20 things I learned from losing a parent at 20.

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So it’s safe to say it’s not only losing him that changed me but also my Dad himself. For someone who lived with terminal cancer for 3 years he never for one moment let it change his attitude. He was always positive, upbeat and made the most of the time he had. Of course it was impossible not to learn from him not only how to make the most of every moment but also to appreciate the little things – it doesn’t have to be super complicated or materialistic to make you happy. I owe both the person I am today and my attitude towards everything today, to him. The silver lining to such a heartbreaking thing is everything that I learned from him, and unfortunately learning to live without him too.

1. Life is short – None of us know what’s around the corner or what tomorrow will bring. Appreciate the present, its all we really have.
2. You’re stronger than you think. Acknowlege feelings of anxiety, sadness & fear but do not let them consume you. You are more than able to handle anything that is thrown your way.
3. People will not always be kind to you – be kind anyway. Being an A-hole to somebody will usually have as much of an effect on your day as it will on theirs.
4. Challenge is the universe poking at you to grow. I spent a lot of time in my comfort zone, afraid to step out of it for fear of feeling lost. Push yourself, nothing worth having ever comes easy.
5. Life isn’t fair and probably never will be. The sooner you accept this and stop trying to control everything around you, the sooner you’ll stop worrying about things you cannot change.
6. Your health is your wealth. Look after yourself, your body and live well.
7. Good days and bad days both have their own purpose. ‘You grow through what you go through’.
8. Don’t take yourself too seriously – My Dad was the biggest messer even through his 40’s and it made the memories of him so special knowing he was so happy and goofy all of the time.
9. Your “gut” feeling?? Listen to it. There’s a reason it’s there and a reason you should pay attention to it.
10. You will lose people you love. It’s life, unfortunately, and there’s nothing we can do about it. However, we are in control of how we deal with it and how much we let it take over our lives. Losing my Dad changed my life and there’s no doubt about that but I’d like to believe it changed me for the better. Try to see the positive even in such a heartbreaking situation.
11. Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, its not the end. Trust the process, go with the flow and believe that you’ll end up where you’re meant to be. Easier said than done I know but its nice to keep it in mind anyway.
12. Kindness is easy. Being kind, open minded and approachable will make more of a difference of your life than you’d think.
13. You, alone, are in control of your own happiness. Nobody is forcing you to work the job you hate or to spend time with that one person that drags you down. Cut all negativity out of your life with no hesitation – you will thank yourself.
14. Everything happens for a reason. It may take months or years but I promise you, you will eventually figure it all out.
15. We all take sh*t for granted, we’re all human and we all have stuff we’d like to complain about. However, training your mind to think more positively or appreciate the little things will do no harm.
16. Not everybody needs to like you, and you don’t need to care. Worry about yourself, how you want to live your life and stop worrying about what others think. You’ll never be able to please everyone anyway.
17. Its going to rain, that doesn’t mean you need to complain about it. Appreciate that there are bigger problems in the world and lots more you could be complaining about. It could always be worse.
18. Take a day. Or 2. Or 6. Take all the time you need. Figuring out what goes on in your head and establishing a relationship with that dark part of your mind is more important than you’ll ever know.
19. Be grateful. So I lost my Dad at 20, years and years before I ‘should have’ but I’ll always be grateful for the 20 years I did have with him. It doesn’t need to be a sob story.
20. Be happy – life is far too short to be anything but. ♥

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