When I consider how far I’ve come since this time last year I am blown away. Time is a curious thing...I was on a completely different path when I was 17 turning 18. I lived in a different city, and I was surrounded by different people. This year has been full of spontaneous adventures, late nights painting, thousands of miles driving unfamiliar roads with unfamiliar people, and constant writing...this year has been all about introspection, change, courage, chance, and magic.
I think the last week of each age is designed to set the pace for your next revolution around the sun. This past week was spent travelling to Washington, journaling, watching films, laughing with friends, singing in cars, and creating art. It’s an ending and an epic beginning. 19 is going to be my time, my revolution, to follow love and seek adventure.
As I reflect on this past revolution around the sun I realize that I have been my happiest self I can ever recall being. I feel the most myself and each day I am getting closer to the core of what my life is made of. In celebration, I wanted to share 18 things I learned at 18.
#1: It takes more than merely looking around to truly see.
#2: It takes more than paint to be a painter. It takes road trips, sweat, tears, experiences, good books, and bad books. It takes music, and festivals, and mindfulness. It takes courage, more courage than I have had until now…
#3: You either understand something or you don’t. Not fully understanding something is still not understanding it.
#4: I stand for being an advocate for change.
#5: Every being needs to get in touch with their naturalistic instincts. We should all be living minimally taking not what we want from the environment we thrive in but simply what we need.
#6: We make so many decisions, or choose to not make decisions, because of doubt.
#7: I have a strong need to follow my instincts and be exactly, unapologetically who I am.
#8: Through surrounding myself with people that vibrated on the same frequency as me, I learned that it is more than okay to seek and accept love and validation from others outside of myself.
#9: I have learned to broaden my definition of what home is. Home is not limited to the 4 walls and the roof I grew up beneath. I can create home anywhere so long as I can share it with the people I love. Home to me is in the ocean, home is in the arms of my friends, home is anywhere that I can be content in my own vulnerability. Home is the times I wake up not caring where I slept but being grateful for the people beside me, and home is in the moments where we laid in the grass beneath the stars realizing that we’re so small in comparison to the vastness of the galaxies beyond our own.
#10: Adventures have the power to fuel your soul unlike anything else. In the same way we exercise to fuel our bodies, or meditate to take care of our minds, it is important to set aside time to nourish our souls.
#11: Everyone’s path is different. But if there is any lesson I’ve learned that is universally applicable it’s that you have to do what’s right for you, without guilt. It could feel like the whole world is against you, especially if you are making choices that fall outside the norm - but you absolutely NEVER need to be against yourself. Believe in your ability to make the right choices for you, and beyond that, allow yourself to own those decisions and be proud of the fact that you are in touch with your intentions.
#12: Disregard what everyone else thinks, even if it’s just merely for a moment and take the time to define what it means to be you and what you need to not only survive, but thrive.
#13: Life is comprised of ups and downs and nothing stays constant. Finding the beauty in the impermanence will allow you to free yourself of expectations of ‘forevers’ and appreciate what and who you have in the moment.
#14: You deserve to be with someone who wants to be with you, you deserve to be someone you want to be.
#15: One of the most powerful ways to validate yourself is to continue to love the people you love without needing anything in return from them.
#16: Common sense is not that common.
#17: I feel everything ferociously and when I’m anxious it’s like the world is melting away, but conversely, my sense of love is the most powerful thing in the world and I wouldn’t trade my sensitivity for anything.
#18: Give yourself the world.
A special thank you to Anniegrace, Sky, Claire, Ale, Francesca, and Emerson for being the best friends throughout it all. There are so many other people who made my heart feel full this year and you each know who you are ((: Love you all endlessly and unconditionally.
Songs of this year…
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