18 Things I've Learned

Yesterday was my 18th birthday, and I can't believe I am an officially an "adult." It's really hard to believe, but obviously I don't feel like an adult yet. I recently read Sandra Cisneros' "Eleven" for an AP Lit essay, and I thought it was fitting for my "birth-week." 
"And when you wake up on your eleventh birthday you expect to feel eleven, but you don't. You open your eyes and everything's just like yesterday, only it's today. And you don't feel eleven at all. You feel like you're still ten. And you are --underneath the year that makes you eleven." 
So I don't feel like I am 18, but I did have a lot of "wow. This is all about to over" thoughts during school. My school does this thing where we have a luncheon as a way to recognize good grades, and about halfway through, I looked at my friends and said, "This is our last gold lunch." It's really scary to think about how I am graduating in only a short three months and eight days, but I am definitely excited to be getting ready to go out in the "real world." It's terrifying but exciting. 

What's a birthday dinner without a sombrero and whipped cream all over your face?

Since I turned 18, I thought I would share 18 things I've learned over the years. My 18 years have been nowhere near normal, but who's to say what normal actually is? 

1. Sometimes you just have to wear a tiara or sequins to make yourself feel better. 
Do what makes you happy. Over the years, I've learned to stop caring about what other people think about you. I strongly believe in more sparkle is necessary in life, so why not wear my sequined skirt out in the middle of the day? Especially when it makes me happier. 

2. Don't hold onto people who clearly want to leave. 
This is something I defintely learned in middle school. I tried so hard to keep the exact same friends I made in sixth grade over the next two years. Life doesn't work that way. Relationships, whether it is romantic or friendship, goes both ways. Stop putting in all your effort to something the other person doesn't want. 

3. Dance parties to Taylor Swift or One Direction are always acceptable. 
I am known to blast T.Swift and One Direction and sing very off-key, but I love it. I do this in my car when I am driving home from school, and I don't care if people stare at me. 

4. Life's short. Buy the Terracotta warrior statue. 
Did anyone else's Target have these like ten years ago? Like you could buy, but we didn't, and my mom and sister have regretted it ever since. This also falls under the treat yo self motto. If you love something and it brings you joy, buy it. 

5. In the end, everything will be okay. If it's not okay, it's not the end. 
My mom tells me this all the time, and it's a nice reminder. 

6. If you don't like raisins, make your own trail mix. 
I used to buy trail mix, but I hate raisins, so I was spending $7 and not eating half of it. I realized I should just make my own trail mix with stuff I love. If you don't like something, change it. 

7. Don't be ashamed about what you love. 
I am an unabashed nerd. I love Star Wars, Harry Potter, and Doctor Who. Maybe me loving those things so much that I read theories about them all the time makes me lame, but who cares? Not me. 

8. Spending time with your best friends is always special even if you're sitting on their bed while scrolling through Twitter.
Your best friends in high school are so important, and you only have four years to spend every moment you can with them. Days spent sitting with Natalie watching TV or scrolling through Twitter are just as important as the days we got out and have adventures. 

9. Sometimes you just need to watch an entire season of a show on Netflix in one day. 
Days can be rough, and sometimes all you can do is accidentally watch an entire season of a show and go to school sleep deprived. 

10. Never, ever turn down a chance to go shopping with your mom or to watch a game with your dad. 
Or whatever you do with your parents. I've learned that time with my parents is incredibly important especially since my dad got transferred. 

11. You are not required to be the same person you were five minutes ago. 
Growing up means just that. Growing up. People change, and no one should expect you to be the same person forever. 

12. Work hard so you can party harder. 
This sounds weird because I don't party, but I do believe hard work is everything. 

13. Breakfast at Tiffany's can fix anything. 
I'm basically Blair Waldorf, but this is my favorite movie. No matter how bad I am feeling, just listening to Moon River makes me so much happier. 

14. Become best friends with your teachers. They can be one of your greatest support systems. 
I love my teachers so much, and they've supported me over the past four years in ways I could not imagine. Talk to your teachers outside of class. Go ask for extra help. Do your homework. 

15. "There's always next year." 
This is something my dad always tells me when our sports teams lose. There's always next year. You can always rebuild and make things better for the next season. 

16. The future is never fully set in stone.
Things can always change, and if you spend too much time planning, you miss out on the fun. Don't worry too much about the future because life can bring anything that can change your plans. 

17. The bigger the hair (bow), the closer to God. 
Need I say more?

18. "Life begins at the end of your comfort zone." 
I am not one for leaving my little box, but I've learned when you step outside, life becomes more fun. More interesting. More exciting. My best example of this is me managing the football team. It terrified me to start something so new, so unknown, but I am so glad I did because I met some of my favorite people through football. My high school experience would be nowhere close as amazing as it was without football, and to think, I thought about quitting freshman year.

Hope y'all have a good Friday!!!
xx, jKm