Things I learned as a teenager

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H E L L O

&

Welcome

I celebrated my 22nd birthday last week, and it made me reflect on my life a little.

I personally love reading life lessons from other people, which is why  I felt inspired to write about a specific time in my own life: being a teenager.
Probably the most uncomfortable and awkward stage of my life.
So far.
Sweet Jesus it better stay that way.

So this week I’ve come up with a few things I learned as a teenager, mixed in with some advice I would pass on to my younger self.

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Live in the present

You shouldn’t compare yourself to anyone, but this one was especially relevant when I was around fourteen.
I looked up to girls who were in their late teens or in their twenties and could not understand why they all looked fabulous and put-together, while I had the styling and make-up skills of an unbaked potato. Those girls all had years of their own experiences behind them and lived completely different lives than me. Enjoy being the age you are right now, you’ll be in your twenties soon enough.
In the meantime: being jealous of anyone won’t do you any good, so knock it off.

You are not fat, you’re growing. Idiot.

I had, and sometimes still have, a very unhealthy view of the way I perceive my own body. Not unusual for most teens, but it’s been that way since I was ten. I moved from the countryside in Italy to a slightly more urban area in Belgium
OH SO SLIGHTLY
Girls would talk about weight and looks a lot more in my new school, so I got it in my head from day one that I was big.
Huge, actually.

me at 10:

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I was chubby, never immensely overweight.
At fifteen I grew a bunch and everything sort of evened out. Not going to lie, I also did some pretty stupid and unhealthy things to get the weight off, but that’s not the point I’m trying to make. The problem was never my body, it was how I looked at myself. It only got much worse when I lost weight. Girls (and guys) gain weight during puberty anyway, that’s normal.
What isn’t normal  or healthy is being utterly disgusted with the look and feel of your own body. It’s just changing, it means you’re growing into an adult and you’re supposed to.

The world isn’t against you. Stop being so angry.

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Oh my God did I feel like everyone hated me.
I had the good fortune to be a teen during the peak of the My Chemical Romance days, so I listened to their music on repeat for about six years.
Still my favorite band ever by the way.
I walked the hallways of my school with my ipod on full blast oh yea bringing it back to 2005 here and would put on my worst resting bitch face while powerwalking myself from class to class. Anyone who had any sort of criticism was an awful human being who simply had to hate me.
Now I don’t want to burst your little bubble of negativity, but you’re not that important. Especially in school, people are very consumed with themselves and like to lash out at others simply because they can. Usually, it has very little to do with you. Chill a little, maybe listen to some Adele every once in a while and compose yourself. Good manners are never overrated. Treat people with respect and you will receive it in return. That includes teachers. You’re not being a badass, you’re being a d*ck.

Go to a party every once in a while, you nerd

I had an intense fear of failing at school, which resulted in me almost never going out to any sort of party. I thought that you were either into parties or into taking your education seriously, no grey area.
Not true.
I have to thank one of my best friends for dragging me along to parties; otherwise I would have been a total nun by the age of 18. She loved to go out and was always the social butterfly, but still managed to get her sh*t together for finals and absolutely ace them every single time.
You can do both, but don’t ever feel peer-pressured into drinking or doing drugs.

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 Having a boyfriend isn’t a goal
Back when I was fifteen I was very prude and extremely shy when it came to dating. I did feel the pressure to date, and I got talked into dating some dude by a few “friends”. It didn’t even last 24h and all our communication happened over reaaally lame texts.
I wasn’t  even interested in the guy at all. Sorry buddy.
Romantic relationships especially can’t be forced, and looking back I’m very glad I didn’t date during high school. You’ll know when you meet someone if it’s something worth pursuing. Dating random people doesn’t make you cool and it’s not going to make you feel better about yourself.

Being alone is better than being surrounded by toxic people

Sort of ties in with the last one. I had one amazing friend in high school and I’m still very close with her today, but I also had a lot of casual friends who weren’t always the nicest. I remember I got teased mercilessly for having a crush on this kid who my ‘cool’ friends considered to be an ugly geek, and I wasn’t allowed to date him.
Not kidding.
I’m sure these girls  are all lovely people now, but I was very impressionable and looked up to them for advice. To be honest, being part of a group I didn’t feel included in made me feel a lot more alone. We all grew apart before school was even over, except me and my soulmate.
Even if you’re not as lucky as I am to have one of those, being alone is much better than trying to impress people who don’t give a damn about you.

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Spend time with your family

My family is everything to me.

When you’re a teenager, you’ll want to become your own person and a lot of times that means breaking away from your family. I remember this girl in my class who would always make time for her sisters, even at school. She was teased about it, but she never cared. Me, on the other hand, would pretend I wouldn’t know my sister if I saw her in the hallway. Or I’d flip her off.
To be fair, we are pretty close in age and would butt heads a lot more back then. Thing is, you don’t realize that this specific time with your family is limited. You’re never going to live in the same house together again.
I freaking hope so.
I love living on my own now, but I also think back of when we were all rushing to get to school in time in the morning and fighting over the bathroom. We always ate dinner together, which was my favourite time of the day. No matter how bad my day got at school, I knew I’d always come home to an awesome place.
Little things can so easily be taken for granted.
Spend time with friends, but also remember your family. You’re going to miss them a hell of a lot more when you move out.

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Get a job.

Teaches you to be responsible and wake your ass up before 2 P.M. It’s probably the only regret I have. Learning about money and how to handle your own finances is something you should start doing now.
Also, always put a portion of your pay check into your savings. Even if it’s a little bit, it will come in handy one day.

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Stop worrying so much about the future.

You can’t predict perfectly how your life is going to turn out, no matter how bad you want to.
You can look at your friends who seem to know exactly what they want and feel like your life doesn’t have any direction, but they’re probably just as confused as you are.
Nobody leads a perfectly planned out life. How boring would that be anyway?!
All I can say is that if you want to do something that is considered a risky or pursue an unstable career, just give it a shot. Trying it and realizing it’s not what you want is a whole lot better than looking back with regret.

 It’s your life and your decisions, and you’re the one living with the consequences.

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Hope you enjoyed, and I’ll see you again soon

Love,

Lizz

Xo

 

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