In a few short months I will be celebrating (hopefully in the Caribbean) my 40th birthday! When I think back to half a lifetime ago, there are so many thoughts that flood my mind. I can hear that old saying, “if only I knew then what I know now” before the husband, before the kids… Here are the top things I would have told myself:
12) You’re finding yourself. Making mistakes is what 20 somethings do. This is the time to make them. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Learn from your mistakes and move on. Everything is a lesson. This is only the beginning!
11) Find a charitable organization that touches you. Help in some way. Even though you are helping them, you will understand that “giving back” really helps you.
10) Go places, see & do things. I’m not talking exploring the world (unless you have the money for that, which I DID NOT). I’m talking about just getting in the car and going on an adventure. See where the road takes you. Many of the best things in life happen unplanned, so just go out and do them.
9) Don’t be afraid to do things alone. Within reason, I’m not saying go meet that guy from Craigslist (which thankfully, are you ready…there was no such thing as Craigslist when I was 20) you just texted (also no such thing as texting when I was 20). Go to the movies, go out to eat, go on that adventure. Just because you can’t find someone to do it with you, don’t let that stop you.
8) Focus on your education now. Later, life’s bigger responsibilities will make it much harder.
7) Don’t ruin your credit! Those credit cards seem glorious at 20, for clothes, drinking money, gas in a friends car… However,your credit score is so important, don’t screw it up!
6) Someday you are going to wish you were this “fat” again. Stop worrying about your body image, your beautiful, inside and out.
5) Enjoy time with your girlfriends. Boys will come and go (more on that later) but the more time you spend enjoying your friends, the happier you will be.
4) Always take time to talk to your parents. Yes you think you are so busy (even though you have no idea what busy is yet) but your parents need to hear from you. They need to hear your voice to know you are doing okay and are happy. Visiting them is even better.
3) Your material things are so unimportant. The car you drive, clothes you wear, cell phone you have, the shoes you wear, none of things will bring you true happiness. Understand there is a difference between, needs and wants!
2) If you hate a job, get a new one. If someone brings you down, ditch them. Life is too short to let outside influences get you down.
1) Last but certainly not least, it is actually my number 1 for a reason. Do not take a guy or relationship too seriously. There is a 2% chance you will stay together forever. Your idea of what your future holds and theirs, are probably completely different. Don’t be afraid of break ups, they are inevitable, and life will be better after! Be yourself! Do not let anyone change that. Trust your instincts and that little voice within you, they are there for a reason!
I wonder what my 60 year old self will tell my 40 year old self?????
Sidenote: 1996 — 20 Years Ago
This is the exact cell phone I owned, and beepers were still popular!
The internet used a slow dial up method of connecting you to the WWW = World Wide Web. This needed a telephone line to connect to. I no longer even have a home telephone line.