You spend too much time worried about the vapid opinions of jealous, little people. What you have to know is that nothing will define you unless you let it.

By BRIANNA WIEST

1. You spend too much time worried about the vapid opinions of jealous, little people. What you have to know is that nothing will define you unless you let it. You are only whoever you decide you are. You are not a democracy. There is nothing that anybody can say that will change who you are, unless you take it to heart and you let it.

2. There is no designated time for anything in your life. You don’t have to have your first kiss at any certain time, you don’t have to get married in your 20′s and you don’t have to do anything just because other people think it’s best. In fact, you will be much better off if you just do what your heart says. The day you stop caring what other people think is the day their opinions don’t mean anything, because you’re not there to give them weight.

3. What’s important is that you have to be kind to people, and you have to do your best. Learn to put other people first. Learn to not freak out over little, petty things. There are much bigger problems in life that you will one day have to worry about, and while I know your 9th grade drama seems like the be-all-end-all trust me, it’s not.

4. I know a big concern is whether or not you’re attractive, whether or not you’re fat or skinny, whether or not the music you listen to is “cool,” but here’s the thing: you’re seeking an answer that doesn’t exist. You are only as much or as little of any of those things as you think you are. But what’s more important is that you have to realize that there are a thousand things that are more important than being “cool” or “beautiful.” Find those things, and take pride in them instead. They won’t fade with time.

5. One of the absolute truths about life is that people will forget what you did, they will forget what you said, but they will not forget how you made them feel. I cannot stress this enough. Listen to Maya Angelou.

6. It’s okay to not be okay. You don’t have to be happy all the time. Life is not supposed to be a joy ride every single day. It’s okay to have a broken heart or hurt feelings or to be anxious or nervous. It’s resisting these things that give them their choke hold on you. Let it be a beautiful and sad part of the story, but only a page or a chapter here and there, not the whole book. One day you will realize how important these dynamics are.

7. You need to work on having a little more blind faith in things– yes, I know, this seems counter-intuitive to all the messages that you’re receiving from society. But there is a difference between taking control of your life by pursuing things that are important to you and learning when to let go and let whatever is supposed to be unfold by itself. It’s a little anxiety-inducing to be blindly led by the universe, but please, please take my word for it: you will be led to far greater places than you could even comprehend to take yourself. Trust it, and go with the flow babe.

8. Stop being afraid of being who you are. At the end of the day, people can hate on you as much as their little cold hearts desire, but what it should all really tell you is that there is some gaping insecurity within them that forces them to be mean to you. You are a bad ass. You are a fantastic person. You are going to do great things, even thought you don’t feel like you’re worth anything right now. Stop trying to hide who you are or cover it up because you think if people attack your armor they won’t affect who you really are. But the truth about that is you are allowing them to control your ego because you’re not in tune with your true self.

9. Learn to sit back and enjoy the ride. Immerse yourself in the joy you find in lazy Sundays. Eat your favorite foods. Do the things you love to do, and don’t feel bad because it’s not “cool” or something. You have to realize that just because your life doesn’t look like someone else’s doesn’t mean it’s less than theirs. In fact, embrace the fact that your life isn’t anything like anybody else’s, it’s personally tailored for you. So put on that suit and wear it like the beautiful woman you will one day become.

10. You don’t need love, now or ever. You will have your heart seriously broken a few times, but you know what? You’ll pick yourself right the hell up and become even more fabulous than you were before. Do not settle. If you have your own love, and by that I mean you’re okay with being with yourself and you can find happiness in your life as it is, you’ll realize that you are waiting for someone else to come and make your life worth living. But here’s the truth: people will come and go. Love will fade and reignite and you will be headed for nothing but problems if your love for someone is contingent upon what they can do for you. Embrace your independence now, and keep your head high always. There are far better things ahead than you can even imagine.