Anne Sophie Cornelius: 18 lessons I learned last year

This story has a trigger warning

Following a turbulent year Anne Sophie takes time out for a personal reflection on the good and the bad, and what it has taught her.  Trigger Warning: very brief reference to suicidal thoughts

woodland path in autumn

Last year was a wild ride, but one full of lessons and experiences that I really needed. Here is what I’ve learned:

1) Dark humour and memes about the meaninglessness of life might make you laugh for a time but be careful it’s not the sign of something deeper, and darker. Depression can be a wolf in meme’s clothing.
2) Get help before the suicidal thoughts start coming in. It’s harder to fight for your life when you’ve already lost the will to live it.
3) Something you dread can turn out to be a positive and life-changing experience.
4) Admit to yourself when a relationship has run its course. It will save all parties a lot of time and tears to be honest.
5) A break is usually a breakup without the ‘up’.
6) Relationships will come and go, but the constant will be the love and support of your friends. And yourself. Make yourself your only constant.
7) Being open about your story leads to deeper and more open friendships with people. There is no need to be secretive or ashamed. The right people will understand.
8) Don’t be too afraid of the financial commitment of travelling. Memories for a lifetime are priceless.
9) Spend money on experiences, not material or superfluous stuff.
10) Food does sometimes count as an experience.
11) DON’T procrastinate your thesis. You will deeply regret not turning in the best piece of work you were proud of.
12) Just because something ended, doesn’t mean it wasn’t incredibly beautiful and meaningful while it lasted. It’s okay to be sad, but don’t dismiss the entire experience just because it didn’t work out.
13) Life is full of endings. Learn to appreciate things for what they are and let go when need be.
14) The universe is in the details. When the plot twist happens, all the previous chapters and plots will make sense and you will know: it was always there.
15) Drunk decisions will sometimes lead to the best decisions. But maybe don’t get super wasted the night before a 7-hour bus ride. (Kids out there: drink responsibly.)
16) There are things only you can tell yourself about. Things only you will understand. Create a secret universe for yourself that only you have access to.
17) Your creative and wild side will always lead to more adventure and growth than your comfort zone. It’s scary to take a leap into the unknown, but what awaits out there will make all the difference.
18) Things (and people) will break, shake and almost kill you. But some things (and people) will also mend, heal and make you feel the most alive you’ve ever been. Love both. Love the chaos inside you. Dance with your demons. Live your life to the fullest.

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