12 Things I Would Tell My Younger Self
This week I celebrated my 25th birthday. I always was the younger one out of my entire group of friends. Some friends told me that I would feel like I'm turning 50. Others said that I would feel different, but more like a new beginning. Being alive for a quarter of a century.... it's just weird to think about. That's when I started reflecting.
I started thinking about what I wish I could tell my younger self. To the awkward teen years, to the people who didn't believe in me, and the friendships/dating experiences. I decided to make a list of things I wish I could tell my younger self and thought why not share that list on my blog.
1. Don't let anyone ruin your SPARKLE.
Everyone has that one person (at least) that tells you, "You aren't good enough.” Been there... done that. This stuck with me for a long time because when you hear those words, you allow that to bother you. It drove me to always be perfect in everything that I do. Now, it makes me want to say to those people "Look at me now!" Though it drove me to work harder, I wish realized that I didn’t always have to be perfect. It’s ok to take a breather and still have fun.
2. Say YES to things that take you out of your comfort zone.
Times goes by way too fast! People will ask you to do things. If you say no and then regret it—it’s your own fault. Time is precious. Obviously, it’s ok to say no to things when you really don’t have the time, but try to make the time. You never know where it could lead you.
3. Travel as much as possible.
I wished I went abroad in college, but I was so involved with programs that I just didn’t make the time for it. By visiting another city or country, you gain a sense of reflection/culture. Though COVID-19 put a damper on travel for the time being, think about your next trip and where you want to travel to. Whether it’s national or international. A new city spent with friends/partner can be magical.
4. Find a guy that is worthy of your love.
Ahh dating! A fun topic that is never ending it seems. There is always that one that makes you think its love, but really it seems like you are fighting more for the relationship than they are. If you are doing any of the following: begging, pleading, or persuading in a relationship, it’s not going to end well. Spend time with the people who want to love you and spend time with you. No strings attached.
5. Having a “perfect” body has no direct correlation to your happiness.
This is something I still struggle with and working on. Whether you are trying to be a certain weight or be considered “skinny”, these things aren’t permanent. It's about loving the skin you’re in and making peace with it. No matter what size you are, you are gorgeous inside and out.
6. Don’t send those late-night texts… Just don’t!
The emotions come out after a few too many and a late night out. I swear the texts and calls can wait until the next morning. They say liquid courage can come back with vengeance. If you are going to say something you might regret, it’s best to think about it with a sober mind.
7. Stop apologizing for using your voice, for articulating what you want.
They always say Ohioans like to apologize, even though when there isn't a reason to. With time I’ve realized that allowed people to walk all over me. After years of allowing that, I’ve finally realized I should only be apologizing for what I actually did or control. By talking with confidence and handling a situation up front, you get better results.
8. Save your money and understand how to save.
Money doesn’t buy everything, but it does offer security and freedom to some degree. My parents always raised me to save 20% (if possible) of my paycheck. I won’t deny, I wished I would have listened to them about taking an accounting class. Insurance, 401k contributions, credit card debt, emergency fund, taxes, flex spending accounts are important, but understanding it and the benefits are key. Google is a beautiful tool! Use it to your advantage to make sure you are setting yourself up for success.
9. Forgive yourself.
This is the time where you reflect on past mistakes and think about what you could have done better. With anger and frustration, you question these moments. We make decisions based on the information we have and the emotions that flow through. Let yourself off the hook and breathe! The ability to give yourself grace and compassion in the face of error will be a handy because this is a lesson that will stick with you forever.
10. You don’t have to convince someone to love you.
This is a lesson that takes a long time to realize. It took me a very long time to realize this. The person you are meant to be with will want to be there. No questions or begging needed.
11. It’s ok if some friendships end while others flourish
Sometimes friendships come and go, but the ones that are meant to stick are worth it. Friendships happen for a reason and how you learn from it paves the way to how other friendships will flourish.
12. You. Are. Enough.
One of my best friends reminds me this every day and sometimes the reminder is always helpful. Though reminders are great, you truly need to believe this! The more you believe that you are enough, the less you’ll wait for other people to determine your worth. Nobody else can take that away from you, no matter what happens.
25 isn’t the endpoint to stop growing. It’s the time to reflect and move forward in growth. I’ve determined in this quarter of a century, we learn and change from the good and the bad experience. We try to evolve slowly, but surely become better versions of ourselves- hopefully with more clarity, honesty and integrity. We hopefully stop the obsessing over the past and future and just start appreciating the present moment.