1. You’ll find that you look back on good memories more so than the bad ones. For example, you won’t remember how painful it was to fall off your bike and scrape your knee on the concrete, but you will remember how it felt like you were flying the first time your mom let go to the back of your seat and you were riding on your own.
2. When someone is upset with you, they’ll say things out of anger that they will later apologize for because what they said was in the heat of the moment. Similarly, when someone is in love with you, they will make promises out of happiness that they will later break because what they said was in the joy of the moment.
3.Education is important, but your academic performance does not define you. Good grades do not equate intelligence. Never stay up until 3 in the morning pulling your hair out over a chemistry test the next day. Better you get a D on the midterm than have permanent rings of anxiety stamped under your eyes. Always try and work your hardest, but don’t cripple yourself. Being at the top of your class is not worth your sanity.
4. No one should be more important to you than yourself. You are your top priority. While it is human nature to love and to be loved, to nurture and be nurtured, you must never put another’s needs before your own. This is the foundation of any toxic relationship. Dependent on another is the worst thing you can be, because if they decide to walk away from your life, they will take what you have given them and you’ll have nothing left to put yourself back together with. Always leave enough for you. When push comes to shove, you are the only one who will never abandon you.
5. Actions speak louder than words. It’s one thing to paint someone colors on a canvas, but it’s another to give them the rainbow.
6. Self-harm will never make them pay for what they did to you. After all, it’s called “self” harm. You will wear the scars on your skin. Never let a cold, lifeless piece of metal take away from your beautiful existence. Overcome the torture they’ve inflicted by building your character, don’t succumb to ultimate destruction. The best revenge is happiness.
7. A boy can stop loving you overnight. The same guy that grabs your hips and whispers forever in your ear could be recycling his promises to you with another girl six months later. This does not mean you should be afraid to open your heart to someone. Thrive in love while it lasts, but when it ends, don’t disintegrate. Be glad you were brave enough to love in the first place. It is not the end of the world, despite the hollowness in your chest. You lived before him, and you can live after him.
8. Some people are mean because the way they’ve been treated has made them bitter. This does not excuse their behavior. It simply gives us a better understanding of why people are the way they are and why it’s important to act otherwise.
9. Something as simple as smiling at a stranger or holding the door for someone can make your whole day. And theirs. Pay it forward.
10. You are a human being and you will make mistakes. This does not mean you deserve to be punished, nor does it mean you are anything less than extraordinary. You made a bad choice, you are not a bad person. All you can do is learn from your mistakes and take the initiative to ensure that you will never make the same mistake twice. Others will doubt you. Let them. Proving your worth to yourself is more important than proving it to someone who doesn’t hesitate to bury you, even if you were the one who dug the hole for yourself.
11. Don’t cancel plans just because you don’t feel like it. Life is short. Show up for it.
12. Time doesn’t heal all wounds, but one night, months after he’s gone, you’ll be trying to sleep and then, it will hit you all at once that you don’t feel enveloped by his absence. You won’t even notice the sunken place in the mattress where his body used to be. If it feels like his skin cells are jumping like fleas around your sheets, don’t worry, because suddenly it will happen — your bed will be yours again. Just like that.
13. Death is inevitable. Grieve. Mourn. Allow yourself the heartache. But understand that life goes on, and we must go on with it, despite who is no longer there to continue the journey with us. It’s okay to be sad, but whatever you do, don’t ignore the living.
14. Abuse doesn’t always come in the form of hidden bruises under your shirt. His words can be just as harmful as his hands around your throat. Just because he hasn’t touched you doesn’t mean that he hasn’t destroyed you. He’ll make you feel worthless then later tell you he’ll always be there for you. It’s not love because he says it is. If he truly loved you, you wouldn’t be sitting up in your bed at 4 in the morning, so beaten down that you’re blaming yourself for what he said.
15. Asking for help isn’t something to be ashamed of. An architect can’t build a castle without the blueprints to guide him.
16. Give chances. Give chances until they get it right. There is nothing to gain from walking a path with no obstacles. So if they hurt you, and they will hurt you, remember that they too are learning, growing, and evolving into a better version of themselves — and that they have chosen you to take that journey with them. To have another person swallow their pride for the sake of your affection is a privilege. As long as they keep trying, they are worth keeping.
17. You cannot save people, you can only love them. The only person who can save oneself is, in fact, oneself. It is not your responsibility nor your right to keep someone from self-destructing. You should not acquire battle scars from someone else’s inner war. A person who is struggling cannot be salvaged by anyone but his or herself. We can love them, we can certainly help them, but we cannot save them. Get it out of your head, so you can focus. It’s not your fault they’re imploding.
18. The only kind of relationship that can be successful is when two independent people love themselves enough to share their love with another person. Two beaten down individuals coming together to thrive off the comfort and dependency of the other is not healthy for either one involved. The thing is, you can love another person if you don’t love yourself, and they can certainly love you back, but if you don’t love yourself first, you’ll never think you deserve what they give you. You’ll always be searching for something your partner simply cannot give you, and the relationship will fail. Not only this type of love dangerous and toxic, it is extremely difficult to recover from. Until you love yourself first, you are not ready to love another.
19. Everything happens for a reason. Be grateful for all that is given to you, even under bad circumstances. A man once went to CVS before work to get band-aids because his new shoes gave him an uncomfortable blister. Thanks to that inconvenience, he was not in the World Trade Center on the morning of September 11th, 2001. Next time you’re stuck in traffic, don’t curse the universe for your bad luck, but rather give thanks for the air in your lungs. Remember that, sometimes, not getting what you want is a blessing in disguise.
20. Nothing is guaranteed. That is why it’s important to be honest with people while you still can. Don’t wait until you get a phone call that your ex is hospitalized, in a coma, from a car accident to run and tell them at their bedside that you’re sorry and you love them and you regret the days you didn’t spend with them while you had the chance. Just be honest with people about how you feel. Chances are, your “what if” is your “I wish.”"