I think we can all attest to this. We can’t grow as a person without first making some mistakes. And if we’re lucky, we pick up some good advice or life mottos along the way. These are five that I’ve picked up so far.
“It’s only awkward if you make it awkward.” – Julie Allphin
This was something a good friend of mine from middle school told me years ago. We were probably in about 9th grade and I think we’d been discussing boys. I just remember having this big “Ah-a” moment as my college professor Dr. Ho likes to call it. It was such simple advice but made so such sense to me at the time. If I’m comfortable—or at least pretend I am—then the situation becomes easier to deal with. Now, keep in mind that at the time we were discussing boys so it was probably a situation in which I liked a guy and didn’t know how to act around him or something along those lines. But I also think that this is good advice in general. If you can be comfortable or give the illusion of being comfortable in a social situation, then I think the nervousness or perceived awkwardness drops a bit. Why stress yourself out over a perceived emotion that may not be what’s actually happening?
“It’s not the things you do at Christmas, it’s the Christmas things you do all year round.” – Father Crowley
This was something that our priest at the time, Father Crowley, said in a homily a few years ago and it resonated with me. Well, obviously, if I still remember it years later. But I think this is such a good thing to remember. We all see the Salvation Army bell ringers outside around the holidays and the angel trees that churches or businesses sponsor. Don’t get me wrong—those are great and I love participating in both of those, but we shouldn’t confine doing good deeds to just November and December. We should be open and willing to helping others throughout the year regardless of whether or not it’s a holiday.
“Pretty is not the rent you pay to live in this world as a woman.”—unknown
I actually only just came across this quote recently. And if memory serves, I saw it on Twitter so I’m not sure who originally said it. But I think this is so important for everyone, especially women, to remember. We’ve become this society that places so much value on looks and pressures women in particular to always look their best at all times. Well, to be quite frank, I don’t always feel like wearing makeup (much as I love it) or changing out of yoga pants just to leave the house. And we shouldn’t have to. I know I’ve caught myself thinking ‘oh, I should probably at least put on a little concealer or mascara but I really don’t want to’ when I’m just running to the store or on a day I want to let my skin breathe. And I think that’s a problem. No one should feel like they need to spruce themselves up or add on anything extra just to follow a social custom.
“Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.” – A Cinderella Story
This quote may have originated elsewhere but I will forever associate it with the movie A Cinderella Story featuring Hilary Duff. I think this quote speaks to the various obstacles we will inevitably face in life and that, while a situation or an opportunity may seem daunting, we shouldn’t let our apprehension prevent us from giving it our best go. Afraid of singing a solo in front of people? Start by singing in the background and work your way up. Even if you never do a solo, you might find that you really enjoy being part of a group. Nervous about starting college at a different school from your friends? View it as an opportunity to meet new people or to reinvent yourself. Don’t let the uncertainty of what could happen stop you from experiencing new things.
“Never allow someone to be your priority while you’re just their option.” – unknown
This one has taken me years to put into practice. And I’ll admit, I’m still not great at it. As a friend, I am extremely loyal—which isn’t a bad thing by any means, but does mean that it can sometimes make it more difficult for me to truly give up on a friendship. But I’ve come to realize that I deserve to have friends that truly care about me and genuinely want to talk or hang out with me, not ones who only talk to me if I initiate the conversation every time. I shouldn’t have to feel like I’m forcing the relationship or feel that I’m putting all the effort in while the other person puts in none. Relationships change over time and that’s okay. Just remember to make sure that the relationships you have are worth the effort you’re putting in because you are better than being someone else’s second option.