Last week I started my final year of school. I’m sorry… WHAT?! It honestly feels like two minutes ago I was finishing year 6 and feeling oh-so grown up. And it honestly doesn’t feel much longer ago that I was having my reception induction day either… crazy how time flies when you’re having fun and growing up.
I didn’t think I’d feel emotional writing this post but it hit me recently that this week I turn 18 and become an adult. CRAZY. I still have this year left of school, but so many things are starting to change which is oh-so beautiful but at the same time very bittersweet as well. These last 13 (nearly 14) years of my life have been very predictable overall, very much focused around school. Sure, other things have come and gone, and it feels crazy that in 9 or so more months I’ll be finished with this chapter, moving out (more on that later), and starting an entirly new adventure.
Whilst I’m super excited for that, I’m also trying really hard to make the most of every. single. day this year, even if I don’t love all the things I’ve got coming up. When I’m done with this year, nothing will ever be quite like it is again, and whilst that’s super exciting, I wanna be able to look back on growing up and know I made the most of it.
Anyway, as I’ve been reflecting on coming towards the end of this adventure and starting a new, even bigger one, and in honor of turning 18, here’s 17 things I learned aged 17 (and before).
1. You don’t need to be important to everyone
You’re not gonna be everyones fave person and everyones best friend, and thats okay. Sure, being super-duper popular might seem cool but those things are gonna fade after school. I’m so much happier with my few closest friends then I have been in the times I’ve tried to please everyone else.
2. Jesus is a really good best friend
It sucks being lonely. It sucks feeling like you haven’t found you’re people. It sucks not fitting in. But you know who’s a way cooler friend then all those girls you just wish would wanna be your best friend? Jesus. It took a min for me to realise it but Jesus really is the bestest best friend I’ve ever had.
3. Your body is really awesome
People are gonna try and tell you that you gotta look a certain way to be ‘beautiful’. That you should be skinny in all the right places and curvy in all the others. That you should have perfect eyebrows and no body hair. That cellulite is the biggest nope. But you know what? Your body is perfect just as it is, it does so many cool things, and there’s no ‘right’ way to look.
4. You can’t always be right but you can always be kind
Yep, I said what I said.
5. There is nothing wrong with being sensitive or showing emotion
The number of times I was told I’m ‘too sensitive’ or I ‘care too much’. AGH! Seriously though, empathy is a beautiful thing and being sensitive to how other people might be feeling is a quality that I admire in so many people.
6. Don’t overthink
Not saying that I never overthink (I for sure do) but try as hard as you can not to spiral. Things usually aren’t as deep as you’re making them out to be and overthinking really isn’t worth it.
Someone told me this whilst we were in America this summer and I realised that’s really something I’ve been realising over this past year, and something I’m trying to hold onto as I go through some slightly tougher days at the moment. Even when life is tough there can still be so much beauty around you.
8. Enjoy this moment
Life goes fast. I’m only 17 (nearly 18 eek) but I’ve already noticed how fast time flies by sometimes. Blink and you’ll miss some of the most precious moments.
9. Prayer is actually very powerful but you won’t figure that out until you start doing it
I was listening to a sermon recently where the pastor said that sometimes we don’t pray because we’re too afraid that nothing will happen. From experience, I can confirm the truth of this statement. But prayer is actually so powerful and during the times in my life where I’ve tried to prayed continually (1 Thess 5:17) I’ve seen God work or answer me, even if it wasn’t how I was hoping or expecting.
10. Jesus will never leave you alone
‘The Lord Himself goes before you and behind you, He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid, do not be discouraged.’ Deut. 31:8 (NIV)
‘For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ Rom 8:38-39
11. You can’t be too far gone for Jesus
Might not feel like it but even the worst thing you’ve ever done or could ever do isn’t bad enough to separate from Jesus’ love for you. He’s the perfect Father and He’s gonna love you anyway. If you won’t take it from me, check out the Bible.
12. Obsessing over the calories just isn’t worth it
Ice cream is yummy (my fave food actually). So is pizza and McDonalds and cookies and bday cake and hotdogs and french fries. Sure, be healthy, look after your body, everything in moderation, but obsessing over every little number, punishing yourself for something you’ve eaten and getting all up in your head about it isn’t worth it. I PROMISE.
13. Look out for you sisters
Seasons change, there are going to be friends that come and go, but your sisters will always be around. Whether its the ones you’re born with or the ones you choose, they’re gonna be there for life. Sure, they might suck when they don’t share their clothes or pretend they hate you but (iykyk). Sisters are forever though, so make sure you look out for them.
14. If he wanted to he would…
… and if he doesn’t then he problably doesn’t want to. It’s just not worth it. Yes, it hurts; yes, it might suck but; yes, it might take weeks… months… to move on, but you WILL get over it. Eat some ice cream, have a cry, cuddle your pup and then move on, you can do better than some guy who’s leaving you hanging or sending mixed messages ❤
15. YOU ARE NOT A BURDEN. YOU ARE NOT A BURDEN. YOU ARE NOT A BURDEN.
You are SO loved. You are SO special. You are SO valued. You are literally uniquly designed by God, there is no one else like you, you are infinatly precious to your Heavenly Father. There have been periods in my life when I’ve let myself doubt this and they’ve been so lonely compared to the times I’ve walked confidently in this truth. (Again, don’t just take it from me, it’s in the Bible.)
16. Jesus is soooooo much better
I get it, it might seem so important to you now but Jesus is so much better than any friend we could have, anything we could buy, any trip we could go on or any amount of attention we could have. His love is literally better than LIFE.
17. I don’t actually know an awful lot …
… even if I like to think I do. I make mistakes everyday. It’s okay to admit you don’t know the answer. Still working on this one myself haha but striving to be humble and teachable
Friend, number 17 is so true. I really don’t know an awful lot about anything at all. With that in mind, it really does mean the world to me that you’re here, reading what I write and following along with my messy and all-over the place life where I’m just doing my best to get by and to love Jesus.
So here’s to 18 I guess! 🎉