eighteen

21 days out from turning 19, but I have a lot to write about. So let’s jump in.

18. 18 has been one of the most fulfilling years of my life. From starting university, working my first legitimate job, becoming a volunteer and mentor, ticking off milestones in my personal growth plan and feeling like I’ve established myself on this planet; to just being true to myself, I really do believe I’ve come a long way.

 

There’s only one positive affirmation you need to ensure you truly believe in:

I’m where I want to be. I’m working. I’m studying. I’m a proud volunteer and mentor. I’m on a continuous journey, seeking new ways to learn and expand my knowledge. Day by day, I’m conquering, whether it’s with one step or fifty.

This affirmation means so much to me on those days where I feel useless.

 

Surround yourself with the authenticity you practice in your own daily routine:

On a personal level, I decided to come clean to myself, analyse, evaluate and move on. 18 was rough in that my anxiety sky rocketed and it’s become a more prevalent part of my life. However, it also allowed me to understand exactly how I need to combat it. From talking to someone, crying, removing myself from negative situations and sweating it out; learning to grasp my anxiety has made me a better person. Not only that, viewing my anxiety as a building block needing to be conquered, rather than as a block hindering my future successes has made me a more realistic person.

Over the course of 18, I took the plunge and cleansed myself of the toxicity in my life. Past relationships. The bullies. The hurt. The friendships that just stopped. All those tethers led to nothing but a sore neck because they were truly choking me. They brought back emotions and memories that I didn’t want plaguing my life. I don’t need that sort of negativity in my life.

I think what really pushed me to take these steps is a change in mindset.

I value and have always valued having a close circle of friends who I know will always be there for me. I didn’t need a thousand friends on facebook. Because that’s just a statistic. Now, I can affirm that every single person on my friends list is someone I have communicated with more than once.

I have the most supportive circle of friends I could ask for. A group of girls and guys from all walks of life and different areas of the world who will be there for me like I’ll be there for them. And that’s all I want. And need. I have the people in my life who add value to it. Who make life worth living. Who I would go to the ends of the universe for. That’s all I need.

 

To not show is sometimes the best option to conquering obstacles:

I think I became a lot more mature over the course of 18. I’ve always been mature. Situations in life have sped my maturing process up a bit. I’ve always been told I’m mature beyond my years. But I think over 18, I developed the emotional maturity that I saw myself lacking when I was younger. There have been situations in life that are out of my control. And when I was younger, I would lash out because of them. But now, I take these situations and turn them into opportunities to find new avenues for growth and development.

It sounds so cryptic, and maybe one day in the future, I will write a post explaining everything. But I know I’m not ready right now. There’s a huge part of what makes me that is open to so much pity, judgement and questioning, and I don’t know whether I’m ready to show that side of me or not.

 

Embody the attitude you want others to think with when they think of you:

Bitching can be good for the soul. But by dwelling on negative emotions, what good am I doing to myself? How am I improving myself if I too am hurting those who hurt me?

Over 18, I made a conscious decision to rid myself of things that make me talk or think badly of someone or something. After reflecting on my highschool experience, I realised just how much individuals ruin themselves by bitching about others. By talking badly about someone. By judging and causing grief. I’m no saint, but I did take conscious steps to make sure I wasn’t settling to that level of crassness. People have hurt me. People have wronged me. People have used me. But that doesn’t mean I settle to their level and hurt them back. Instead, I chose to clear the air by simply moving on and not looking back. It’s an ongoing process, but it’s made me a much happier person.

 

Find experiences that challenge your comfort zones and show you new perspectives

18 was full of experiences. From going to South Africa and having my mind blown, to returning to Melbourne for a weekend getaway; two concerts and numerous cultural programs; Bollywood dance raves on a boat, the color run, and of course, the timeless and precious moments spent with friends doing everything and anything. In each adventure and experience I undertook, whether it was travelling or simply finding a new route home; I knew I would take something profound from it. I set myself up with the task of branching out and swimming into the deep end.

 

Self expression is the one thing no one can ever take away from you:

This goes hand in hand with confidence. I think 18 taught me a lot about my personality and how I view myself. I learnt the difference between being self demeaning and self critical and made conscious decisions to change that. By settling into my skin, whether it be through the clothes, jewellery and makeup I wore; or by reconnecting with my heritage, I learnt just how valuable self expression is.

 

Even the smallest of kind words goes the longest way:

Isn’t it nice when someone compliments you on the train or bus? Why not reciprocate. If you like someone’s shoes or ensemble, tell them. Thank your bus drivers, your uber drivers, your waiters and your baristas. You’ll feel great. They’ll feel great.

I’m proud of where I stand. Physically. Emotionally. Mentally. Academically. Professionally. Socially. And that’s all I need.

xx Simran

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