Looking back over the past decade or so, life is constantly changing. Like the ebb and flow of the ocean’s tide, I have changed right along with it.
Now, in my mid thirties, here is what I would tell my younger self –
1) Don’t worry so much about what others think.
All the time many of us spend consumed with the opinions of others is a waste of energy. Spend that precious time instead on what truly matters.
2) Wear what you like – Don’t dress for others
Some days, I want to be bright, even a little crazy with my dress. Today it was a vintage shirt, dangl-y earrings and a messy bun that kept unraveling and needing repining all day. So what! Why can’t I wear a festive outfit, blue eyeshadow or sassy shoes when they can brighten my mood instantly. Sometimes it works, sometimes I strike out. But I love what actress Ashley Simpson said when she was criticized by the fashion police in the tabloids. “Hey, at least I tried something.” Don’t get stuck in a rut. Keep evolving.
3) Accept your body
I used to hate my freckles, and white skin. And other things too. But not so much anymore. Instead of wasting time critiquing everything I consider a flaw, I find it better to love myself and appreciate who I am. Unique in my own way. Sure, I still struggle with comparing myself with others, but I work with what I have and do my best and then that’s it. I hate that most of the women I know are always putting themselves down, never okay with themselves. It shouldn’t be rare to hear someone say, “I am happy with my body,” and yet it is. My attitude is if something about your body bothers you and you can and should change it, then do it. But if you can’t change it or won’t, then get over it and stop complaining about it. Turn your energy on being the best you that you can be instead and get over yourself. Case closed. Celebrate you!
4) Life takes turns you will not expect. Stay resilient and come back better.
All of us have had an unexpected turn of events at some point, disappointments, and struggles. These are the things that challenge us and prove whether we have the willpower to stay in the game. It isn’t how you struggle. It’s what you do with the struggle that counts.
5) Keep the cement wet and stay in the classroom of life
The minute you quit learning, the cement of your ways starts setting in and leaving permanent marks. Everyday is an opportunity to learn something. So never stop being interested and interesting. Everyone can teach you something, even if it is what not to do.
6) Honesty is the kiss of friendship
True friends love you without your makeup on. They tell you the truth when it hurts. They have your back when you need them. And they never quit loving you, even when you are un-lovable.