Who are you?

Do you believe in horoscopes? Astrology? God? Destiny?

I believe in all those things and more. I think that depending on what day or time or year you were born, your personality will garner traits similar to the zodiac’s prediction. And also, depending on how you were raised, you might have gained skills to divert from the astrological prediction. For instance, I’m an Aries. Aries people are usually quick to anger and intense. Although I have my buttons, most people would not describe me as such because I learned to control my anger early on.

I read astrology because they are fun, but mostly I use it as one of many tools to understand myself. Because knowing the self leads you down your own path to happiness and fulfillment. I’ve come to realize that it’s a lifelong process and the best way to learn is to reach for new experiences and lean into the difficulties over and over again. The challenge I’m facing now is allowing yourself to change and then moving on from there. Embracing the new you and accepting that there are things you will leave behind.

Lessons I’ve found to be valuable:

1. Only you can really know how to make yourself happy. Someone else can learn, but your truth lies within you and it can change with your perspective. If you expect someone else to make you happy, you can be disappointed. Instead trust in yourself and give yourself what you need.

2. Saying no can make you happy.

3. Slowing down lets you hear yourself better.

4. Everything is a practice. Don’t let repeated mistakes get you down. Just keep learning from them.

Lessons I’ve learned about myself:

1. I put other’s happiness before my own too often. It can be frustrating for those who want to do the same and for me when I am not getting what I want. I have to be more open about what I want and find a balance between giving and receiving.

2. I am a perfectionist. In high school my anxiety about projects or homework would keep me up at night. I’ve gotten better about deciding where to direct my energy but I’m still critical of myself sometimes.

3. I am not special. I am human just like everyone else. We are all suffering. We are all wandering through life and I should embrace that with more understanding and compassion.

How do you become a better you?

Gradually. Every day I try to have one positive, non-judgmental thought about myself. I try to reflect on negativity and address where it comes from, not just replace it with a positive thought. I try to live in the moment. I mean really focus on what is going on in that moment. When I walk to the bus, I don’t put in my headphones or read or do anything other than walk and try to enjoy my walk or notice my surroundings.

I’ve found a lot of solace in the simple things and it’s brought me more peace than I thought I could ever have.

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