18 things I’ve learned before 18

Adulting… a concept that I’m unfamiliar with but am actually very excited to embrace. The thought of paying bills, taxes, and insurance is over my head at this point, but you know what… bring it on!! It seems just like yesterday I was the little girl playing barbies in my play room and riding my bike to Lincoln Elementary school. Now I’m applying for college and balancing school work and a job! Aging is inevitable and things change, but to me that means personal growth and wisdom! I’ve learned a little bit since I was born and wanted to share… haha! So here are 18 things I’ve learned before 18: 

1. God Has a Purpose For You

This is a concept that is very familiar to me but to fully submerse myself in this truth can be difficult. It takes a lot of trust, patience, and prayer to relieve the anxiety of “What do I do?” and give it all to God. The fact that God has seen everything from birth to death is reassuring and gives me an overwhelming sense of peace. Remember God has a plan for you bigger than you could ever imagine!! I have a lot of stress and anxiety but knowing that God has a purpose and plan for my life has calmed my spirit immensely.

2. Perfection is Nonexistent

Perfection is an exhausting thing to try to achieve. The thing is, all you can do is try… you will never reach it! You’ll always want more or want better! This will steal your life of joy and you will miss out on so many amazing opportunities. Unfortunately in our generation, social media provides the ultimate source of comparison. People might seem like their life is perfect, but remember, they are just posting the high moments of their life. I’m not saying they don’t have a happy life, but we all have our personal battles and hardships. I struggle with this because I always try to do everything perfectly and when I don’t, I can get really down on myself. What helped me with this is one time I watched a YouTube video of a blogger that has the life I strive to have. She talked about her struggles with depression and comparison. These issues are real and happen to us all. So give yourself some grace and just be the best you, you can be!

3. You Have To Put In The Work

Life just doesn’t hand you opportunities. If you want something, you have to work for it. It’s easier than you think to do this though. Once you get in the habit of helping yourself and not relying on others to do everything for you, you are one step ahead. It’s okay to ask for help, but don’t be lazy! My tip for good grades… do your homework and study, it’s that easy!!  Anything worth doing will always be an uphill effort.

4. A Guy Does Not Define You

If you know me, you know that I’ve never had a serious boyfriend. There’s no particular reason except for the fact that I haven’t found “the right one”. Ultimately dating should be for the purpose of marriage, if it’s not, you might want to check your intentions. Do not date someone just because they are giving you attention or filling a void in your life.

It’s good to have high standards for someone, because you want a guy who will treat you the way you deserve to be treated. Never settle for someone who does not respect and love you for exactly who you are! While you have certain standards for someone else, meet them yourself first. Love yourself and prepare yourself everyday for your future relationship. There is nothing wrong with dating in high school, but there is definitely a lot of benefit to discovering who you are on your own… not from a guy telling you.

Remember ladies that guys think very differently from girls… this is good and bad. Haha! But give guys some grace and learn to appreciate their differences. Honestly, relationships would be very difficult if guys were as sensitive and hormonal as us!

5. Drama is Overrated

Three words. “Cut the drama.” It is not needed and will only bring pain into your life and others. A friendship can become toxic when gossip is added. Not only does it make you feel bad, but you will lose people’s trust. Focus on building people up and speaking truth into their life. The thing about gossip is, it can become very addictive and difficult to stop. Also, if someone is your friend because you always fill them in on the latest drama, you are being used. It will backfire and will not only hurt you, but others when they find out you were talking behind their back.

6. Kindness is Key

Trust me when I say this… “ALWAYS be kind”! I don’t care what someone did to you, forgive them and be kind! This does not mean you have be best friends with the person that broke your heart or hurt you, but we are all human and make mistakes. There is no reason to be petty and overly dramatic. You should protect your heart and never let someone use you, but always respond with a kind heart. If someone did something wrong instead of flipping out on them, speak truth into their life. Even if it doesn’t seem “cool” now, you’ll look back and appreciate the respect you got from others because of your pure intentions. Think about the type of person you like to be with… kind, happy, and positive! Don’t be the friend that tears others down… be the friend you would want!

7. Take Time For Others

It’s easy to be selfish, but I’ve realized that my heart is more full when I put others first. I love to do random acts of kindness, spend quality time with friends, and volunteer my time and resources. By all means express your thoughts and opinions, but don’t let them become an inconvenience for others.

8. It’s Hard To Be Content

If you’re patient, good things will come. Appreciate what you have and learn to be content with your circumstances and possessions. Personally, I’m a sucker for clothes… as most of you probably know. Shopping online and in stores is a stress reliever for me, and an expensive habit, might I add. Fashion is a passion of mine, but I have learned to be creative with the clothes I have. My goal is to save my money this year from my jobs for college. Since I now have an end goal, I am less likely to buy impulsively. If you’re struggling with being content, try to come up with an attainable goal or ask yourself if there’s a deeper root to the problem. Is it to fill an emptiness in your heart? Make you happy? Make you popular? If those are your intentions, just know material things will not bring you any of those. Only Jesus can fill that void.

9. Self- Love

This is easier said than done. First of all, you can be your own worst critic. People are usually so worried about there own insecurities that they do not dwell on or notice your flaws.  There are always going to be things you don’t like about yourself. Those negative thoughts can steal your joy and make you spiral into a state of mind that’s unhealthy. It is PIVOTAL to tell those thoughts to go away! You need to speak positively to yourself and love yourself… accept every flaw. I have been searching for the solution to truly have self love and have finally found it!!

1. Find what you’re good at, and do it.

2. Surround yourself with amazing people who love you for you.

3. Understand that you are more than your outer image, and created in God’s image.

4. If you act confident and happy you will be perceived as more attractive.

5. Self love is a choice you have to make for yourself… No one can give it to you, and it looks different for everyone.

10. Don’t Hate Your Body

I had an epiphany on this the other day. I read an article that explained the concept of eating healthy and exercising because you love your body not because you hate it. We all have a fitness goal and journey that we are on. If we do this because we hate how we look, it can lead to us doing things to our body that will hurt us… like under eating or over exercising. If we have a positive mindset about ourselves and workout to become stronger and eat healthy to fuel our beauty, then the results will come naturally. Please don’t hate your body because of all the amazing things it allows you to do and experience.

11. Eating Disorders are Serious

I don’t think I understood the seriousness of eating disorders until this year. They are real and common and so easily acquired. They not only damage your body, but they deplete your quality of life. If you starve yourself, you will ruin your metabolism then when you finally start eating again, you will gain it all back and more. Not only that, but your organs can be damaged and your chances of giving birth can be diminished. Brain cells die when you are malnourished and that will affect your education, memory, and mood. If you are suffering from an eating disorder or are tempted to try, please talk to someone you trust.  You won’t regret it.

12. Passion = Success

If you are doing what you love, it will come naturally, therefore you will have success. I am excited for college because I know my classes will be enjoyable and will be easier because I will be doing what I love.  This will then carry over to my future career. It’s my prayer that you will find something that you love to do everyday! You have the choice to design a life and career that you love.  God made you for a specific purpose, so discovering what that is will make all the difference.

13. Don’t Try To Be Someone You’re Not

It is easy to want to be someone else… to want someone else’s life. But you are unique and unlike anyone else in the whole world. Trying to be someone else is ultimately exhausting and disappointing, because you will never be them. When you accept yourself and embrace what you can offer the world, amazing things will happen. You have a story to write here on earth, one that’s your own.

14. Everything in Moderation

Enjoy ice cream, pizza, and Netflix marathons!! Don’t completely take away things in life that bring you joy. It’s so important to eat healthy and exercise, but it’s okay to “treat yourself” every once in awhile. Developing self control is a great habit and something valuable to have your whole life.

15. Connections Get You Places, but Talent Keeps You There.

Applying for and getting a job can depend on your connections and who you know. These are formed and created by where you’ve been, what you’ve accomplished and investing time in people. In any industry, you must be kind at all times, no matter how high up you get. Your kindness will take you far and the connections you need will fall into place. To keep your job though, you will need to work hard and be passionate. Your connections can only do so much for you, then you have to put in the work.

16. Never Stop Being Happy and Laugh Often

There is no reason to live without happiness. Life becomes so much more fun, relationships flourish, and amazing opportunities arise when you embrace a happy lifestyle. Surround yourself with happy people, because you are who you hang out with. Laughter is truly the best medicine. If I’m ever feeling down, a good laugh always brightens my spirit. My goal is to fill my life with positive people with a great sense of humor and not take myself too seriously.

17. Traveling is The Best Gift You Can Give Yourself

There are so many amazing and beautiful places to go and see in the world. You will get to experience new cultures, food, and people! Take every opportunity to travel, no matter your age. Cherish where your are from and appreciate the person you are because of it. Your home town will always hold a special piece of your heart.

18. Enjoy Every Stage of Life

There is something special about every stage of life. Never take it for granted and love every second. I loved my childhood, and I know I will love adulthood too! I hope you can find joy at every age.

Thank you for all my birthday wishes!!

xo, Elle Coffman

 

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