random pensive thoughts on a quiet night
Hello everyone…I’m awake on a quiet night and pondering some ideas and thoughts (instead of studying for finals, which is what I need to be doing). There’s something about a quiet night, especially when I have a lot of things on my mind, that makes me very introspective and pensive. My first year of college is coming to a close, and I’ve learned more in this single year than I’ve probably learned in all the other 18 years of my life combined. And most of what I’ve learned hasn’t been academic but rather banal truths or practicalities gleaned from having to live on my own, navigate a world much bigger than anything I’ve ever experienced before, and truly be my own compass for the first time…with many ups and downs, and many instances of falling flat on my face and having to pick myself up again. So, sitting here in my room studying (I use that word loosely; the caffeine is finally wearing off) for those aforementioned finals, I was thinking about all the things I’ve learned about life so far and what lessons/advice I would give to others…not just for those younger than me, but for all of us regardless of age, person-to-person and heart-to-heart, because we all worry and think about the same things in the end. Granted, I haven’t lived very long, so I’m definitely fledgling as far as life experience goes, but I do have some little pearls I would like to share…and writing this post also serves to remind myself of them, since I so often forget these important lessons.
Pensive, ponderous things that I’ve learned about life so far, in no particular order
- People are really not focused on you. You are not the center of everyone’s attention and that’s not a bad thing. More often than not, people are too busy worrying about others noticing them to actually notice you (worrying about them noticing you). We are acutely, insanely aware of ourselves and every little detail of our beings, our words, our existences. But others are not. Others are consumed with their own lives. No one will remember some little embarrassing thing you think you did. No one will notice the zit on your face. Really, trust me. No one will notice or remember.
- Things always look worse if you haven’t eaten or slept well…especially if it’s the middle of the night. Don’t despair. Eat something filling and nutritious, go to bed, get some sleep, and then deal with everything later. Whatever your troubles are, they will definitely look at least a little better in the morning. Don’t let yourself fall into the vicious, evil cycle that is worry-driven insomnia that becomes worse with more worrying. You can’t solve anything at 3am when you’re exhausted and sleep-deprived — just take care of yourself. The world is entirely different when the sun’s out.
- As a follow up to the last one, don’t skip meals — life is much easier to tackle when you’ve got a full belly.
- If someone doesn’t make you feel awesome, find someone else to be friends with/date/associate with — life is too short to tolerate any kind of unnecessary negativity.
- Everything passes, even if it seems like it’ll last forever…everything will pass and finish, and you will survive it, and you won’t remember most of it — you’ll be free and on your next adventure in life soon enough. (I’m primarily referring to exams and the anxiety associated with them since I am staring finals in the face, but this could apply to many things!!) 😛
- ENJOY the little things in life. I know it’s a cliche, but it’s so true. The little pleasures in life are the best ones. A hot shower, a cookie, a cold glass of water, a cuddle from a loved one — these things mean so much and they are beautiful. Cherish them! They’ll keep you going longer than caffeine will, believe me.
- Take time out of your day to be with the people you love and care about. It doesn’t have to be much time, but just enough so that you acknowledge them and enjoy something special with them. A hug, a text message, an email, a phone call — it could be anything; whatever has meaning for both of you. Those memories will be your best ones.
- Get outside as much as you can. Enjoy nice weather; enjoy the scenery around you. I like to go for long walks and focus on forgetting everything in my life that’s on my mind…I let it all melt away into nature so that my spirit can rest and be free. Take notice of the little details of the world while you’re at it — the way the leaves look, the way the soil and air smell. Be present as much as you can. Let go of everything else. Let it go.
- Laugh as much as you can. Find people and things that make you laugh and spend as much time with them as possible. Nothing rejuvenates your mind, body, and spirit the way laughter does.
- Hide money from yourself. And by hide I mean save it or stash it away someplace where you won’t be reaching for it when you’re bored or just have an itch to spend it. Put it someplace where you can’t easily get to it, and keep it strictly for emergencies or necessities…in time it’ll build into a tidy little amount and you’ll be glad you saved it up.
- If you’re blessed with good health, ENJOY it — health is one of those gifts we don’t notice until it’s taken away from us. Enjoy and cherish being healthy, and, as always, take care of yourself as much as you can. Your body deserves your kindness.
- Try new things…you never know what you might like!
- Strive to make yourself happy first…you’re with yourself 24/7, something which no one else can ever lay claim to…so YOU should be your #1 priority. If something is bothering you and you can take action on it, then by all means do so. If it’s something that you can’t immediately take action on, or is something you can’t change, then you have to find a way to either cope or make peace with it…which is by no means an easy process but is certainly a necessary one.
- LISTEN to your intuition. We all have intuitions and they are never wrong — sometimes we misinterpret their messages, but I don’t think it’s possible for pure intuition to mess up. Take time to listen to what it’s trying to tell you. Listen to yourself. YOU (and only YOU) know what is right for you.
- Take time to make important decisions. Ponder them, sit on them for a few days, sleep on it. It doesn’t hurt one bit!
- If a relationship starts off shakily, it’s going to end even worse — don’t even bother trying to patch it up or piece it back together; it’s not worth your time and heartache. The right person will wait for you, make time for you, respect you, change you and help you grow for the better. If they don’t do any of these things, then they definitely aren’t right. It’s better to be single and happy than in a bad relationship and unhappy.
- Find an activity that is completely different from what you usually do, something for when you want to relax, chill out, and give yourself a break. It could be something silly or stupid or fun, or a combination of all those things. Something to switch things up and get you out of your daily activities, a total change, something that you can really cherish and look forward to….going out to a movie, going shopping, going fishing, etc, whatever you like.
- And, finally, as a reminder to myself right now — don’t procrastinate!! Just get the job done so you won’t spend more time thinking about it than actually doing it. Just do it! It’ll be over quickly and then you can enjoy your free time in peace….I still need to finish an essay….
Thank you for reading my little nighttime ramble! I hope your night (or morning, or whatever time of day you’re reading this) is wonderful. If you have anything you’d like to share, please do feel free to do so; I always welcome your comments! Lots of good wishes from me to you. And I’m going to go make another cup of coffee. Or maybe more than just one. Maybe a gallon.