I'm feeling pretty introspective tonight and I have been thinking a lot about life lessons I've had to learn the hard way. So, in my two decades of life, here's what I've learned...
  1. Losing sleep is not always a bad thing
    Late night talks, card games, camping trips... Sometimes it's worth losing sleep in order to make some great memories. These are the moments that you will remember and the moments that will build you lasting relationships
  2. Face-to-face talks are the best and are really underrated
    Texting is weird and phone calls can be awkward. Nothing beats sitting down and talking through life with another person. It's important to have actual conversations and see the other person's reactions and emotions. (Facetiming or Skyping are good substitutes and I should really get better at keeping up with people this way)
  3. Try not to let the opinions of others bother you
    Easier said than done, I know. But it doesn't it benefit you to worry about what others are thinking about you. It will only lead to stress and resentment and insecurities. Some things you just have to let go of
  4. Make sure you have quiet moments
    Nothing is more peaceful than laying under the night sky or watching a storm roll in or simply sitting and listening. Maybe I just enjoy solitude too much, but I think it's so important to have moments like this to just sit and reflect
  5. You can't fix everyone
    As hard as you try, you can't always be the one who fixes everything. There are some people who you can't help and some situations you can't fix and you need to be okay with that
  6. Don't rush your life
    Time goes by so fast. Don't be constantly wishing for tomorrow because some really amazing moments are passing you by in the meantime. Make sure you're fully present in each and every second
  7. Do not let anyone doubt for a single second how you feel about them
    Someone told me one time that you shouldn't ever end the day with someone doubting where they stand with you. This might mean putting pride or fears aside. People rarely say how they really feel, and I think this causes more harm than good
  8. Everything is not black and white
    When you're a child, the world seems so simple. In reality, though, it's chaotic and messy and, quite frankly, pretty fucked up sometimes. But that's okay. There is not a simple answer to every question, and that's part of the beauty of life
  9. Your faith will be put to the test
    And it won't be easy. There will be unanswered questions that you just can't let go of, anger over situations that you can't control, and the busyness of life that always seems to get in the way. But always remind yourself that you have never been abandoned and that you were fearfully and wonderfully made
  10. You will experience loss and you will learn to move on
    There is nothing that hurts as much or that is as emotionally draining as the punched-in-the-gut feeling of loosing someone you love. It's absolutely shitty, but everyone will experience the death of a loved one and it's just something you learn to survive
  11. There are some people in your life that are not worth holding on to
    You will encounter people who are simply not "good" for you, as cliché as that sounds. They are the people that bring out a side of you that you don't like or that don't put in the same effort as you. It's not worth the time or energy to keep these people in your life
  12. On the other hand, hold on to the people that are most important to you
    Life has a funny way of moving people in unexpected directions. Make sure that you don't let go of the friends that have always stood by your side and loved you no matter what. And do not take that friendship for granted; make sure that you also continue to be there for them
  13. Your hometown will always be your hometown
    Even if you leave for college or move away, the place where you grew up will always hold a special place in your heart. It does not define you, but it will shape you into the person you become. This is not a bad thing
  14. You need to take a few chances
    Fear is one of the most crippling emotions and can lead to you missing out on some amazing opportunities. Take those chances, even if they scare the living hell out of you... Those often lead to the best opportunities
  15. You will not figure out everything at once
    And if you think you have, you're probably wrong about something. Life is about making mistakes and learning from them. It's not always easy. It can be frustrating to not know what the future holds and not be able to control what happens. And it's scary as hell. But somehow, the pieces always seem to fall into place
  16. (This got more preachy than I thought it would, but oh well)