Today I thought I would share something a little bit more personal, what I would tell my younger self, in the hopes that someone may take away a helpful life tip, or Life Hacks, if you will. When I was younger I was incredibly self conscious and shy and looking back, I realize now that I didn’t take advantage of the opportunities I had, and I didn’t enjoy myself how I wish I would have. I do have a lot of regrets when I look back, but now that I know, I am doing my best to not make the same mistakes now. So here they are, the things I wish I could tell my younger self:
Stop worrying! You have an entire life to worry. Things like bills, marriages, jobs, kids, the list goes on, will cause you worry so enjoy the time now where your parents are still taking care of you and where you don’t have any big responsibilities. It doesn’t really matter if you get one bad grade or if you think someone may be annoyed with you for who knows what reason. Don’t worry about things so much because even though they seem like a huge deal right now, in a few years, months, or even days, it will just be water under the bridge and life goes on.
Talk to Everyone! Yes, that includes the “popular” kids. No one, and I repeat, no one is too good for you. Do not be intimidated by others. Own who you are, even if you aren’t totally sure who that is exactly. You never know who will end up being a life long friend. What I do know for certain is that you will never find out if you cant pluck up the courage to just talk to people. I promise, it isn’t as painful or awkward as you think it will be.
No one cares! Honestly, no one is paying attention to you. I know that sounds harsh, but actually it is really freeing. It is totally true as well. Everyone is so busy worrying about themselves that they don’t have time to notice if your hair, makeup or clothes aren’t just right. I’m not saying no one cares about you, but I am saying everyone is so caught up in themselves that they don’t notice the little things that you think are glaringly obvious.
Cast your friend net wide! When you are younger it is hard to believe that your closest friends might not always be there and because of this it is easy to find one or two best friends and forget that everyone else exists. Well, friends come and go and it is so important to have as many friends as you can. Not necessarily a lot of close, close friends, but you can never have too many casual friends.
It’s ok to not have it together! One of the most important things I have learned, and this is a fairly recent gain, is that the adults I always thought had their lives perfectly together and life figured out, don’t. We don’t get better at figuring out lives out, we just get better at pretending like it. This takes me back to point 1, don’t worry about it. No one has their life perfectly figured out so try to be ok with the fact that you don’t know. I struggle with this nearly everyday. I still want to have my life figured out, but I have wasted so much time trying to sort it out that I have forgotten to enjoy what I have now. So give up trying, what is going to happen, is going to happen.
It is ok to be alone! I know, this is a blasphemous idea, but it is such good advice. You don’t need someone with you all of the time. Being alone doesn’t make you a loner, it doesn’t mean you have no friends, it doesn’t mean there is something wrong with you. It just means that you enjoy your own company. How can you expect others to want to hang out with you when you don’t even want to hang out with you? Also, when you get older your chances to be alone are more fleeting and you will really start to cherish the ‘you’ time. Just give it a try, I dare you, I bet you will actually like it.
Please done be sad! I know growing up is hard and I know there are a lot of things that go on that can really get you down, but be careful with this. It is ok to feel sad and to have a good cry once in a while, but don’t let it get out of hand. It is normal to feel down, there is nothing wrong with you, but try to be up beat and really appreciate life. You are amazing and you deserve to be happy. So smile, laugh and most importantly, love yourself.
Live in the moment! I know this is hard since we can constantly be plugged in, texting, perusing Facebook, whatever it is, its not real life! Don’t view life through a screen, talk to who is actually in the room with you. And you DO NOT have to be doing something all of the time. Enjoy doing nothing, enjoy your alone time, read a real book, watch the world go by and go to bed every night thinking that you have lived in THAT day, not yesterday, not tomorrow, but today.
Let it go! Queue Frozen singing outbursts. But for real young version of myself, let it go. What ever it is you are hanging on to, whether it be something you did that embarrassed you, or thinking someone is mad at you, or just down right messing up big time, just let it go. It is such a waste of time clinging onto things and I can guarantee you that everyone else has already moved on.
This list could actually go on forever and I really don’t want to stop writing this, but I know that if I listed everything we would be here for a very long time. These are all things that I wish I knew and believed when I was younger, it would have saved me a lot of time and worry. I really hope that those of you reading this can take away at least one little tip from this because if I cant help my younger self, I want to help others. Life can be tough and it always seems more so when you’re younger, but it is also a beautiful blessing and it is too short to do anything less than LIVE, LOVE and BE HAPPY.