3 Things I believed as a teen that changed with time

Just for the record I AM forever 19! I’ve immortalized myself at that age!

I recently finished Superwoman’s book, How to be a Bawse. It was a great read- both entertaining and educational. It got me thinking about how my views have been challenged in life. Adapting has really helped me grow.


About being the smartest

In middle school, I had the best grades in my group. Then in high school, I met many people who were more academically proficient. And I also realized that having good grades wasn’t enough to stand out. I struggled for a while, but graduated with a scholarship, a high average, and experience with all nighters. Then in university, I realized there’s so much of the world I hadn’t seen yet. I fumbled at times, but graduated feeling like I could take on anything. Then, I met more adultier adults.

Every time I feel like I’ve found my footing, I get thrown off. I turned the belief “I have to be better than others” to “It’s good to be the dumbest person in the room”. 

If you only hang out with people who never challenge you, you wouldn’t grow. I’ve learned to pick the brains of people who know more than me. I do have moments of insecurity, but I now see it as part of the growth process.

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About workplaces

I had an awful temper as a teen, and I’m still moody and direct. If I’m unhappy about something, I say it. If somebody is unhappy with me, I want to hear from them. So you can imagine how I react to toxic workplace politics.

Just to put it out there- if a situation is harmful to your mental health, get out. When lines are crossed and you have be be assertive, kick some butt! But when workplace BS is unavoidable, it’s important to pick your battles. I had to shift my view from “I must always speak up! Nobody can look down on me!” to “Know when it’s better shake it off.” 

I had to face the fact that it’ll be hard to get anywhere with my career if I’m constantly butting heads with higher ups who really don’t care what I have to say anyways. This was an extremely bitter pill to swallow.


About compromise

This last one was the most difficult. As much as I want to make things perfect, no relationship can be.

Part of why my relationships never worked out is that I can be a selfish lover and a huge idealist. When I love, I do it wholeheartedly. But I can also be very set on getting things my way. Ever since I decided to stay single (single and loving it!), I’ve had many conversations with my friends about what compromise means to them.

I went from “Never compromise!” to “Never settle!” There’s a difference between settling for the wrong person and making compromises for the right person. I used to see any sort of compromise as settling for less. My friends taught me that compromise isn’t this scary thing that will lead to me giving too much of myself away. I’m waiting for my “right person” who I’d gladly make compromises for. There are some things that shouldn’t be compromised on, which is why you and your partner’s core values need to match.


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I realized this post makes me sound like I was an awful person before (and maybe still am). *cue sheepish laughter*

Do we have any views in common? What is one of your views that have changed over time?


Hugs and kisses,

~ Jin

You can also find me on my personal blog

Author: Jin Cao

I am a multi-faceted designer, fashion blogger, makeup enthusiast, lover of cats, and connoisseur of ramen! Writer of LeggingsandLacquer.com Main fashion writer of Onahjung.com Find my work at Jinmartini.com

3 thoughts

  1. These are good! I like the part of being challenged. I think being challenged to grow is very necessary. When we’re younger this can be hard though because we want to be accepted and hang out with people who are like us. We mold ourselves to be the “same”. But it’s so important to learn and grow from our friends.

    – Kimberly Samantha


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