I’ve learned a few lessons the hard way over the years, but the hardest lesson I’ve had to learn is to be myself.
There were many years while I was growing up when I didn’t stand up for my beliefs, and just agreed with people to be accepted. At the time, I thought that was me, that I had to believe X opinion because of the friends I had or the people I was with. Looking back now, I think that was part of the reason I felt so lost at the end of high school, since I really didn’t know who I was and what I believed.
These last few years and trips have solidified my beliefs in life and what I enjoy doing. More importantly, I realize that being me, and holding the opinions I do is not a bad thing. I think being on the trip to Nicaragua and living in Banff showed me that being open with people is better than hiding what you believe. In any case, it’ll all come out eventually.
I’ve also realized that the way people perceive me no longer defines who I am. It has a role, but I don’t have to impress people as much anymore. Now, if people have a problem with my lifestyle or my opinions, they can move on or stick around. If someone is going to criticize me endlessly, they probably don’t deserve me in their life. Besides, I can’t make everyone happy, so I might as well make myself happy first.
I can say this is one of the hardest lessons to learn, and I’m still on the journey to figuring out who I truly am. But that’s okay, because every lesson I teach myself is a step further in life.
What is the hardest lesson you’ve learned? Leave it down below!