19 Lessons in 19 Years

  1. There is nothing wrong with being confident.  Be comfortable in your own skin! Nobody was born confident—it’s  something we are all capable of doing. I’ve learned “It’s OKAY” to love myself. Walk into a room with your head held high, make eye contact when talking to others, & always dress to impress.
  2. Try to take advantage of every opportunity.  I try not to over schedule myself, but I hate to turn down opportunities. I never know what could come my way or who I’ll meet. A single opportunity, accepted at the last minute, could turn out to be one of the greatest experiences of your life.
  3. No one should be “my everything.”   I have my father and my brothers, a caring aunt, some wonderful friends, and—always–myself.   I already have  “my everything,” So anything extra is simply more frosting on the cake. I’ve learned that being self-reliant is sooo important.  Needing to ask for a helping hand, or a ready ear, is never a sign of weakness, but if others become a crutch without which you cannot exist, or the first option you turn to before trying to help yourself, then a good, long look in the mirror is in order.
  4. Accept compliments with grace.   I used to act  shy and embarrassed after receiving a compliment, but I’ve learned to just say thank you & give a  big smile. Don’t follow up the compliment with a self-induced cut—“Oh, it was nothing”  “I really did nothing ….”  “I’m not really that good at …..”  Compliments are part of life’s unexpected gifts that we should fully enjoy. Graciously accept the kind words. Give them in turn.  And  move on with a smile on your face.
  5. Learn to talk to older adults.  The importance of this skill has become so apparent to me over  the past year. I am around mothers & fathers for all my jobs, and I’ve become extremely comfortable & way less intimidated when talking with them. Don’t shy away from an adult conversation, introduce yourself in a clear and friendly manner, and speak and present yourself with confidence.  And try to curb that tendency (which we teenagers with our friends are all so guilty of) to interject “like” after every third word!  Good communication skills are always attractive and never a turn-off, and they reflect a maturity that can open opportunities for you.
  6. It’s true when they say “You will be able to count your best friends all on one hand.”  When it comes to friendships, it really is quality, not quantity, that matters.   Lasting friendships are seldom cultivated over night. Know exactly who you can go to in any given situation, and you’ll enjoy a comforting peace of mind.  
  7. Pictures are greatly cherished.  Ya, if you haven’t noticed, I’m a shutterbug–and a proud one, too!  I always feel the need to take photos & videos everywhere I go. I know we’re suppose to “live in the moment,” but if I have a photo, the memory will last forever.  They also look great in a scrapbook, which also makes for a special gift for that special friend.
  8. Dress well > Feel good > Great Day.  This is my simple recipe for a great day.  It’s easy, uncomplicated, and  needs no explanation.
  9. Smile.   Sometimes we don’t notice the scowl we wear when  we’re walking around. . I see a lot of girls who just look so unhappy and unapproachable when they have their RBF. , It’s okay to smile and look, if not approachable, at least content.
  10. Don’t be afraid to speak your mind, but learn to gauge the situation and context and be considerate of other opinions. Especially with the drama of the last election, having an  opinion shows you’re engaged with the world, and  sharing it  is totally fine, but overwhelming others with your views, and degrading others for theirs, is never fine.. I’ve learned to always be respectful when expressing my opinion and listening to others, even if others aren’t offering the same courtesies.
  11. There’s nothing wrong with high standards for every element of life.  Friends have told l me that my standards are too high and unreachable. Yes, common sense is always necessary, but by aiming for the lake beyond the fence even my poorest of hits could be home runs.  So  why not have high standards?  Why in the world would I set  them low?
  12. Solitary can be one of the best things. I am a total people person, but I deeply enjoy my time alone to think and reflect. I’m so busy that I don’t have a ton of time to go visit my friends at their colleges and such. I’m usually studying, blogging, or with little kids working. I’ve learned so much about myself in the past year, often when alone, so don’t be afraid of the quiet moments to reflect and learn something about yourself. 
  13. You can learn so much from children- Their energy, utter joy in the moment, their innocence is everything.
  14. Don’t be so high-and-mighty that you can’t enjoy a  bargain.. Seriously, resale/thrift shopping is one of my all-time fave things to do.  So what if it’s not washed—that’s what the washing machine and dry cleaners are for! But I’m also talking clearance/sale shopping. I can’t remember the last time I bought something full price.
  15. Jesus is better. Especially when it comes to relationships. The right relationship should never distract us from God, If it’s doing so, then the relationship is wrong and something should be done about it. A relationship should bring us closer to Him and complete us, not divide us.
  16. Have faith in God’s Plan. I’m a strong believer that everything happens for a reason. Trust in Him.  You may think He isn’t listening, but he really may simply be saying NO—it’s not the right time, situation, or place to get what you think you want or need right now.
  17. A  daily planner is a must.  Being organized is a great skill to have. I have an app for my jobs and daily routine (TimeBlocks), & then I have an app that plans out all my school work and classes (P. Schedule)…I would seriously be SOOO lost without them.  And honestly, with all of the gadgetry that we have at our disposal, there is never any reason for teenager to be late for anything today.  
  18. Starting your day with a clean room and a made bed almost guarantees you’ll have a better day- Sometimes I’m running around like a crazy person in the morning and don’t find time to do these things. And then,  when I get home from a long day and see my room all messy, it makes my productive day feel incomplete. It seems to undercut my accomplishments of the day.
  19. Your mood should never affect your manners. If I’m having a bad day, the last thing I want people to know is this.   So don’t take this out on others. They don’t deserve to be brought down by my mood, and our attitudes and actions and composure are all a reflection of our character. Courtesy and compassion are always the right way to go. 

What life lessons have you learned along the way?

(Ps: This blanket scarf is ON SALE for under $10!)

I know it’s not snowing anymore, but I never got a chance to share these pictures with you all!


–Cecilia Jean–



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