What would you tell your younger self?
Sometimes we find ourselves thinking about our past and the decisions we made. Perhaps some decisions have had a huge impact on our lives. Going into a particular field of study, getting married, taking a job, not taking a job, are just a few examples of decisions that impact our lives in big ways. Other decisions may have seemed inconsequential at the time but have led to a regret or two down the road. It may not even be a decision itself but the advice you wish someone you trusted had given you.
During our teenage years, everything and I mean EVERYTHING, no matter how big or small, can seem to be a huge deal. The teenage years have been difficult and confusing for just about everyone throughout the history of mankind but it seems as if it is a stage in life that we all have to get through. I
wish someone had just explained to me that these feelings are universal. It is absolutely normal to be uncomfortable and feel like you don't really "fit in."
When you are a young adult, it seems everything is either "black or white" but as you grow older and experience more situations, you begin to realize
that there are more gray areas in life. No one is perfect and you have to allow yourself to make mistakes and be tolerant of others' mistakes. You just want to continue the process of being a good, productive, and kind human being. Everything is a teaching moment that gives lessons learned for life.
Some of the ideas I found in the books I read really resonated with me even though I am no longer a spring chicken. For example, to take care of the body now before it needs me to take care of it - to put down that whole bag of chocolate chip cookies, chocolate bar and soda that was going to be lunch! Eating right, exercising, and meditation are some of the ways to take care of your physical self. Getting involved in yoga or meditation classes at your local library are free and a great way to create new friendships as well.
Focus on your mental health, too. We all have different talents and strengths. When I was younger, I
was not comfortable in large crowds. I did not like it when people would try to make conversation with me. I would have just loved to be completely invisible. When I started my first job, I realized that making light conversation was necessary and I worked to improve my perceived weakness.
Which brings us to another life lesson that I wish I had learned early on. It is absolutely imperative to understand the importance of loving and valuing YOURSELF. Be good to yourself. Be kind to yourself. We would never treat a friend or a stranger the way we often harshly judge or treat ourselves. Care for your physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing the way you would for a loved one.
So I challenge you to write a letter to your younger self today. It is truly a cathartic experience that will hopefully help you to deal with the emotions of past situations. You can also read about letters written by other people and what advice they would give to their younger selves. Good luck!
Books featured in this blog:
If I'd Known Then: Women in Their 20s and 30s Write Letters To Their Younger Selves by Ellyn Spragins
If I Knew Then What I Know Now: CEOs and Other Smart Executives Share Wisdom They Wish They'd Been Told 25 Years Ago by Richard Edler
Note To Self: 30 Women on Hardship, Humiliation, Heartbreak and Overcoming It All by Andrea Buchanan
What I Know Now: Letters to My Younger Self by Ellyn Spragins
What I Know Now: Simple Lessons Learned The Hard Way by Sarah, Duchess of York
- Kaneeze, Highstown Branch