22 Brief Thoughts on Life from a 22-Year-Old Advocate

handsI always like to reflect on my life before a birthday. 22 marks 6 years past 16, which is 6 years past the lifespan I thought I would have when I was younger. Here are 22 thoughts I’ve had regarding life in my 22 years on this earth.

  1. You never know what’s going to happen. Try not to predict what your life will look like, because you can’t know, and in some ways I think that’s one of the beautiful things about life.
  2. You will experience loss and But you will grow, and you will find your strength to carry on. I didn’t believe this at first, but it’s true.
  3. Suicide is not without I lost my best friend to suicide, and I contemplated suicide for 10 years. But people will miss you. And you are loved, even if it doesn’t seem like it.
  4. You will find people who are Some people are not meant to stay with you forever.
  5. You will find people who are They are your people, and you should cherish them.
  6. Don’t let other people tell you what “beautiful” You do not have to squeeze yourself into their box to be beautiful. Define for yourself what it means.
  7. Never underestimate the power of finding people who understand It may just save your life.
  8. I highly suggest talking about your feelings with people you Silence is what almost took my life, and I am so much happier now that I talk about how I feel.
  9. Everyone has bad days, even in There is no such thing as being happy all the time. If someone tells you they are always feeling good, they are lying through their teeth.
  10. Don’t let someone tell you that you aren’t “sick enough” to ask for help. No one can determine that except for If you need help, there is no shame in that, you’re doing the right thing.
  11. The stereotypes you hear about people with mental health concerns are mostly inaccurate. Most of my friends have a mental health diagnosis, and they are the kindest, gentlest people you’ll ever
  12. Don’t judge someone because of their weight. I have an eating disorder, and also happen to be overweight, you never know what people are going through, so steer away from judgement or dirty
  13. Sometimes, you have to mind your own Not everyone will let you in, not everyone wants to be asked about their own health/mental health. So respect that boundary.
  14. Not everyone thinks like Not everyone has a heart like you. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t respect them. Everyone is different.
  15. Some people will hurt you. Some people will come into your life, and all they do is drag you down and treat you like Don’t let them define you. You are strong enough to piece yourself back together.
  16. Sometimes, you need to let yourself fall When life hits you with something that hurts, you need to break down and learn to build yourself back up.
  17. You are made up of so many traits. Consider your traits to be Lego blocks, and build up the good traits, while learning to knock down the more negative It’s a good visual.
  18. Keep believing in the good in the I know sometimes it seems like good is gone, but there are good people in this world, and they make it go round.
  19. Journaling is a good habit to get I find I am most productive when I’m introspective.
  20. Self-care is so, so Like on an airplane, you have to put your oxygen mask on before helping someone else, and the same goes for your mental and emotional wellbeing.
  21. Do what you love to do, whether it be drawing, singing, sports, or whatever it It’ll help you in the long run.
  22. And finally, be Don’t let anyone, or anything, change you. Let yourself enjoy being you, there really is only one of you. Embrace that.

I want to know if you have any pieces of advice or thoughts that have shaped you or that you feel are important. Life is full of ups and downs, and will throw you curveballs from time to time, but you learn so much.

Rae LaBrie is a young adult whose passions are advocacy and writing. They hope to one day write a memoir about their struggle with mental health, and the beauty they’ve found in life.

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