I turned 24 this week and was reflecting back on past birthdays, memories and overall moments of life. It was so funny to see what was happening years ago on my birthday, who was in my life and the choices that I made at the time.
As we grow and change I think it is important to reflect back and understand how you've grown. Below are some things I wish I could tell my younger self:
Wash your face before bed
How many times do we lay in bed debating whether or not to take our makeup off before going to sleep? For me, this was all too often. I wish I would have stressed more importance on this instead of sleeping in my makeup!
He’ll come back to you
Many of you know that Kollin and I have been dating since middle school, eighth grade to be exact! During high school, we broke up and it was heart-breaking. Looking back, I wish I would have told myself that everything will work out how it is supposed to and he will come back to you (and stay with you through college, move in together in Chicago and be so happy!). Oh, young love!
It’s a bad day, not a bad life
I remember when I was younger and something bad would happen it would feel like the end of the world. But, like everything else in life, time passes and so does the bad day. Understanding it is a choice to be in a bad mood would have been so helpful.
Accept yourself as God made you
Through middle school and high school, the comparison game is hard. We want to look this way, have that girl's life and clothes and grow up quickly. While a lot of these problems can follow us into adulthood, I so appreciate now knowing I'm exactly who I am because God made me that way.
Change doesn’t have to be scary
New experiences, jobs, people and lifestyles can be intimidating, but looking back I would tell myself to reach out of my comfort zone more often. This is often the place where we learn so much about ourselves and create a foundation for who we are.
Your parents are right
Yes, mom, you were right about needing that jacket at the football game even though I didn't want to cover up my cute dress. It was cold and I did need it!
Yes, dad, Panama City Spring Break wouldn't have been a good idea or as fun as I thought.
Your parents have your best intentions in mind and love you and want the best for you.
Be kind to everyone and don’t judge
In high school, I had friends in many different friend groups and I loved that. I definitely tried to fit into a certain one and wish I would have broken down those expectations. Like I said above, the comparison game is hard at that time and it can be easy to jump on the train of judging others that are different. I guess it comes with maturity and understanding that everyone is deserving of your best and most true self.
Try new foods
I was such a picky eater most of my life! I wish I could tell my younger self to open up and try new foods and dishes that I turned my nose up at.
So many things end up not mattering and it's funny how big of a deal things seem at that time. Forgive people and ask yourself, "Will this matter in a year?" If not, let it go. If it will, still forgive them, but make a point to positively work forward rather than holding that grudge and bringing negativity into your own life.
Great things take time
I believe the best things in life take time. Some of these things include wine, bourbon, handmade Chanel bags... (jk hehe). But, having the expectation that things will come right when you need them or in a quick fashion is misleading yourself. Take the time needed to make something great, put in the extra effort to make something better than it was before and spend time on the things that matter most.
People will let you down, but that’s ok
As we grow and change, people will leave our lives. This could be for many reasons, but it's normal to lose touch with someone or lose friends all together. We grow and change and so do friendships.
Don’t go to the tanning bed
I remember when being pale was such a big deal lol. I was always so concerned about being tan in the winter and for a long time in college, I would go to the tanning bed to make sure I always had that tan glow. I regret this so much! Tanning is not only horrible for your skin and can cause cancer, but I know my older self would be so much healthier. While being pale isn't the chicest thing in the world I definitely am trying to be smarter about sun exposure!
This is painful, but you grow from it
As we grow and change, there can be growing pains. Challenges at home, losing friends, high school in general and sometimes heartbreak. While I would never wish hardships on anyone, I do believe that these challenges and darker times shape us into who we are and provide us the opportunity to make decisions about who we want to be.
Learning from those experiences can be so beneficial, even if it feels painful in the moment.
Your problems are not problems
I always laugh a little about what I used to think was a problem, but that is just part of growing up. A girl having the same prom dress was stressful and trying to balance cheerleading and studying for science class were the most of my problems. But hey, I was 14 and didn't really have problems. So, we grow up and learn about other people's real problems. I look back and feel so blessed to have been in a place where the frivolous and small problems were my problems. I would tell my younger self to gain some perspective and understand what real problems are and push myself to help those who have to deal with them.
I am always learning and growing and I hope I always will. 24 definitely feels like an "adult" year and that excites me. I was telling my family that for the past few years I've continuously felt 19 and so young. This year, I think that will change and I'm excited to add more learning experience to this list to tell myself. What would you tell your younger self?
Thanks so much for reading! xx