Things I’ve learned as a 21 year old

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This week was my sister’s birthday and it got me thinking. We all know the catchy phrase people say to you on your birthday, ‘you’re older and wiser.‘ Every birthday since I turned fifteen, I’ve wondered if that applies to me. So, I’ve been inspired to create this little space in the internet dedicated to track the things I’ve learned from the experiences, trials, and joys I’ve gone through as a 21 year old.

On my birthday I want to come back to this post and be reminded of all the things I discovered about myself, others, and life, the lessons I learned, the mistakes I made, and the happiness I found along the way.

Without further adieu, here are the things I’ve learned so far as a 21 year old:

  1. There’s is joy in serving others.
  2. Nothing, I repeat, nothing will ever beat kindness. No matter your economic position, your social status, your background, or anything else… always be kind!
  3. Letting go is a painful process. However, holding onto things that hurt you, cause you pain, or constantly let you down is a far more painful process to go through.
  4. Very often, in life we have to let go of good things so we can get better ones.
  5. Things are never as bad or as good as they appear to be. That being said, nothing lasts forever. Neither the good times, nor the bad ones.
  6. You’re not irrelevant and you’re not ordinary. You’re seen and you’re special.
  7. Never pass an opportunity to learn something new. Even if is something you think you’ll never ever need.
  8. You’ll get the results that you work for. ( I had to learn this the hard way. Please don’t ask why 😛 )

 

 

…change.

Change; how to even begin? Change is scary, hard, and challenging. A few weeks ago I found myself caught in the painful situation we call change. In fact, 2016 started for me with a bunch of things changing quickly and unexpectedly, more things than I’d have wanted to.

I consider myself the kind of person who feels comfortable with routines and traditions. Anyone who knows me, knows that I’m not the adventurous and spontaneous kind of girl. Instead, I’m the kind of girl that loves to plan and calculate things. I love the comfort that comes from knowing what to expect, because knowing what’s going to happen makes me feel more in control. More powerful. More prepared. Life, however, can be very ironic. One day you are in one place and then the next day you find yourself in the most random and unexpected place. Isn’t it how it works?

I believe the reason I struggle with embracing new things is that I get attached very quickly and quite deeply to things/people. I’m not a trusting person in general (or even at all) so when I find something or someone who I can confide in and rely on, I hold onto it. However, most often than not, people change and move on, things come and go and in reality very few things stay the same. Change can cause anxiety and physical pain, trust me, I’ve been there. Times when you cannot fall asleep because you cannot comprehend why this had to happen. Or waking up with an accelerated heartbeat because you’re too worried things won’t work out. It’s a real struggle.

A few weeks ago, when I was wallowing in self-pity, someone said something to me that left a mark in my brain. “You have to let it go.” A short, yet powerful, phrase. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done. Surprisingly, it also works like a charm. Let it go. When you’re about to fall in this i-hate-everything hole try redirecting your thoughts to why this new opportunity is good for you. Focus on the promising stuff and forget about the rest. Allow yourself to miss the comfortable routines, the close friends who walked away, the gone opportunities, but move on quickly- it’s very easy to get stuck there. Don’t deny yourself the opportunity to welcome new things that could change your life.

Time helps too. There are two things you need to know about time. First, time washes away the sadness and pain. So take the time to enjoy the new things you have. Take time to learn to love the changes you’re experiencing. Second, eventually you’ll get used to anything (even if you thought you never would).

See? that’s the thing about change, it’s truly beautiful. The best things that I’ve ever had, or will ever have, have come from swift, unexpected, and painful changes. You can think of change as a burden (it will become just that if you let it bitter your life), or you can think of it as a clean slate. A new beginning. A new opportunity to get it right. A start of something wonderful.

I’ll choose the latter, because really, life’s too short to long for things already gone and for opportunities missed. Life was never meant to be lived in the past, but rather to be looked forward with hope and optimism.

xxo,
Diana

 

Winter blues

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Can you believe Christmas is this week?! I seriously can’t believe that 2015 will be over in a couple of weeks. Christmas is my absolute favorite holiday and I love it, but it can be very intimidating too. Like, what did I do with all this time!? (please tell me that you can relate).

Personally all I can think about is, what a year this was! I was able to do so many things that I never imagined I would when the year started. I met new people who became great and special friends. I was lucky to spend one more year surrounded by old friends and new great ones. I accomplished goals and made new ones. I had to go through some hard stuff that made me learn valuable lessons and that made me realize what really matters in this life. I can truly say that this year was the most challenging and the most wonderful I’ve ever had so far 🙂 .

So the winter blues are basically nonexistent because I’m finishing this year with happiness and gratitude and love in my heart. What else does one need? To finish I’d like to share this truth I came across just yesterday, which was beautifully worded by the amazing Kelly Jensen:

“When we are grateful for what we have, what we have becomes enough.” @kellyejensen

Happy Holidays everyone! Much love,
Diana

Gingham love… and something else.

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November was a hard month. A month that was full of disappointments, doubts, and fears. Strangely, it was also one of the best months I’ve ever had because it was full of joy, love, and gratitude.

This month I realized a lot of things that I had been overlooking for a long time now. I was reminded that my source of strength and joy has been and always will be God. I will not go over the details of the things that I’ve experienced this past month because they are something I’d like to keep close to my heart. However, I do want you to know that, no matter what you believe in, things always happen for a reason. We meet the people we meet and go through the experiences we go through for a reason. This reason might not be obvious to you now but it will be someday.

I know this is not my usual kind of post, but it’s something I’d like to share with you. When you are tempted to focus on the things you lack, try -really try- to see the things you do have. Now that Christmas is here let’s focus on the blessings that we have. Let’s focus on the good. Let’s focus on the people we love. Let’s focus on the things that do matter!

xx,
Diana

“Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.” –Deuteronomy 31:6

 

Day 19: Chasing perfect

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Last night was a busy night. We had a relatively hard assignment to turn in, on top of the other assignments/projects/and studying we need to get done. Fortunately for me, I have a great team and we figured things out (sort of 🙂 ). Today was one of those days when all you want to do is go back to bed, crawl under the soft blankets, and watch a good chick flick. I was very tempted to exactly that, but then I looked at my agenda. Suddenly, I didn’t feel the need to sleep or take a break… I mean who needs that?

I want to say that I accidentally found this video when I opened my laptop, but I know it wasn’t an accident. The video had the words I needed to hear. Those who know me know that I’m a perfectionist, that’s just who I am. I always feel the need to do things perfectly. Everything I do needs to be perfect, not just okay. I’ve always thought this is one of my biggest strengths because it has always helped me improve and grow. Lately though, this strive-for-perfection mentality has become an unnecessary and ridiculous pressure I’ve put on myself. Now you can understand the relief I felt after watching this video.

It took me a long time to realize this simple, yet powerful, truth: I’m human. We all are. If you’re feeling the same way, please know that it’s okay not to be perfect. It’s okay to not have your hair done all the time, it’s okay to be in the second place, it’s okay to say no (please say no more often!), it’s okay to make mistakes. In fact, embrace your mistakes, learn from them, make them part of who you are and be proud of the person you’ve become!

Let’s worry less about the future and let’s be more present in the moment!

xx,
Diana

Chasing Perfect from Twenty-One Films on Vimeo.