I’m incredibly thankful and blessed that I get to celebrate another birthday this year! However, today I’m feeling grateful for life itself and the lessons I’ve learned from different opportunities or obstacles throughout my life. Year 28 is going to be full of changes, like a new last name, a home, career change, and new destination trip!
It’s funny how a lot of things can change in 10 years. 10 years ago, I celebrated my high school graduation and I remember being an 18-yr. old trying to hold it together and thinking I had my whole life planned for myself. I never once thought of the obstacles or turns that would lead me to where I am today, and for that I’m grateful with how things have turned out so far. Today (on behalf of celebrating my 10-year reunion this week) I would like to share 10 pieces of advice I would have told my 18-year-old self.
Dear 18-year-old Robin,
This past year has been a tough and challenging one. I know the hurts, disappointments, and struggles you’ve been through, but I have also seen your dedication and urgency you displayed to accomplish a lot of things you thought you never could. So, congratulations, you are midway through your first semester of your senior year and you have had no days off.
Therefore, here is my advice to you:
When Times Get Tough, Hang On
If you think you have serious problems now, you are in for a rude awakening. Learn to embrace these tough times and move forward. Don’t let others try to belittle you or discourage you from chasing you dreams. You are going to meet a few people who will try to do this and learn to keep walking. The next couple of years in your life you are going to face some rough times, but learn to get right back on track. Learn to set your pride aside and reach out to your friends and loved ones. You are going to need them.
Live Life with Grace and Dignity
10 years from now no one will remember whether you were the most popular or coolest kid. You will be remembered by what you had to offer to others and if you were kind and giving. Always live life with grace and dignity. Don’t feel like you should conform to everyone around you and make decisions for yourself and always ask yourself, “does it represent grace and dignity?” If so act on it and always try to help others as much as you can. Remember the true meaning of life and live life not for yourself, but for others and God. Always be kind to others and provide as much love and compassion for others.
Don’t Be So Hard on Yourself
I know you are working hard to impress your family, friends and people, but remember to always do things because YOU want them, not because it’s expected from you. Learn to relax from time to time and just know it is okay to be a little selfish, sometimes. If you find yourself struggling to obtain ambitions, re-evaluate your goals and approach them differently.
Make Mistakes and Learn from Them
I’m not saying to live a dangerous and careless life, what I am saying is that you might come across situations that will lead to mistakes and what you chose to do with that knowledge will define the person you are. Learn from mistakes instead of repeating them and you will be a much far better person because of that. Realize and identify mistakes and take them as life learned lessons.
Live in the Moment
Don’t forget to take the time to enjoy the little moments. I know you have full schedule and you feel like you have no time to stop, but remember to enjoy the simple things in your life, like your family. Don’t be caught up in the future or try to grow up so quickly. These are memories you only get to live once, so enjoy them.
It’s Okay to Say No
You will come across many different temptations, roles, and opportunities and to be quite honest I’m here to tell you that it’s okay to say NO. I know how hard it is for you to disappoint others and you like to blend in, but you don’t ever have to put yourself in situations that you are not ready for. For the next couple of years, trust me, you are going to have to say no more than you know, so know that you have made the right decision by doing so.
Make New Friends
This is the year that you are truly going to learn what it means to have a true friendship. You are going to be disappointed with a few friends, but you will get over it so I encourage you to go out and make new friends. The majority of your new friends will have the same vision and goals as you and will make your year a memorable one. Most importantly some of those friends will grow to become your lifelong friends, therefore treat them well and make sure you are there for them. By the way all the rationales you all will make on who is getting married first, and who’s having kids first is going to be completely surprising.
I know that at your age it’s easy to see what others around you are doing and have, but I want you know that all those things won’t matter years from now. Never compare yourself to anyone and always stay focus on your lane. Focusing on being a better version of yourself will help you pave your own journey. Learn to be grateful for everything that your parents have worked so hard for. Learn to be grateful for every missed opportunity or opportunities, but most importantly learn to be grateful for God’s love. It may be hard to understand what it exactly means, but you will go through trials that will help you appreciate what it truly means to be grateful for life itself.
You Will Get Over Him
I know it sucks, you feel disappointed and hurt, but honestly you are far better off without him and life will go on. He won’t be the first nor the last person to disappoint you so learn from it! Everyone goes through breakups and frankly you are handling it quite well. I know it’s tough, blah, blah, blah, but this minor heart ache is going to lead you to a more confident, stronger, and happier version of you. Realize when things are not working and let go. You will be more heart broken trying to make relationships work then actually enjoying them. Hang tight kido, you are in for a long road ahead so surround yourself with positive people, meet new people, and date. There is a world full of people who are willing to treat you like you should be treated and 10 years from now, God will lead you to the right man.
Shut Up and Listen
This one is going to be a hard one, but in all seriousness if you learn to shut up and listen (mama knows best) you are going to hear truth and reality. Listen to your family’s advice, they are the most honest people you will have and their instincts and advice are worth hearing. I know you think you understand and know it all, but you don’t. If you listen carefully, you will be far prepared for life. To be honest, you might not recognize the good advice now, but you will five years from now and are going to look back into the moment and think…. “I should have listened.”
If you are wondering, yes, life will only get better from here on out and yes you are going to have obstacles, but one day you are going to influence the world in a way you never thought you could. Sending you lots of love and encouragement.
God Bless You Always
Know that wisdom is such to your soul; if you find it, there will be a future, and your hope will not be cut off.