Top Five Things I Would Tell My Younger Self!
I recently received a call from a sophomore at my undergraduate alma mater, who while trying to request donations to the school, also preceded to tell me all about what’s happened since I graduated 12 years ago. Ouch, has it been that long!! Anyway, after ending the call, I started to think about what advice I would have given to a younger me. Since I did end up giving this young lady some advice she was thankful for, I decided I should also write it here for posterity. These are not in order of importance, just what I wish I would’ve known as a younger woman!
1.Enjoy Your Body
This one might sound a bit weird, but allow me to explain. Unlike several of my friends I didn’t put on the “Freshmen 15” that other girls did, but instead was at my smallest size to date! I think this basically stems from the fact that I wasn’t eating nearly as much of the junk that I did as an insecure girl in high school, but it could also be the fact that I had to travel back and forth to school every day without a car. Anyway, although I was very slim but curvy at this time, I was always super self-conscious about my body. When I think of the fact that I was a size 4, but was certain that I was a “fat pig” no matter what anyone said to me, I become unbearably sad. This time in my life is the one period where I know I was being influenced by TV and models in magazines to believe that I was not good enough. Instead of being ashamed to wear a bikini, I should’ve worn one every chance I got! My body isn’t nearly as tight as it used to be, so I wish I would’ve enjoyed it the way it was then, and not feel bad about myself constantly!
2.Travel, Travel, Travel!!!
While I have been blessed to see several different destinations in my life, I was held back from seeing a whole bunch more because I was afraid to travel by myself. The picture above is from a trip to Rome I took in 2006 with two of my friends and was one of the best trips I ever went on. However, knowing how I was back then, I know that I would’ve never went on that trip had my two friends not gone with me. Imagine missing out on such a wonderful trip just because I would be alone! I’m very proud to say that I went to London alone in 2008, and know in my heart that I was changed fundamentally just from flying so far from home to a strange city alone. During my undergraduate studies, I had several opportunities to study abroad, but again talked myself out of it due to fear!
3.Don’t Be So Shy!
Being shy has been a struggle for me throughout my entire life. During my younger years, I could go months in someone’s company, and they not know anything but the basics about me. This resulted in me missing out on several opportunities both romantic and platonic. I recall to this day that a girl I went through eight years of school with wrote a note in my yearbook wishing that I had been more open and friendly because she felt like we could have been good friends. I had often felt like there were several occasions where I could have been more open to a friendship with this girl, but would always pull back before she could get too close. As a young girl, my mother always told me not to rush into situations where I did not know all the players. I think I took this too much to heart, and so would hold myself back from actually getting to know people. I’m much more open now but wish I could have realized what being shy was costing me a long time ago.
4.Let Him GO!
During my freshmen year of college, I started a relationship with a guy that I thought was “the one”. I ended up wasting a lot of my time on this relationship mainly because the man in question wasn’t sure what he wanted. My grandmother always told me that if a man wants you, then he will consistently make his case, and not allow the possibility that another man might have you instead. I should have listened to my grandma, but I chose to make excuses for why our relationship never moved beyond a certain point. Thankfully, I found “the one”, so it’s ok, but I shed many tears getting to this point.
5.Don’t Give Up!
When I first entered college I majored in Finance and was completely fascinated by the rules and structure. As the semesters flew by, I was discouraged from continuing by a dean at my university. While she meant well, it was expressed to me that perhaps I should become a history or English major instead due to my low grades in math classes. Don’t get me wrong, math never was my favorite subject, but I think I should have buckled down instead of switching to my English major. As much as I loved my professors and the courses I took, I still feel sad that I didn’t try harder to complete the business coursework.
So, there are the top five things I would tell my younger self if I had the chance! It’s amazing how easy it becomes to think about what I could’ve done now that I’m so far away from it. What would you have told your younger self?