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18 Candles, 18 Thoughts

Illustration by: Sabrina Carrizo Sztainbok


I have officially reached level 18 years of this game called life, so here, dear reader, are 18 thoughts, mantras and lessons that have crossed my mind in my 18 rotations around the sun.

  1. When in doubt, write it all out. Make lists. Be messy with your thoughts. Just get it all down in a tangible hodgepodge of your brain.

  2. There's going to be times when it is better to raise your voice and there is a time when it is better to just listen. Learn to distinguish the two as soon as possible.

  3. Be kind and do good, but understand that your needs are just as important as everyone else's. In short, don't set yourself on fire in order to keep others warm.

  4. Overthinking the inconsequential is like chewing on a piece of gum until you can't even remember what it was supposed to taste like in the first place.

  5. When some girl in middle school tells you that you have no sense in fashion, you embrace how you dress even more. You wear those striped multi-coloured vests like armor and march into battle wearing your heart on your literal sleeve.

  6. Be a tourist in your own city. Learn to repeatedly fall in love with your corner of the universe, because there's no place exactly like it.

  7. Support yourself, because the only validation that matters is your own.

  8. Life may not be like the movies, but if you pay attention to the little moments that matter, it can sometimes seem pretty darn close.

  9. If you really want something to happen, you have to dive in and do it yourself.

  10. Although cliche, the only person you should compare yourself to is you.

  11. Words can break your heart, but the right words can do miraculous amounts of healing.

  12. Surprise people once in awhile, because they just might surprise you right back.

  13. Talk about your passions, even when you think no one is listening. You'll never know if someone actually is.

  14. You won't always end up where you want to go, but you might end up where you need to be.

  15. Sometimes the tighter you hold on to people, the more eager they are to leave. Practice letting go healthily.

  16. Eat avocados. Be an advocate for others’ needs. Do both of these things often and do them wholeheartedly.

  17. Stop and smell the roses. And by that I mean literally stop and smell the roses. Appreciate all that nature has to offer and do what you can to protect and preserve it.

  18. Understand that there is still so much to see and learn, no matter where you are in life. Look forward to those experiences with an open mind and a grin on your face.


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