17 things I learned by the time I turned 17

Byron Bay, Australia.

1. Love. Doesn’t matter what is is / who it is, just make sure there’s something in your life that you look forward to, that makes you smile. Everyone needs passion in their heart.

2. No learning ever goes wasted. The world is so incredible and expansive and an extra piece of knowledge never killed your brain cells.

3. Don’t beat yourself up. If you made a mistake, it’s easy to waste energy and time hating yourself for the action, turning circles in your mind “if only…”. Instead, forgive yourself and do better next time.

4. Embrace change. Thrive on it. Revel in it. You never know what might come from it.

5. Always go hard. Half-assing something makes you feel bad because you’ve put in some of your time and energy, but the outcome is less than desired. You may as well not do it. So go 100%.

6. Drink water. As much as you can.

7. Balance. You are allowed to eat chocolate (unless you’re lactose intolerant) just as much as you’re allowed to eat quinoa. You have as much right to be angry as you have to be happy. Ying and yang. Happiness and sadness. It’s life.

8. If it takes less than 5 minutes to do, do it now. Better you get it out of the way so you don’t have to worry about it just as you’ve settled into bed and have to crawl out of the warm, sleepy depths.

9. In the best way possible, nobody cares about your flaws. Everybody fixates on their own, therefore having no time for yours. Sorry.

10. Say no if you don’t want to. You don’t have to take on anything and everything. Don’t see that film because everyone else is. Pass on the fries when they ask if you want fries with that. Sleep instead of that party.

11. Wear whatever you like. Life’s too short.

12. Write shit down. Anything, everything. Pen and paper, to-do lists, diary entries, how much you hate peppermint, the next award-winning screenplay inspired by a frog you just saw, get it all on paper.

13. Don’t pick your skin. Seriously.

14. Take time in the day to notice the little things. Like the way light falls on those leaves. Or the fact that that dog has the perfect beach waves. If it’s too hard, sometimes just pretend you’re in a movie and the shot is panning across your surroundings, on that old ticking clock, on the reflective linoleum floor, the rustling plant leaves. Just setting the scene for the next action.

15. Always challenge yourself. You’re capable of so much. You really are.

16. Be nice. The world will be nice back.

17. Dance. “A day without dancing is a day wasted.” – Nietzsche.

Place in the World

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