Flat White (OV) - 19 things I've learned in 19 years

(An unrelating picture I took a while back, which I love.  I loved this forest so much; it was such a cold day I could barely hold my camera.  I miss days like this)

Anyway, heres '19 things that I've learned in 19 years' of being on the floating rock we call home.

1) Be as optimistic as you can - fake it till you make it.

When you give out negative energy you only attract negative energy.  So when you try your best or pretend to be as positive as possible - you get positivity back.

2) Do what truly makes you happy.

To a certain extent.  If there is a career path you truly want to follow, do it.  Don't let anything stop you.  If you have. a dream, every day make sure you're a little bit closer to that dream or goal.

3) You don't see your best friends everyday, or sometimes not even in a month. 

 Months or even half a year can pass before I see my best friends, but when we meet up it's like nothing has even changed.  Despite texting and sometimes the odd phone call, but with our busy lives and doing our own thing; it is amazing to know I can be mentally so close to someone and psychically never be together.

4) The woman who gave birth to you, is usually your best friend.

Maybe not applying to everyone, but to me and a lot of others, you don't want to spend time with your family.  Now, I: text, phone call and see her everyday.  Growing up and maturing makes you thankful of the little things.

5) Be kind, be humble.

People will always have greatness, positivity and love in them, no matter who they are.  Sometimes it's never shown but if you show love and happiness, you get it back in return.  Maybe not with everyone but the more humbled you are the better the people you attract.

6) Put yourself first.

A little contradicting to the previous point.  But if the only thing you do is try to make other people happy; you'll never be truly happy yourself.  Help people when necessary and don't be selfish, but, always put yourself first.

7) Art.

The older I have got the more I appreciate: music, paintings, drawings, photography and everything on the artistic spectrum.   There is so much meaning in art and I pick up on a lot more.  When I was younger, I'd see a painting, not care and walk away; now I would take so much more time to stop and look.  I have got a much wider range of music and I'm so much more open minded towards each genre.  Really appreciating the work someone or a group of people put into making something they love.

8) Put your phone down. 

Knowing this first hand, that if you don't put your phone d
own, a full day can pass and you won't even know it.  Social media can be the best and worst thing to happen to humanity.  Try a social media detox for a week and realise how different (and maybe positive) life can be.

9) 'It gets better'. 

From the highs and lows in life, the ever ending thoughts and feeling saying things are always going to be negative.  But from my own experiences life can get so much better, even when you least expect it.

10) Wear what you want. 

Don't be put off wearing what you want to wear, if it makes you happy you should always do or wear the things that you want to wear.  Have your own style.

11) I will miss school.

Just like everyone assumed I would, from their own perspective of, 'best memories are from school'.  It's true.  I never thought I'd say it, but I miss school.

12) DisneyLand is for everyone.

In 2016, me and my family went to DisneyLand in Paris.  Honestly it changed my life.  It was the best week of my life.  Despite the heat exhaustion and the early mornings it was amazing.  I was 17 at the time but honestly, you can't grow out of Disney.  There were people from all walks of life, being double my age, and loving it just as much as the kids.  If you ever have the chance to go to DisneyLand; do it.

13) Sunrises and sunsets are some of the best things you can see.

One of the most memorable nights I can remember, I was listening to so much new music I never heard before.  Watching acoustic covers of still to this day one of my favourite songs.  Then before I knew it, my night on yet another Youtube binge turned into an all-nighter.  At around 6am, on my way to get snacks and a drink, I noticed the sunrise.  Nothing is better than a sunrise or sunset; when the sky is red or pink.  Not much can compare

14) Your amount of followers, doesn't really matter.

Yes, it's nice to get 100 likes on your selfies, it's the little bit of ego fill for the day.  If you really think about it, why does a few people define success and happiness.  Followers count isn't going to change your life; at the end of the day theres a number on your screen.  Don't define yourself to that number.

15) Don't compare.

With the pretty sudden rise of social media it has influenced people to compare their lives to the celebrities and others.  You shouldn't compare, everyone has bad days, just because someone doesn't portray their full lives on social media, doesn't mean they don't have bad things happen.

16) Try new things.

The more I've tried new things the more glad I am that I done it.  Like I mentioned earlier, going to Paris to go to Disneyland was one of the best weeks of my life; if I didn't get over the fear of flying and heights I would have never had that one amazing, memorable week.  Now I learnt to take a leap and take more chances, because it might work out as the best thing you do.

17) Learn to really embrace things.

Time passes by so fast.  The last few years so much positive and good has happened, but the brief few mutest lasts you really need to live in the moment before it's gone.

18) Save money as often as you can.

Growing up I realised how the world is money focussed, you can't have a nice house or car without a good income.  I also realised everything is so expensive, being a university student and not having a lot of time to be able to work all week.  So when I want to buy a new guitar but unlike that a house you need a deposit, so the more expensive the house the more you need to save.  So better off starting early.

19) Everybody loves flowers.

From the tattoos of flowers, to the abundance of flowers that are around.  The more I discovered a love for flowers, noticed everyone else is too.  The extra added colour and living organism really livens up a place or a room.  Everything is made better with flowers.

Thank you for reading,
Owen Valente

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