A letter to my younger self.Tuesday, December 9, 2014 8:30 AM
I know you may not recognize me as I am a little older, I no longer have Ginger Spice highlights, recently have acquired many more wrinkles, and may not be exactly where you would think you would be in your late thirties, but here I am. This isn't a letter to tell you how to rewrite history and do things differently, but rather give you advice or tools and any other young people that might read this. I am fairly happy where I am, I have lived, loved greatly and deeply, and most certainly learned many lessons...
Here are a few things you should remember:
1. You do not know everything! I get it, you have been to college, lived on your own for years, moved across the country and seen and done things that a lot of people may have not, but there is still so much you don't know. Be open, never stop learning, examining and questioning. You can learn from almost anyone and anything. Listen and absorb. Knowledge is power. I have done most of my learning in just the past few years, and I am astounded at how much I still don't know.
2. Do not live to make others happy, and be true to yourself. This is something I still struggle with. You can not live how you think people want you to, and you aren't living your life incorrectly just because you live differently then others. Love who you want, live where you want, read what you want. It is your life, take control. You are the only person that can make you happy and trying to please others will cause stress and regret.
3. Be kind to others, and try not to judge. I stress 'try'. We have all judged and have been judged, we are human. But I have found that more often than not people judge out of their own insecurities. Unconsciously we try to beat others to the punch and judge before we are judged. We are all guilty of this. The points in our life I was overly critical, opinionated and judgy of others were times we were going through some hard times. Be kind to people, you never know what they are going through or what has brought them to where they are now, and through the choices they have made. Just because someone doesn't handle, react or do things the way you do, does not make it wrong. We are nobody's judge and jury. Walk a mile in someone's shoes...
4. Take chances, and don't be so afraid of failing! You will fail, everyone does, but if first you don't succeed try, try, again. Don't always choose the safe route, or what you think is the safe route. Great success usually comes from great risk.
5. Let your guard down and be more vulnerable. Somewhere along the years of our life we became exceptionally guarded and emotionally unavailable. We will always struggle with this. What I have found is, regardless of our defense mechanisms and attempts at self preservation, trying our hardest not to get hurt, we will. There is no way around it. Shutting your switch off and 'trying' not to feel loss, sorrow, and heartache doesn't rid you of it, you just manifest it in strange ways. In our case it has been weight loss/gain, migraines, insomnia, and some failed relationships. We only have one life, experience and feel all of it.
6. You cannot change people and you shouldn't want to. We should accept people, and be accepted for who we are. Let go of trying to control situations and people. Again, we only have control over ourselves.
7. You are not fat, and have great boobs! Oh for the love of God I wish I appreciated this! I know standing in a leotard in front of a mirror most of our life has made us hypercritical of our appearance, but appreciate your body! I look back at pictures and can not believe I was so insecure. I will take this advice and apply it now as well, for I know in twenty years I will look back and want to tell the current me the same thing.
8. Be your best self. Be honest, don't lie, cheat, scam or use people. It is pretty self explanatory. Don't do immoral things simply because you can. Be bigger than that.. What goes around comes around. Put out good, and you will get it back. Be honest with yourself and everyone else. Do the right thing. Integrity is the essence of everything successful.
9. Express yourself.
Don't miss an opportunity to tell someone how you feel. You may never get that opportunity back. Don't play games. Say what you mean and mean what you say.
10. Learn to let go. There are so many things we try to hold onto in life, some out of love, some out of convenience, some out of sheer comfort.
There are things you don't want to happen,
but you need to accept them.
There are things you don't want to know,
but you have to learn.
And there are people you can't live without,
but you have to let go.
Slow down and enjoy all the little things. Don't wish your life away looking forward to the Summer, a vacation, nicer weather etc., be present. You will go through so much, and you make it through. We are still making it through. When things seem tough and insurmountable always remember that this too shall pass.
Love your older self,