s mother alone. Again, I’m not the most talkative but I pulled it off pretty well if I’ve to say so myself. Her mother was also welcoming and soon enough I got comfortable. Something I did to reward myself at the end of the month was to sign up for Spotify Premium and I’m loving the ad-free life a lot currently.

July onwards, I was much busier than the previous months. Projects were starting to come into the picture. Amidst the workload, I got to support my friends during their Annual General Meeting to which I also won the lucky draw! It was a night filled with lovely vibes. I also did interviews with older adults at an estate area which was almost intimidating initially but became something I look forward to the consecutive times. I also had the opportunity to meet my friend who flew off to Jordan a year before and we had a lot of fun at the beach. I had way too many things on my plate and still I tried to slot in some spots to go out with friends and family. I didn’t want to be so occupied with school work because that was what I did for the past semesters and it didn’t do me exactly 100% good. Finding a balance was something I achieved in 3.1 and I’m beyond glad. That was also the time I started to be kinder to myself. I was greeted with news I wish I hadn’t known but it also made me move on, for real this time round. No more going back, no more feelings involved–just focusing on myself and the people who matter.

August has been nice to me so far. Finished all the projects with a blast; even went the extra mile for one of the modules to which our tutor told us “additional efforts will be rewarded” and we couldn’t help smiling from ear to ear. I learnt to even make dango when I could’ve used the time for school-related discussions but at least I kinda nailed it? Haha! My friends and I also took the initiative to buy items for a mosque as a form of donation. My first job was also starting so I handled everything smoothly for someone who had so many responsibilities hurled at her (I mean… I did sign up for all of those so yeah). Just last week I got to catch up with my friends again and even watched Annabelle: Creation; my third horror movie in the cinema! I was the noisiest in the theatre, not going to lie.

Looking back at all the things I did in the last four months, I’m so happy it wasn’t spent in low spirits and distress. What I learnt? It’s really about finding balance–only then will one be content. Surround yourself with those you love and love you. Don’t bother about unnecessary comments from others, and especially don’t bother about those who never bothered about you in the first place. Save yourself from any heartbreaks. Give so much attention and love to yourself to make up for all that you’ve spilled towards temporary people.

You’re the only one who has your back at all times anyway.

on my own

I am picking myself back up and I’m so damn proud of where I am today. Allow me to tell the whole world how I’m starting to give myself credit. Give me the chance to grow even more and to unlock doors to different opportunities. I don’t have someone special by my side now but that’s perfectly fine. As long as I’m on my side–that I’m not going against myself, everything is a whole lot more bearable.