25 Things I’ve Learned in My 25 Years: An Intimate Ode to Life’s Lessons

By Emily Black

  1. I’m a hard woman to love -- when you hand me a rose, I take it by the thorns.

Some people require patience, understanding, and a gentle kind of ruthlessness when in a relationship. Learn how you need to be loved, and express that to others. Identify what baggage you may carry, and don’t bleed on others who did not cut you. Learn every day how to get better at loving yourself, loving others, and accepting the love that you receive.

  1. Toxic relationships are hard to get out of, but it is possible -- when you keep taking poison in small doses you become immune.

You are not stuck, although it may feel that way. Harmful relationship cycles are hard to break, but once you are ready, you will free yourself. 

  1. There is NO  easy way out of anything -- if you keep cutting corners you only end up in a circle.

Feel the pain. Allow it to pass. Numbing yourself with distractions such as food, sex, alcohol, or drugs will only perpetuate the cycle. Do things differently, no matter how uncomfortable it may be. 

  1. I AM a feminist. I kept quiet about it for a while until I learned the best response to being called a bitch is to bark back.

The opinion of others and the negative connotations associated with the word, “feminism,” are merely a scare tactic to prevent you from stepping into your true power. 5.

  1. A life without creation is a life of destruction. Writing is my therapy.

Whether it be words on a page, paint on a canvas, or a kind action left on someone’s heart, leave your mark. 

  1. In life, there is beauty, tragedy, and the in-between. It’s important to appreciate each one equally.

Every moment in life is meant to be endured, appreciated, and collected. It makes you, you.

  1. The past is the past. Let go of it or be dragged.

You don’t have to hold on to what makes you feel heavy. That trauma or pain you may have experienced isn’t part of your personality, it is part of your experience. Allow yourself to break free from what no longer serves you.

  1. Travel often.

Travel to learn about yourself and others. Break out of your comfort zone and daily routine to allow your mind to be shaped by the experiences that life has to offer. Oh, and, LEAVE YOUR HOMETOWN.

  1. The problem with being a wildfire is people want to put you out. It’s okay to live with passion. It’s okay to be chaotic. Don’t let normality smother you.

Live wildly and freely. Do so without hurting yourself or others. It’s okay to not want a 9-5, a family, a white-picket fence, or anything else society pressures you to have. It’s okay to live a life that others do not understand.

  1. When you die, you won’t be remembered for the car you drove or the iPhone you owned. You will be remembered for the art you left behind.

What do you want to leave behind?

  1. Perfectionism is detrimental to self-esteem -- allow mediocrity, allow failure, allow yourself to be human.

You will not be perfect at the first swing of something new. Don’t get pissed at yourself for falling short of your high expectations. The first step at being great is failing and adapting. 

  1. I used to be that girl who would constantly throw myself into a blender and pour myself out to others, only to be left with an empty cup. Please take care of yourself first. 

Empathy is a double-edged sword. It makes you an incredible friend, lover, and family member, but it can also be detrimental to your wellbeing. Take care of yourself before others. You cannot pour from an empty cup.

  1. When my ex and I broke up he told me, “Emily, please don’t break my heart. You live there.” This is when I understood why rioters destroy their own neighborhoods. When you’re weakened by others, YOU empower YOURself.

Oppression exists in many forms and is handled with many different reactions. Know your worth and fight for what you deserve.

  1. You cannot selectively numb emotions. You cannot take away the bad without taking the good. Let sadness visit, just don’t let it stay.

Spend time in bed crying, screaming, punching, whatever. Feel the negative emotions fully so you may experience the great ones with authenticity. 

  1. I have a mind trapped in between logic and emotion. This is often painful and confusing. It comes with internal contradictions, but also small moments of clarity that allow me to create something great.

There is a spectrum of emotions, thoughts, and ways of being. You are allowed to contradict yourself. It is okay to be two different people. It is okay to change your mind.

  1. Van Gogh used to swallow yellow paint because he thought it would create happiness inside of him. Everyone has their own yellow paint. Don’t judge others for how they heal.

Some people do drugs, others go for a run. Life is so fragile and people are so complex. We do not know each other’s stories. Let people walk their own path, and pray for their best.

  1. I stopped arguing politics on Facebook when I realized people only understand from their level of perception.

Communication is important, but understanding is equally important. Some people are not capable of stepping outside of their reality and understanding the perception of others. Know when to save your energy.

  1. I am beautiful, I’m just not my “type.”

Many of us struggle with self-esteem and body image. We are perfectly fine, but maybe we are just not our “type.” Admire others without feeling lack. Other people look at you as the pinnacle of beauty.

  1. You cannot allow forward-thinking to blind you from the present moment.

Stay mindful. It is okay to think of the future and create goals but remind yourself that you are right here, right now, and that is all that really matters. 

  1. It is okay to feel lost.

No one has life figured out. Period.

  1. Emotion and thought are two different languages.

You cannot think your way out of unpleasant feelings. The heart and the mind work together, but they do not work the same way. 

  1. Happiness is not a destination; it is a journey. 

Happiness is already inside of you. It is not something you must chase or find. Buying or doing things won’t bring you happiness, only your mindset will. 

  1. Comparison is a death sentence to your confidence.

Comparing ourselves to others is one of the most toxic habits that can drastically affect our mental health and emotional wellbeing. Get off social media and start writing down what you like about yourself… now. 

  1. Whether right or wrong, everything you do is born out of a set of beliefs that have been instilled in you.

We have the power to uninstall our limiting beliefs and blocks that hold us back. Go deep into reflection and find what part of you is sabotaging your growth.

  1. The best way to rid yourself of anxiety is to expose yourself to whatever frightens you. That is why I chose to write this article.

Do something scary. You’ll thank yourself later.

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