Ten Things I’d Tell My 20-Something Self
Do you ever go back and look at old photos of yourself? When I was in my 20s, I was full of life. I was invincible and carefree and, I had no idea what sort of things stood before me in my future. Maybe if knew what was coming, I would have handled them a little differently. I look at this young woman and I see so much hope in her eyes. She still has hope as a 30-something, but she hasn't always picked the easiest path in life. If I could go back in time and have a chat with this young woman, there are some things that I would tell her.
1. Despite the lies your mind is feeding you, you are not fat and you certainly aren't ugly. Stop mentally ripping yourself apart because the hurt from being so critical will stick with you for the rest of your life.
2. Celebrate your youthful body. Wear a bikini, put on a mini skirt. Show off those legs! Enjoy your beautiful figure because, in 15 years, your body is going to give you a child and it will change in ways you can't even fathom. Once your son is born, your life is going to be so insane that yoga pants and hoodies will be your go-to's. Enjoy cute outfits now!
3. Stop pushing your family and friends to the side for your career. Trust me, girl, your career won't be as loyal to you as you are to it, but your family and friends will be.
4. You don't need that fancy sports car. Seriously. Invest your money instead of spending it on frivolous things like a dumb car that doesn't even navigate in the snow...and you live in one of the snowiest states. Smarten up. Save and invest. 13 years from now, your life is going to crash and you will have to rebuild it from scratch. If you set some money aside now, your future life rebuild won't feel as suffocating.
5. Run! Run from the sweet talking narcissist. Sure, he might know all the right words to say, but all he's really going to do is steal your beautiful light and leave you feeling dead inside. Wait. Wait for the quiet man who looks at you like you're the only woman in the world. He's the one.
6. Stop putting a smile on your face and pretending that things are great when they aren't. This doesn't mean you should spew out your problems or walk around being nasty. It just means that when your family asks how you are, tell them. Tell them the truth so that they can love, comfort, and help you. You see, they already know, but they're waiting for you to open up to them.
7. Loosen up and learn to roll with the punches because sometimes the only saving grace in a bad situation is laughter.
8. Slow down. I know life is exciting and you want to be constantly on the go, but allow yourself some peaceful moments, too. Buy that book you've had your eye on, grab a blanket, and go lay out in the sunshine and get lost in literature. Also, go visit with your loved ones. Time stops for no one. Sweet girl, work and responsibilities will always be there, but loved ones might not be.
9. Take your hard earned vacation time instead of giving it back to the company and travel. Stop making excuses. Get your passport and go see the world. The longing to travel will never go away, but travel will be harder once you become a mom.
10. Your love life is going to be a bumpy road be filled with potholes so deep that at times you'll feel like you're being swallowed whole. You aren't. Stay the course and know that one day, your dreams will come true. As a matter of fact, one of your friendships is going to develop into an unexpected and beautiful love story. The kind of love story that Hollywood makes into movies.