It’s my birthday! I am 22. Twenty-Two. I’ve been on this earth for twenty-two years. I’m too lazy to do the rest of the maths such as the months, days, estimated minutes and seconds, like who has the time right? So, of course, I can’t have been on this earth that long and not have learnt something, with it being my birthday it is very fitting for me to share with you lessons I have learnt just by being alive.
I am celebrating my birthday this month, with the online book community, and it would be wonderful if you could take part in it, I’m calling it #BDayReadingChallenge and by clicking on it, it will take you to the post where I’ve explained what it’s about and you can find the reading prompts. Thank you.
THE IMPORTANCE OF READING
You know me, a reader for life. Reading is extremely important, it’s a wonderful thing to be literate because it gives us access to the many beautiful things that literature can cover. I have travelled and explored too many different lands, countries, experiences and learnt so much from reading, that I don’t know how some people are still proud to say “I don’t like reading.” I’m all about not shaming people for their differences, but people who do not read for leisure or as a hobby do not know what in the world they are missing. Reading has gotten me through so many bumps in life, it’s my number one trusty buddy and I know there will never be a time where I would not love reading because it has made me a smarter and wiser person in life. It also opened up the possibility for me discovering all of you amazing individuals on the internet.
THE RIGHT PEOPLE
It’s hard sometimes surrounding yourself with the right people. I know this because in the past I’ve been friends with the wrong sets of people over the years and it took me awhile before I finally accepted that these people weren’t my friends and quite honestly added no value or whatsoever to my life. I am also very selective about the people I keep in my life and really consider as friends because I’ve been burned so bad, by many and my motto now is cut out the drama as soon as it starts. No need to keep unnecessary people in my life.
This also applies to all kinds of relationships, be it with family, friends or significant others. I respect myself enough now to know when I am not being appreciated and I’m just being used. Now I surround myself with fewer people, but these people are who count.
KEEPING IT REAL AND BEING TRUE TO MYSELF
When I talk about keeping it real, I mean I’m just going to do me and not care about what others think about me. I give off this very nonchalant and I don’t really care vibe. Which in turn helps me combat caring about what people think about me, which I do a lot, and I really don’t want to. I also worry about what people think of me and don’t want them to think I am a certain way because of maybe what I wore, how I spoke etc. But the thing is despite the worrying, I still go ahead and do it, because that is what I want to do or wear, I can’t let people get into my head and change myself or pretend to be something I am not. I have to do what makes me happy, ultimately in the end, because if I am not happy with what I am doing, it clouds my judgement and once it sets the negative feelings build until hatred blossoms and I’ll just be an angry mess, so staying true to myself and keeping it real, helps with my mental state and makes me a cheerful human in general.
SELF-LOVE AND IMPORTANCE
Repeat after me you are important and nobody is going to love you as much as you love yourself. I know I am my own biggest enemy, I don’t stick to exercise, I don’t eat healthily, my sleeping schedule is a bit all over the place, I look in the mirror sometimes and get disgusted with how I look, I bring myself down the most and it may seem like I don’t give a shit about myself, but in the end I do and it has made me realise that I am important, loving myself does a lot for me. Rather than bring me down, replacing negative words with encouraging words and cheering for myself instead helps with my self-esteem, it makes me a lot more confident and once you feel good about yourself and have accepted that you’re important and worth it, whenever someone brings you down and you remember your worth, it helps a lot in building your esteem back up. So loving myself is important because it reminds me that I am important and worthy.
THE IMPORTANCE OF REPRESENTATION
Growing up I never questioned why things about white people dominated everything, the books I read, the cartoons and shows I watched, only a few were with people with my skin colour. Because of that, it made it normal, it made it okay that white people and things were dominating the world. I mean look how long it took me to realize that the nursery rhyme about Black Sheep, was actual racist as hell.
The online community woke me up to a lot of things and I am glad about it. Representation is very important, and no one community should dominate and cast a shadow on the others because then we aren’t living in a fair world. Representation of the things I love, make me feel important, like I belong, connects me more than I can ever imagine to those things and validates me and other people who find their representations in such things they love. Representation has always been important and as time goes by I hope diversity has spread so far and wide, that other people to come will find themselves everywhere in the things they love as they grow up.
ACCEPTING PEOPLE FOR WHO THEY ARE
When a person tells you how they identify themselves please accept it and listen to them, and not just assume and start questioning them or what they identify as because in the end you’re not that person and you can never truly understand or know how another person feels or what they have gone through.
If someone is a terrible person please accept it and distance yourself from the person, don’t keep on making excuses for the person, because the person has shown you time and time again. Which is is also why I said it’s important to have the right people in your life. I know it’s not black and white, a terrible person might have days when they are the best of people you’ve ever met, but if being terrible is higher than being a good person, please distance yourself from such a person, you can remain friend’s, but from afar in order for you to maintain a good and stable mental state and to reduce your stress levels. A terrible person is a terrible person be it whatever they’ve gone through in life, remember that.
Yes, I said it. This goes for both the good and bad. When a person shows you how they are, take it for what it is and accept it, trust your guts always. Never has my guts lead me astray.
Being kind goes a long way. A goal I have set this month is to make as many people happy, put a smile on their faces. Cause the world needs a lot more kindness. I mostly feel alone, even when I’m not, like I have family and friends (including internet people) around me twenty-four seven, if I need to talk to someone I can do that because a lot of the people I surround myself are always they to listen, reassure and advice me. Because I like to believe I am a fair, reasonable and kind person, who can also be a stubborn pain in the butt lol (sometimes) but we all need to be reassured that we belong and we are noticed once in awhile because we are all simply human. We need attention one way or the other. Anyways being kind reflects in waves on you, because you’ll not know how one day that act of kindness you exhibited will be of benefit to you in the future, so it’s key to try to be always kind and understanding towards others as well as yourself.
My mum is one of the kindest people I know and whenever I am around her friends, they always shower her with praises, because apart from her being kind, she’s one of the strongest persons I know, since an early age she had to hustle to survive and make the best of herself, despite whatever shit hands she was dealt. She became an orphan at an early age and had to make sure her younger siblings were okay, got pregnant and decided to give birth to me and was happy to raise me as a single parent, whether my dad came back or not, he did but I hated their marriage and I was glad she freed herself from him, because if she didn’t I fear my dad would have killed her, because it was just a toxic marriage and she still came back from all these downfalls, stronger than before and now she’s happy, with the support of all the people she was ever kind to and there a hundreds of people who have nothing but good things to say about her, so when it comes to kindness and being strong my mum will always be my role model.
IT’S OKAY TO NOT BE OKAY
There are so many relatable quotes out there about how okay it is not to be okay. Because it is, I notice that I like stomaching everything and acting like I am fine all the time, not reaching out to others when I need help and shouldering everything myself. But I remember always that it’s okay to be sad and down. It’s okay to take a break or time out from everything for myself and don’t let anyone make me feel like it’s something I can just suck up. It’s okay to feel negative emotions because those negative emotions balance out our positive ones. I get sad a lot and when it happens, I don’t let myself wallow in it for too long, that’s why reading is so important, but more often than not it pulls me out of a bad spell.
THE JOY OF HAVING PETS
I’ve had fishes, a kitten, dogs, a chicken and parrots. They made me happy, I only have a dog now, my little mongrel named Benz. I love animals, the thought of having animal friends fills me with such joy and there’s something so good about animals trusting you. My baby, Benz is my everything. And whatever animal that joins my family in future. Since I was little I’ve loved and adored animals and I know they bring joy into their owner’s life.
THE IMPORTANCE OF CHANGE
Life isn’t stagnant. So change is always going to occur and everyone should accept it. Whether it is wanted or not. That is why I believe in living in the present, and making the best of each day, even if all I do is breathe. We are always moving, that’s why we can never go back to the past, as all we can do is remember the memories of it.
Change allows us to grow, and discover new things, or be sure about things we already knew, considering from which direction the change you’re taking is heading, be it good or bad, we all learn from it. I love change because it allows the chance of learning from our mistakes and opening up new ways and opportunities of trying things.
Change also helps us to figure out if things are worth it or it’s time to let go and move on. I love change because it has made so many things happen and is only bringing more awareness to matters and issues, bringing about many people making a stand and fighting for what they believe in.