Gone are the days of being young, naive & a little stupid. I’m now a mid-twenties gal with some life experience under her belt & I truly feel like I’ve come a long way since my younger days. If I had the opportunity to sit down with my younger-self to have a cup of tea & a chat, here is the advice that I would give:
You really don’t need to have your life figured out
I mentioned this in my What I learnt As A 24 Year Old Post. When we’re young we’re told that we have to get good grades in school & that we have to go to university if we want to have any chance at being successful in life. My school drilled this into me which, now that I’m older, I don’t appreciate. It’s such an old way of thinking! At the age of 17 when I was applying to universities, I felt like I needed to have my life planned out in front of me. That if I didn’t, I would be lost like a fart in the wind & I’d never make something of myself. I’d like to tell my younger-self that this is utter nonsense. You don’t need to know exactly what you’re going to do with your life. You don’t need to have a solid plan that you have to stick to. I only recently figured out the path that I’m good at & that I’m destined for & I’m 25. Guess what? It isn’t what I studied at university for either. Life has a way of putting you on the path that you need to be. Just enjoy the ride & don’t stress about it.
There’s more to life than your weight
I’ve told you all about my weight struggles in my Body Image By The Skinny Girl post. I’ve suffered with being underweight my whole life & I’m open about it with anyone who wants to talk about it. When I was growing up, especially during my teenage years (because we all know how difficult body image can be when you’re a teenager) I tortured myself mentally about my weight. I would cry myself to sleep over it. I would change my outfit 10 times until I found the outfit I didn’t look ‘too skinny’ in & then I would go back to feeling bad about myself as soon as I saw my reflection in a shop window or a mirror. I would take every single stare, every single look & every single comment about my size to heart & I would let it affect me. I wasted a lot of time hating how my body looked & because of that it still affects me today – although I’m happy to say that these occasions are very rare. I realised that there is so much more to life than your weight. My weight doesn’t define me & I just wish that I realised that at a much younger age.
It wasn’t until I hit the age of 22 that I really began to value myself as a person – especially when it came to dating. I dated people who were completely wrong for me & that I knew were completely wrong for me. But because I didn’t value myself as much as I should have, I stayed with that person. I let them treat me in a way that I never should have allowed. I don’t know at which point the switch flipped, but suddenly I refused to have anyone in my life who didn’t add value to it & who didn’t truly make me happy. Now I’m so happy to say that since that change I have found the love of my life who is a true gentleman who treats me better than anyone else ever has or ever could. It’s so important that we value ourselves enough to demand the love & respect that we deserve.
Don’t be scared to be yourself
This is something that I think a lot of young people experience because it’s with age & maturity that we sometimes learn the art of not giving a hoot. I used to care far too much about what people thought of me. I wouldn’t go out without makeup on in fear that, heaven forbid, someone I knew saw me. I wouldn’t do certain things in case people judged me. I just wanted to be liked by everyone. Now I really don’t care anymore. The reality is that the world is full of judgemental people who will judge you no matter what you do. So instead of worrying about them or trying to please them, worry about yourself & please yourself. After-all, it’s your own thoughts inside your head that you have to deal with, not theirs.
Stay young & don’t rush to grow up
When we were young, most of us remember thinking ‘I can’t wait to grow up’. I also remember many of the adults in my life at the time telling me ‘your childhood goes so quickly so enjoy it while you can!’ Did I listen to this advice? No. I wanted to grow up too quickly. I wanted to dress older, look older, feel older & act older. Now that I am older I wish that I could tell my younger self to be immature while I can. Having no responsibilities and no ‘adult worries’ is a wonderful thing that we only experience for such a short time. You never get to be a kid again.
My word, life is so short
It seems like only yesterday I turned 18. Today as I write this I’m now 25. I know that I am still young but what scares me is that I’m half way through my 20’s already. The years are flying past at a rate I never would have expected. I wish I could give my younger self the cliche advice that we’re all given countless times – to enjoy life because it’s so short. I want to tell my younger-self to go out and do everything that I want to do. To tick off the items on my bucket list no matter how scary they are. My years are flying by & before I know it, it’ll be tied down with a house & kids so enjoy all the adventures while the opportunity is there & throw yourself into absolutely everything you do.
What advice would you give to your younger self?