Eighteen Lessons from Eighteen Years

Eighteen Lessons from Eighteen Years

E I G H T E E N

Today I am 18. This is my 18th year orbiting the sun on this lovely planet and I felt inspired to do this post after reading the ones by Hannah over on hannclaire.com.

18 is a birthday like no other. I’m in a city I’ve never been in before, without my family, or closest friends. I am entering adulthood completely surrounded by the unknown.

I am in the beautiful, windy city of Chicago with my fellow student journalists.

I would hope that after being on earth this long (Wow, I’m old) that I have learned a few things. I am the bus driver of the struggle bus, and so today I’m sharing a few of the many things I’ve learned from all the bumps in the road.

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An Eighteen Look

1 – If you are young and don’t like coffee now, there’s like a 98.9% by the time you get to high school and/or college you will simply because you won’t be able to function without it. Facts.

2- Be good to people, ALL people. I mean absolutely everyone. Regardless of the circumstances. Maybe they’re having a bad day, or maybe they just happen to enjoy being a crappy person, but no matter how hard it may be, be good to them. There need to be more people in this world choosing positivity instead of spreading negativity.

3 – On that note, I know it is something everyone is guilty of, including myself, but don’t talk sh*t. When you feel in the mood to rant to somebody about someone else, take a deep breath, and find something constructive to do with your time.

Be creative, read a book, paint a picture, or do I what I do: Sometimes, I open up a blank document and write about all the things I want to rant about. Once it’s done and I feel better getting it off my chest, I exit the page and don’t save it. Sometimes that is all it takes, no hurt feelings necessary.

4 – The things you say will come back to haunt you, so once again, be the better person and don’t spread the negative energy.

5 – Don’t ever underestimate the worth of your own happiness.

6 – Driving isn’t as scary as I thought it was. Now I can’t imagine myself being stranded somewhere because I couldn’t rely on myself as my own form of transportation. It seems so crazy to me that almost three months ago driving still scared me to death, but now I can’t imagine not wanting to drive. Conclusion: Just do it. You’ll be okay!!

7 – Even the closest friendships may need a little distance to grow stronger.

8 – People do change, however, it is up to them, and them alone, if it is for better or worse.

9 – Always be yourself. I know its cliche, but seriously, be confident in your own abilities, decisions, and actions.

10 – Always advocate for anyone and everyone who needs it. There is always something you can do to help.

11 – It’s okay to take time for yourself. This applies to absolutely anything and everything. If you feel selfish about it, you’re doing it right. If you feel like you’re being selfish for wanting to be alone, that shows how much you really need it. We all need a little time to reflect and grow in order to thrive, so don’t feel bad for taking care of yourself.

SELF-LOVE ISN’T SELFISH

12 – Unleash your inner Mama Bear. Don’t be afraid to stand up for the people you love. It may take some time for you to learn how to stand up for yourself, but when s

13 – Although you will do everything in your power not to admit it, your parents are right most of the time.

14 – You don’t always have to agree with others, but you do always have to show them respect because everyone has a right to their own opinion.

15 – Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. The most amazing things can happen when you do.

16 – “Live in such a way that if someone were to speak poorly of you, no one would believe it” is the greatest quote to live by.

17 – Once you find what you’re passionate about and makes you happiest, don’t stop pursuing it.

18 – Don’t ever, ever, EVER give up on your dreams. You can’t place a price tag on a dream. Dreams are more valuable than any tangible good you could

xoxo, Katie

 

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Why Dating isn’t a Priority for Me as a Girl in High School

Why Dating isn’t a Priority for Me as a Girl in High School

Of course, a lot has changed since I was a freshman in high school, but I still feel that many teenage girls going into high school get lost in the idea of having a boyfriend or a special someone. I know when I was a freshman I was the same way.

Anymore, I feel that girls are actually speeding down the fast track for maturity as so many teenage girls are getting involved in the women empowerment movement and other important activist groups of our time. I know so many girls that are only the age of thirteen and are blogging, working with brands, and spreading the messages of positivity and girl power online at age thirteen.

Although it really wasn’t that long ago I was a thirteen-year-old girl, I cannot imagine myself even beginning to understand the kind of issues taking place in our society today. Things were so different, and so many things have changed just in the past few years with social media. Girls are learning about important issues at a younger age, and they are paying attention.

High school is supposed to be a time of fun, but for me, and many other young women, it has become a time of growth, reflection, self-discovery, and a newfound awareness for what is happening in our world.

I am a seventeen-year-old girl trying to figure out how to turn her blog into a business. Like, I am seventeen. That is actually crazy to think about. Four years ago I would have never imagined myself doing what I’m doing now, trying to start my own business and trying to figure out how I can be a part of something that will have an impact in this world. It’s absolutely insane to me.

I only see the images of what I thought high school would be like. Having my best friends from junior high by my side, taking on the world, high school parties, and having a cute boy to dance with at the prom. Little did I know none of those things would pan out for me.

There was once a time where I couldn’t imagine going through high school without a “high school sweetheart.” I knew my mom had one so I just assumed I would, but I don’t, and that’s okay because times have changed so has what I want.

I am going through high school without one just like thousands, maybe even millions of other girls have and it’s totally acceptable, just not what is seen as “normal”.

I know most people from previous generations don’t understand this at all. They don’t understand why I would even want to go to a prom without being accompanied by a date, but I do. I’m going with my best friends because maybe I’ll have an even better time with them than I would a date because unless he has the stamina to dance like a lot, I honestly don’t think he could keep up, just saying.

I’m not mad I don’t have a special someone right now. I don’t even let it bug me. I’m quiet, pretty shy, don’t have a ton of confidence and I don’t like to put myself out there, so I’ve never given myself the opportunity to meet someone I really connect with. But you know what, I’m doing just fine without that for now.

I’ve gotten to use this time to learn to love and appreciate myself because how can I expect somebody else to love me if I don’t truly love myself?

I have a different focus. I’m learning things, lots of things. I’m learning about what it means to be a modern-day woman and I’m learning what female empowerment can do. I’m becoming aware of our history and the many prejudices that fog the eyes of members of our society and the misuse of power. I’m learning that the spreading of kindness and love can change things in this world. I’m learning that lifting people up, will, in turn, lift you up, and dragging people down only gets you closer to the ground. Most importantly, I’m learning about what it means to be happy.

I’ve had what we awkward folks call “things” with guys in high school, you know where you both are interested but it goes absolutely nowhere because you both are awkward as hell… Yeah, I’ve had lots of those and I’m just a little sick of them at this point.

I’m not saying if the right guy came along, I would push him away, but what I am saying is that it is 2018 and the search for Mr. Right in high school shouldn’t be your main mission. I promise you there’s always a chance to find love at any stage of your life. There are so many other things you can focus on during this short period of your life.

My main priority in high school is to surround myself with people who make me happy, who inspire me, who make me feel good, and who lift me up instead of bringing me down, so I can grow as a person, and focus on discovering who I am.

If I happen to meet a guy who wants to be a part of this journey I’m on, of course, I’ll be beyond excited, but if I don’t, I’m not going to be torn up about it. He’ll show up eventually, but until he does I don’t have any time to waste.

I am still trying to determine my place in this big beautiful, ever-growing world. I like to think that both plants and people require healthy environments for growth. So by surrounding myself with amazing people, I create a better environment for myself to grow into the person I want to be. If one of those people happens to be a guy who just so happens to want to be my boyfriend, great! But that’s not what my main goal is.

I am definitely not telling you that if you have a special someone in high school to dump them and set off on this quest because maybe your special someone is a part of your quest. I am just saying that if you don’t, it’s okay because there are so many other things to do and learn in high school that I guarantee will benefit you even more than algebra, english, or biology.

Learn who you are. Try new things, meet new people, attend that callout meeting for that club you’re interested in, go to the football game on Friday night, text that cute boy you sit next to in geometry, but don’t forget to stop and look in the mirror every once in a while and realize who you are. You might be surprised at who you meet.

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3 Ways to Spend Valentine’s Day Without a Date

3 Ways to Spend Valentine’s Day Without a Date

Ah, the day of love is fast approaching, and for some of us, this brings a new kind of dread, while for others it means nothing but hopeless romance plays on a constant loop in their head.

If you happen to be single this year, no worries! I feel ya and we all have been there at least once in our lives, so feel free to adopt the “No date, no problem!” mentality to keep yourself from getting into a funk. Other suggestions? Let me tell you a few of my favorite things you can do for Valentine’s Day without a date.


I am fully aware that these should all be easy ideas to think of, but even though I consider them every year, I never end up doing any of them. Why let my unofficial plans go to waste when I can share them with you! These are all perfect things to do any time of year, but they are extra awesome for Valentine’s Day.

Now, if you’re one of those ladies who lets the day of love get you down, I suggest surrounding yourself with people who love you and who you have fun with to help you remember that as long as you have friends who love you, a man can wait (says the girl who’s working on Valentine’s Day . . . but hey, it’s the thought that counts).

But seriously, moping around the house because you don’t have anyone to take you out to dinner isn’t a good way to spend the day. I’m not really a huge fan of pretending the day doesn’t exist either, but maybe that’s how you cope. However, may I suggest that you consider the idea that Valentine’s Day isn’t just for couples? It’s the day of love, and therefore means ALL love. Ever heard of a little thing called self-love? That counts too.


Take Yourself Out to Dinner

Nothing says Galentine’s Day quite like getting all dressed up, going out to dinner, and buying yourself a nice meal. You don’t need a man to take you out to that fine place with the amazing rolls, you can take yourself there and share those rolls (maybe) with your besties.

Have a good time, catch up, tell dating horror stories, or even spill some tea. Whatever it takes to have a great night out with the girls.

Pizza & Movie Night

Pizza, movies, and your best gals, what could be better? Whether you’re the chick flick type . . .

“Should we watch The Notebook or Love Actually?”

. . . or the action movie type . . .

“Let’s binge watch the original Star Wars trilogy!”

I just recommend you watch whatever will not make you more depressed about your love life.

My Movie Night Picks

+ Dirty Dancing —come on now, you know it’s because of Patrick Swayze.

+ Star Wars: Return of the Jedi —because Ewoks! And the Han and Leia storyline of course.

+ Marvel’s Ant Man —becaue Paul Rudd . . . and the entire cast is freaking hilarious.

+ Pride and Prejudice —just watched it for the first time and WOW. Somebody get me a copy of the book ASAP.

A ‘Treat Yo Self’ Spa Night

Face masks, hair styling, and manicures, oh my!

Even if you’re not really the makeover type, everybody deserves to the be the ‘treat yo self’ type, even for just one night. You’ll feel good, and you deserve it. So go ahead, go a little crazy, pamper yourself and have a blast. Paint your nails that gorgeous shade of pink you’ve been saving for a special occasion because by for heaven’s sake it’s Valentine’s day and even though it may not be a date night, it is for sure a special occasion.


All of these still sound like too much planning? I get it. My best suggestion for you is to have a dance party. By yourself, with your mom, with your bestie, with your cat, or even with your totally awesome sister (Shoutout to Em the dance party queen!).

Just turn on your jams and have a good time. Why? Because nobody deserves to feel bad all alone on Valentine’s Day, so make yourself happy by whatever means necessary, because it’s one day out of one year, out of several years that make up your entire lifetime. There will be other Valentine’s days, so for now, just live your best life. The rest will all work out in the end.

I hope you have a Happy Valentine’s Day! Whether you have a beau or not.

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