19 Things I Learned At 19

In exactly 19 days, I finally turn 20. The age between #collegelife and #turnup. The photo above was taken on my 19th birthday after a perfect dinner with some of my closest friends. 2015 was surprisingly a challenging year for me both personally and professionally but I couldn't be more thankful for that because I've learned so much. Here are 19 things I learned at 19.

  1. If you want it, go get it: When I was 18 so many things came easily to me from work to school. At 19 I learned that there are so many things in life that you'll want, but you can't have unless you get up and take the initiative to go get it.
  2. It's okay to not be sure: While all of my friends went directly from high school to college, I chose to pursue my career in the entertainment industry. Just before my 20th birthday, here I am debating on if I should've went to college. Even though college is always there I wasn't sure if I wanted to go because I didn't want to go "late". It's okay to not be sure and it's always okay to go back to school. I'm not going at all but it's definitely a thought sometimes.
  3. Love yourself first: In 2015 I found my style, my voice, and most importantly myself. I figured out who I wanted to be, what I wanted to do, and what mark I wanted to leave on the world. To even begin to get to this place, you have to love yourself first and be content with what you have before you can go out and have more.
  4. Fuck the petty bullshit: In high school so many people screwed me over to the point where I stopped dealing with them completely and decided to cut them out of my life. Here's the thing with that: just because you cut someone out of your life, does not mean that they stop having an impact on your life. I'm not going to lie, I hold a grudge. But only if I really truly need to. I also learned to grow up and be an adult when it comes to situations. Once you cross that stage to graduate, fuck all the petty high school bullshit and start over. Believe me, you'll thank me later.
  5. Do what you love: I discovered so many hobbies and passions that I didn't know that I had in 2015 including a love for film and fashion. I spent countless hours tweaking my personal style, how I did my make up, and binge watching indie films on Netflix this year and I can honestly say I've never enjoyed myself more. I discovered a way to continue my lifelong enjoyment of writing and film by blogging and joining Youtube. Find what you love and do what you love.
  6. Be blunt: Even though I don't seem like it, I'm actually extremely shy around people that I don't know that well or at all. I'm also not one to beat around the bush. While I've always been sort of a straightforward person, this year I decided to simply be frank with everything and everyone I came in contact with, in the (semi)nicest way possible of course. Your perspective changes when you confront life with a completely honest attitude and mindset. Say what you mean, but make sure that you mean what you say.
  7. You won't always agree with your friends: I'm all for a good debate but I can tell when a difference in opinion is detrimental to my friendships. You won't always have the same opinions on major issues as the people you call friends. That's perfectly fine, as long as the person isn't causing any actual damage. There were so many people that I had to put on my acquaintance list because of their blatant ignorance to major issues. That doesn't mean I love them any less though!
  8. Take care of your body: I love eating McDonald's as much as the next person but it's SO not healthy. I made an effort this year to attempt to live a healthier lifestyle by switching up my eating habits and starting mini workouts using my 30 Day Fitness Challenges app. I used to constantly drink sodas and eat fast food the majority of the week. Now I save those treats just for the weekends and I guzzle water during the week.
  9. Say YES: Having anxiety is one of the parts about my life. I always have the urge to back out of something, stay home, or avoid talking to people simply because it's physically draining and scares the hell out of me. I learned to just go with and say YES! I've done things that I would've never done last year like getting a tattoo, cutting my hair, and posing for a couple sexy photo shoots.
  10. Work hard, play harder: Being a 19 year old business owner has NOT been easy by any stretch of the imagination. Everyone thinking that it's easy, that my mom pays for everything, (and my personal favorite) that I don't have a "real" job. I spent my entire 19th year working my ass off so that I would be able to achieve everything I wanted to achieve by the age of 20. I'm so happy to say that I've completed 9/10 things on my list for the year. The last thing was to release my album, but being the perfectionist I am, I'm still working.
  11. Experience life: I've traveled a ton of places with family but never with friends. 19 taught me that being in that weird place between teenager and adult means that sometimes you can literally stop your life and go on an adventure. While I didn't do any traveling this year that wasn't work related, I've experienced much more of life than I did when I spent my weekends watching OnDemand and eating Chinese takeout. You have to get out and live in the moment!
  12. Flaws make you: Stretch marks, acne scars, crooked teeth. I have all 3 of the list imperfections and I'm finally okay with that. They don't define me. They don't make me ugly. They don't make me undesirable. They're simply visual imperfections that make me, me. I know it sounds beyond cliche, but once you embrace your flaws you'll be able to take on the world.
  13. Eliminate negativity: I have a 3 strike rule when it comes to the people in my life. Basically you have 2 times for us to fall out, on the 3rd falling out, we're done. A lot of people have asked me why I do this and many have told me it wasn't fair. Here's why it is: when someone shows you their true colors, believe them. Throughout my life, before I started my 3 strike rule, I found myself always in the same repeated situations with the same and sometimes different people. The cycle was always the same: have a fall out, forgive, forget and move on, and then back to having another fall out. If someone makes you feel sad, less of a person, or is just generally not a good person, LET. THEM. GO.
  14. Tell them you love them: You never know when you'll never see or speak to someone again so you have to tell them that you love them now. Not tomorrow, not the next day, not "when the time is right", but NOW. It may be scary, it may not turn out how you want it to, but you have to do it. It'll all work out in the end. If it doesn't, then they weren't worth your time to begin with no matter how much it hurts.
  15. Sleep + music cures most crises: A lot of the time I get all worked up and overthink things that honestly shouldn't even matter. There are things that happened at 17 or 18 that when I look at now, I laugh. Because while they were "such a big deal" and were "ruining my life" they ended up not even mattering. For me, sleeping a little extra and listening to a good record usually cures whatever I think is the "end of the world".
  16. Being alone isn't that bad: And no I don't mean relationship wise. I learned how to really just take time to myself and do things that I normally wouldn't do at 19. Like shopping, going to the park, or just simply taking a walk with Poppi (my adorable Morkie). Sometimes you really need just time to yourself to decompress and think. Get in your own head and your emotions. I now make sure that I have at least one day a week that I spend just alone being anti-social doing something that I love.
  17. Change is inevitable: When I was 17 I had everything that I could've ever wanted in my life at the time. By the time my 19th birthday rolled around, it was all gone and part of a very bitter and dark time in my life. My 17 year old life meant nothing to my 19 year self. So many things changed for the better that I'm not even sure I really even lost anything. I learned many valuable lessons from the things that I lost but it's okay to miss something that's no longer in your life but not want it back.
  18. Lighten up: So I'm a bit of hard ass when it comes to anything remotely involving feelings. Me and my friends joke around and we play but I used to never be able to do that. I took everything so seriously that honestly, I wouldn't even want to be around me. Now that I've learned to lighten the hell up and just be in the moment and stop thinking everything is a defining moment in my life, I would say a tad bit more fun to be around.
  19. Appreciate the little things: The last thing I'm going to share with you from my 19th year is to appreciate the little things. I spent so much time being obsessed with creating the perfect moment, say the perfect thing at the perfect time, wearing the perfect outfit, etc. that I ruined a lot of would-be great memories. I spent more time trying to craft the memory than I did living in the moment. 3 years ago if I was talking to my guy I tried to say the perfect thing. Now I realize that that wasn't necessary because there's no such thing as the perfect words. There may be words you need to hear, but there aren't any perfect words. There's so much more to life than the perfect moment or the biggest gesture. Appreciate the little things, they're far much more important.

I can't wait for my 20th birthday to come up in just a few short days. For anyone who's reading this and hasn't turned 19 yet, I hope it helps you. If you already are 19 or older, maybe these tips will help you in your next year. Cheers!

XO ToniToniComment