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Thunder and lightning in Summerland, 2012
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reefmagazine:

Things I’d Tell My Younger Self

By: Dorothy

Although I’m only a senior in high school, and still have my whole life ahead of me, I’ve already learned so many things. Some of these things are hard to hear and hard to do. I’m still trying to do some of them myself, but at least now I know it’s for the best. I really do hope this helps at least one person! Life is a true adventure, live it to the fullest, and don’t spend time on the petty things.
Do not compare yourself with others. 
I know it’s difficult. It seems to be such an automatic reaction to want to know how you’re doing compared to everyone else, but if you can help yourself, don’t do it. You are allowed, and you should, follow your own path. When you start comparing yourself with others you start feeling these horrible feelings like greed and jealousy. You are sufficient. I think Dita von Teese said it best, “You can be the ripest, juiciest, peach in the world and there’s still going to be someone who hates peaches.”
Be brave and speak up.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help, to ask questions; don’t be stubborn. It doesn’t make you less worthy than anyone else. When you’re struggling, in anything, school, friends, relationships, you don’t have to face it alone. Let others take some of that burden off you.
Some things are just out of your control.
Don’t spend your time trying to control things that are uncontrollable. Focus on things that you can do. Study hard in school, listen to your parents. When you make a mistake, don’t worry, it happens to the best of us, just learn from it. 
Embrace change.
Don’t be so stuck with things now. Make room for change. I mean this in terms of clothes as well. Those crazy sneakers you love now and are begging your mom to buy now, you’ll stop wearing them after the first month. Life changes like the trends in fashion do. Don’t worry if you don’t have a plan or goal. Everything around you is full of potential, and you too. You’re full of potential. You will do great things no matter what happens. Life won’t stop for anybody, so don’t plan for life like it will. 
Cherish your friendships.
I cannot stress how important this is. Right now, you’re fighting with your friend about these petty things, but stop and really think about your friends. How many times have they been there for you. Good friends are hard to come by, and when you find one, hold on tight. They are the ones who will get you through anything and everything, the good and the bad. Don’t throw them to the side. Sometimes friends do come and go, and it’s okay. You’re strong too, you’ll make it through. But when you do find a great friend, stay in touch. Show them compassion, love, and kindness. You will feel better when you treat others better.
Enjoy life and enjoy each moment.
Enjoy your time as a child. Savor these moments. The adult life might seem glamorous, but working is hard. Let your parents pack your lunch and hug you, because these are the things you’re going to miss when they’re miles away. I promise, everything they say and do is with the best intentions. They honestly love you, so don’t be so harsh with them. People out in the real world won’t be as nice as they are to you now. Enjoy the amount of free time you have now. When you’re older, time seems to fly by and you run out of time to enjoy yourself. Life is sweet now, and it still will be in the future, don’t rush it. 
"Each person’s task in life is to become an increasingly better person." - Leo Tolstoy
Photographer: Anna