As I reflect further on yesterday’s IG post on self-love, my thoughts wandered to a vision of my 21 year old self. Year 21 was filled with wild nights followed by lost days. Today at 31 years old, I would say that I am at the most content than I have been in this lifetime. Life is not perfect, albeit I’ve learned to allow myself a bit of grace and an abundance of patience.
Growing up, I had this misconception that certain milestones had to be achieved by certain ages. I had to graduate college, start a career, get married, start a family, etc. While some of those things occurred in my twenties, I know now that there is a season and a reason for everything. In retrospect, those early years were all about testing boundaries and messing up. A lot. Year 21 was especially difficult; I was wildly passionate and recklessly aggressive, coupled in with bouts of insecurity can make for a lethal combination. So if I could turn back time and have a conversation with my 21 year old self, here are a few things I would tell her.
At 21, I thought I was invincible.
It’s OK that you don’t know what you want to be.
So don’t feel sorry for yourself. You will change your mind, A LOT, but things will fall into place. These early years are meant for discovering your passions and isolate your dislikes. Trust your instincts but continue to work hard.
Your heart will break. Multiple times this year. But it’s going to be alright.
You will meet two guys that you will be crazy about. Sadly, it will not work out but you will not regret a single thing. Your encounter with these relationships will serve as lessons so you can appreciate the real thing more. Don’t give up with each broken heart, it’ll only bring you closer to meeting the love of your life.
Spend your money on experiences, not materials.
You make great money bartending. Take the time to travel with your girlfriends while you are single. See the world and experience new things. You will never get that opportunity again.
Don’t buy that brand new car!
Yes, it may sound “cool” to buy a car brand new but cars depreciate immediately once you drive it off the lot. Buying used will save you a couple of thousands at the very least.
Drink responsibly and/or utilize a designated driver.
Seriously. There have been some close calls. We’ve had some crazy fun nights but they were not worth the risk. Also, it’s not really that cool that you can drink like a dude. Plus, all that alcohol will make you gain 10 pounds in a matter of months. Think about it.
Take better care of your body.
There is a reason ramen is so cheap and hot dogs are not real food. One day you will fall in love with fitness and plant-based foods. You might as well start sooner.
Cherish every minute you can with your girlfriends.
One day, you all will have your own lives with your own families. You can live 10 minutes away from each other and go months without hanging out. But 10 years from now, your kids will be the same age. And despite seeing each other only a couple of times a year – you will always pick up where you left off.
Keep up with your journal.
Write everything down. You think you’ll remember everything but you won’t. Time is fleeting and journaling is the only true way to preserve those memories. You will love reading about past experiences. PS – keep your blog going.
Stay in your own lane.
Don’t judge the beginning of your journey based on the middle of someone else’s. Dwelling on other people’s jobs, relationships and life experiences will only make you more insecure about your own. What was meant for you will reveal itself on its own time.
Call/go see your parents more often.
One day you will learn that your parents never stop worrying and thinking about you simply because you are older. It doesn’t take much effort to pick up the phone. They’ll always be happy to hear from you.
You’re going to be a great mom one day.
So stop worrying that you will be terrible at it. It’s also going to be the best ride of your life.
Last but not least, everything is going to be alright. Always keep your head up.