While scrolling through Instagram, I came across a post that spoke to me deeply. It’s as if whoever wrote it had a sneak peek into my life and my past because the piece seemed to have been written specifically for me. A further dive into the comment section revealed that there were many more people who found the post extremely useful, as well as others who agreed with everything the writer had written. Then I realized I needed to share this post, along with my two cents, so that many more people might benefit from it.

We so often fail to recognize that some of our actions, inactions, decisions, and indecisions have long-term consequences in our lives. Sometimes we do these things out of ignorance, peer pressure, or a desire to please others, to the detriment of ourselves. And if we don’t put a stop to them in time, we often come to regret them in our later years. This brings me to the first point, which I wish I had known a lot sooner in my life.

Normalize saying “No” without needing to over-explain yourself

It is extremely difficult for some of us to say no because we have an innate desire to please everyone. We don’t want to be seen as the bad guy; we just want to get along with everyone. So we often stray out of our way to do things we don’t want to do, inconveniencing ourselves in the process. Those who are seemingly brave enough to say “No” usually follow it up with an essay explaining why! The irony is that the people we frequently go out of our way to please will usually have no trouble saying no to us. They are, in fact, the ones who consistently let us down. You need to set boundaries for yourself and be firm in the boundaries you set; which includes being okay with saying “No.” If someone is offended by your boundaries, that’s their problem. The best weight you’ll ever lose is the weight of other people’s opinions of you.

Don’t subscribe to other people’s definition of “fun”

It took me a while to learn this one, and honestly, I’m still learning it. Your idea of fun doesn’t have to mean drinking, partying, and socialising. Fun can be a night alone, getting lost in a book, a deep conversation, a walk, creating art, playing music, or doing your work. Fun is yours; you define it.

Age 15-30 is an important era of your life

This is the time in your life when your decisions will have a major impact on the rest of your life. Your choices at this time will definitely impact your life, either negatively or positively. Peer pressure and social pressure also come knocking. You make friends and you lose them too. You make mistakes and you fix them. You fall, you fail, you hit reality, you learn, you grow, you fall in love, and you get hurt too. You lose yourself and you eventually become stronger. Remember! These are probably some of the best years of your life. You should understand the difference between enjoying it and ruining it.

Prioritize mental as opposed to physical attractiveness

Spend less time aiming to be more physically attractive in order to impress your crush and more time attempting to make yourself mentally attractive. Educate yourself, deal with your insecurities, and learn to be happy on your own. That’s attractive!

Don’t skip over the important topics before marriage

Before you get married, discuss bills, parenting styles, credit, debt, how to deal with family, what beliefs will be instilled in your children, childhood traumas, sexual expectations, partner expectations, financial expectations, family health history, bucket list, dream home, career and education, political views, and whatever else comes to mind. Love is not enough.

Hurt people, hurt people

Heal before having children so your children don’t have to heal from having you as a parent. This can not be overemphasized! 

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