LIFE LESSONS FROM A GIRL NICKNAMED COLLATERAL DAMAGE

A couple times a day, sit as still as nostalgia and take deep breaths. It is imperative to drain the poison out of your conscious. We so often lose sight of our happiness, neglecting to fill our skin with the plentiful- thoughts that will better us, grow us, flourish our lives. 
Get to know nature. Run your hands through some blades of grass, have a staring contest with the moon, fall asleep under the stars without once complaining about the mosquitos. 
Learn to complain less. Train your brain to throw those thoughts away. Let the only words that come out of your mouth be ones of encouragement, affirmation, insight. 
Try not to remember too much- Look fondly back on the past, but do not by any means set up camp there. 
Talk yourself through things. It’s okay to not know what you’re doing. It’s okay to take time to process. 
Never allow yourself to feel like you are obligated to anyone. Value those you care about’s opinions and take the opinions of the negative as constructive criticism, but NEVER let these opinions define you, they are only opinions. 
Work everyday on building your character, it is the one thing you will always be stuck with- make sure it’s one you’re proud of.
Get to know people- reach out, ask questions, learn their story. Having one hundred acquaintances is great, but having deep connections with people will be more rewarding in the end. 
Continue learning about yourself. Try new things, listen to different music- Just because you liked country last year doesn’t mean you have to stick with it.
Be ever growing. Remind yourself that change is good, it’s healthy. Do NOT let it bother you when others say you have changed- graciously accept the comment and share with them what you have learned through it. 
Treat your body well. Thank it daily for all it does to just get you out of bed in the morning. Nourish it and love it like the precious gift that it is. EMBRACE IT!! It’s the only one you’ll ever get. Fill it with positivity, good foods, water and some cookie dough ice cream every now and then.
Never be in a hurry to find someone, do not chase love down, map it out, or waste your time wishing for it. The brightest form of love will find you swimming in happiness, drenched in self love- learn to really love yourself FIRST.
We encounter all kinds of soul mates in life- Musical soul mates, sense of humor soul mates, I’d-like-to-sit-and-do-nothing-with-you-all-day soul mates- Do not under appreciate them, they are placed in your life for very specific reasons. Value them, hold them tight. They will better you.
We’re getting older every minute- Let your thoughts mature, become wiser, but allow your heart to get younger, softer, gentler. 
And make sure you acknowledge the wolf under your skin, the strength in your voice. Never let anyone treat you like you are a sheep.