December 5, 2012

Advice To My Younger Self

It seems like I am always thinking back to some stupid thing I did or some thing I wish I could change.  It eats me up inside and makes me have a panic attack.  There are so many things I wish I could tell my younger self (provided that younger-me would listen, that is!) so that I wouldn't end up making the mistakes I have and harboring the regrets that I do.

Dear Younger Self, 
  • Don’t let other people decide your self-worth. I spent so much time being so shy because I didn't feel confident in myself that I missed out on a lot of fun opportunities.  I was scared of people because I didn't want to get hurt.  But, you know what --- you're going to get hurt anyway.  That's life and hurt/pain happens to everyone.  Also, you need to work on handling that hurt/pain better, as you are pretty much a hot mess mix of panic attack + freak out when faced with it.
  • Invest in yourself. I should have found something I was passionate about and cultivated it.  That could have been your career, your life's passion.
  • Take care of yourself. Exercise, eat right, don’t smoke; wear make-up if it makes you feel good. Style your hair. Maintain a good skincare regime. All these things become exponentially harder as you get older.  Take better care of yourself now so you won't have health problems later.
  • Play the field. Not that there’s anything wrong with settling down at a younger age or with a high school sweetheart at all.  But believe me, in your case, the one that you think is 'the one' is just going to leave you and when he does, it's going to jack you up for years.  It's going to take a LONG time for you to be okay with it and it will impact your future relationships in a bad way.  There were a few good guys you dated that didn't deserve to be treated the way they were just because you were still hung up on 'him'.  Learn that it’s okay to date for the sake of dating. It gives you an idea of what you want in a long-term partner – and what you don’t. And besides, you’ll get some great stories out of it. 
  • Realize that you came from a messed up family.  Start therapy.  Start it early.  Understand that your situation is not normal and don't fool yourself into thinking it is.  Learn values and get advice from your friends' parents on how to grow up successfully.  The issues you have that come from your family situation growing up will haunt you for years and years.  It will impact the decisions you make on getting married and having children of your own.
  • Choose a career that lights your soul on fire. Passion lends itself to success, so no matter what field you choose, if you love it, you’ll do well.
  • Hang on to the friends that are worth it.  I know that in life, friends come and go.  Get it through your head that the friends you have in High School are worth it.  You will lose them later on if you keep up your path of self destruction.  It will make you very sad when you think about it.  
  • Be responsible with money.  My god, this is a lesson that is so hard to learn for you.  Start a savings account.  Use this savings account to actually SAVE money.  Don't buy things you can't afford and for the love of god, stay away from credit cards.
  • Stop trying to impress people.  Yeah, it's High School and 'image is everything'.  But it's important to remember that those people who were shitty to you in High School have issues of their own and you don't know what makes them the way they are.  Do your best to be YOU.  Be kind, smile, laugh, be silly -- because that's who you are.  Confidence is sexy.  People will either like you or they won't, and you can't please everyone. 
  • Live alone for a while. I know you won't admit it, but you hate being alone.  The thought scares the hell out of you.  It will be tough and you will have hard times but with responsible money management (learn it!), you can pay your bills and have food to eat.  If you're bored, go hang out with a friend. 
  • Learn that it’s okay to like yourself. When is the last time someone paid you a compliment and you believed them? Brighten up.  Stand up straight and project how awesome you can be.  Boys will flirt with you.  I know it's scary and I know I thought they were making fun of me.  Wipe that out of your head and grow a (metaphorical) pair.  Flirt back.  Be confident.  Don't automatically assume everyone is an ass.  Give people a chance. 
What advice would you give to your younger self?