21 Lessons in 21 Years || Advice

For today's post and being that I turned 21 on Monday, I thought it was only appropriate to share with you all a list of things I've learned in the 21 years I have been living on our lovely planet. I am also taking this opportunity to share with you a few pictures of my birthdays when I was a kid (it's amazing to see how I am still friends with people that are in those pictures more than 15 years later).  This is going to be a long post but at the same time one that I am truly proud of it. 

(Me in the hospital after I was born, I was born at 34 weeks and had to stay in the hospital for almost a month)

1- Failure is a part of life, you grow from it, and you evolve: I have a full post dedicated to this, but I failed so many times while taking my drivers license that made me believe I was nothing more than a failure. Growing apart from it and using it as motivation to evolve was one of the greatest things I've learned, it the words of Winston Churchill Sucess is not final, failure is not fatal, is the courage to continue that counts. 

2-  The things you do don't define who you are: Following that train of thought I grew up doing a lot of extracurricular activities and in a way they defined me, it felt like I wasn't a human being first, I was a girl guide, then I was a gymnast, then I was a blogger, and only after all those things I was human being, I recently figured out that I am much more than a sport or an activity regardless of how much it shaped me into who I am. I am first a human being, I am funny and committed and always late for everything, I do a lot, but I am much more than what I do. 

3- Plans fail, and then the best things happen: I am the type of person that always had her whole life planned from step 1 to step 100, no room for error, I had plans A, B, and C premeditated in case any plan failed. When I changed my course at University I never felt more lost, I look at it as me taking a jump off a cliff, now, a year and a half later, I can see that I love the course I am taking, I know what I want to do with my life, and I've met the best people due to this change of plans.

4- People will hurt you, but if they are worth it, you will forgive them: I've been hurt many times by people who I considered friends, growing apart from toxic relationships, or solving the issues and move on, don't hold on to the pain, it will only hurt more.

(Me and my Mum at my preschool, I turned 5 years old)

5- Lose attachment from clothes, they don't have feelings: Something my mum gets surprised in me is how detached I am  from clothes, I don't order, I either use them or don't there is no in between, if I'm not wearing it I'm sure someone will give it better use. 

6- Your self-esteem can't depend on the makeup you are or aren't wearing: For so many years I refused to leave the house without makeup, I really felt unpretty without it, moving on from this was one of the best things I've done for myself. 

7-  Less and better, always: Not much to say about this one, but as you grow older you will realize that buying a lot doesn't better much, it feels a lot better to spend your money on one really good thing than in a bunch of crap that won't last a month, being clothes, makeup or anything else.

8- If it doesn't add anything to your life, unfollow: Something I feel my generation struggles with too much, we are too aware of our online presence and we forget to be aware of the real world. If someone that you follow makes you feel bad about yourself or you simply don't like the kind of content the person is putting up, unfollow that person, they won't care and you will feel a lot better.

(I think I turned 5 or 6 on this picture, I had a Tweety shaped birthday cake and I loved it)

9- If you won't no one will: This regards loving yourself, doing stuff or working on any goal, no one will do anything for you, the ball won't role until the moment you get it rolling. If you have a goal you work your ass off in order to achieve it, that will show people you are worth betting on.

10-  You are not restricted to one music genera: De15-year-old Ana, you are not a superior musical intellectual because you listen to Rock and nothing more than Rock, you are not defined by the music you listen too. There is good music that came out in the 2000s and you will fall for new artists and new songs, and they will get a place in your heart near Queen and Rolling Stones. 

11-  Invest your time and money on experiences not in things: You will learn that a traveling experience, like scuba diving, a good meal in a fancy restaurant, concerts, museums and going to the cinema are worth much more than a new bag or a new pair of shoes, these things will shape you into who you are and will shape the way you see the world, objects will just shape the superficial way people see you.

12- Surround yourself with people that are different from you: Don't be afraid to establish connections with people just because they are the opposite from you if you seek for something different you will learn that these human beings have much more to teach you than people that share the same views as you. As long as you are open-minded and ready to respectfully accept everyone else's opinion you will grow much more as a human being.

(Preschool, turning 6 years old, with my dad and my friend Rita which is looking at my cake as if she is in love)

13- My hometown is not the end of the world, is much more than what I see it to be: This is something that I only realized this summer, working in a café, surrounded by tourist all day, they would ask me about the main attractions in my hometown to visit and I would have so much to say, I only realized how much I loved it once I had to talk about it every day. I always looked at it with the wrong eyes and I've never felt luckier to be able to call that small peaceful place home.

14-  Getting lost in nature is the best way to find yourself: This one I learned mainly from being a girl guide and camping all the time growing up but also having a family that has picnics every Spring as a tradition, or that goes to the beach in the winter just to look at the waves. Nature has an extraordinary power over the soul and if you can try to get lost in it, at least once a week. 

15-  Stress doesn't make you a girl boss or a cooler person: Hollywood sells the idea that a crazy busy super stressed person is automatically a successful person. During a long period of my life, I truly believed this idea, I let the stress accumulate to the point of getting me to a hospital with an anxiety attack for no other reason than my body wasn't able to keep it in anymore. Nowadays, and even though I am still stressed 24/7 I managed to deal with stress in a much healthier way.

16- Cooking is the most rewarding skill you will learn: Not only because who doesn't love food? But because it's a creative outlet, that is super useful in the real world. I honestly can't wait to have my own house and to host dinners for my friends. 

17- Dogs can teach you how to love in a million ways you never knew you could: I have had my dog, Mozart since I was 6 years old, so I don't really know how to live without having a dog. Luna came later in my life and, maybe because I was older, I created a deeper relationship with her (I obviously love both my dogs more than life itself). There is no other being that is as happy to see me as my dogs are when I come home either from spending a month in Lisbon or from going to the supermarket to buy some milk. They cuddle me in the morning and give me pure love without expecting anything in return. I've had other animals, but I truly think that dogs are the purest of beings in this world.

18- There is nothing wrong with being in your twenties, listening to Disney Channel Classics and watching Disney Movies: If you still appreciate the things you did when you were a kid, believe me, there is nothing wrong with that, it does not make you immature, things don't have a label saying they are only to be enjoyed by an age group and realizing that is one of the beauties of life.

19-  A relationship is only as strong as the ability to fix its problems: There is no such thing as the perfect relationship and the way you fix the bumps that come along the way is what truly defines your relationship, not the happy times. As long as you both feel like there is something strong enough that you are willing to fight for it with every strength of your being is what makes a relationship as perfect as many aspire to achieve. 

20- It's ok to be a night owl instead of a morning person: I am much more productive at night than I am in the morning, to prove my point here I am writing the biggest post I've ever posted at 2h35 AM. Most of the content creators I follow make me feel like there is something wrong with being a night owl, I am here to tell you that this is absolutely fine. I could never get out of bed before 10AM without feeling that I am dying but I can study until the sunrise without having to have any coffee, the moment you learn that different people have different metabolisms you will stop judging yourself so hard, at the end of the day what matters is that you are still getting shit done, regardless of when. 

21- There is not much in life that I appreciate as much as reading a book: Living in an era that is so screen focused it feels truly amazing to do more things that disconnect you from your cell phone or laptop. You will feel more connected to the world and your surroundings. At the same time, by grabbing a book you will be able to travel to different lands, it will improve your ability to write and your creativity. Even though I don't read as much as I would like to or as I used to, this is still one of my favorite things to do, it works a bit like meditation, it helps me disconnect with the world and connect with myself. 

I truly hope you enjoyed this post. It took me almost 5 hours to write it, and I will be amazed if anyone managed to read the whole thing. I really hope you guys are enjoying the content I have been creating and I truly hope that the next year follows the line I've been creating here, with at least one post every week and with content that I am truly proud of. 

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