A while back I came across this popular video from CBC Radio. CBC made a special video message, to people of all ages to offer words of wisdom to their younger counterparts. It reminded me of this and this, of which I read well over a year ago. These articles inspired me to write a similar letter to my 20-year-old self when I turned 30. And I intend to do the same for my 40-year-old self, expressing what I hope to learn through this current decade. Below I chose to share a few things I wish my younger self had known at the ripe age of 20. (You will find similarities from mine and the previously noted article.)
- beauty is in the eye of the beholder. This may sound shallow, but I will admit I am vain. I spent a lot of time in my 20’s putting energy into my appearance (still do, but not nearly as much). It was important to me that others saw me as beautiful, as in “supermodel beautiful“. It was not until around 27 I realized no matter how hard I try to appear a specific way, beauty is relative to what someone believes is beautiful. I find many people and things attractive that others do not, and vice versa. Everyone has a different perspective and those perspectives are what makes people and things beautiful. Finding yourself and doing what makes you feel beautiful is what matters and is what will shine through.
- rejection is okay. It really is! In my early twenties when looking for a job I really struggled with rejection. I remember feeling sick to my stomach with nerves on days I was supposed to hear back regarding and interview. As I have grown up, career related or not, when I am rejected from something I know there was a reason for it and that rejection will help me follow and find my purpose.
- regret teaches great lessons. Time and time again I have been told not to have regrets because you only live once. Well, I have a lot of regrets, and I am okay with it. Why? Because I have learned from them. Do I regret not studying abroad in college? Absolutely. BUT instead I stayed on campus and started a relationship with the man that is now my husband, so how can I really regret that choice? Instead of dwelling on the fact I did not study abroad I focus on the fact that I am now able to travel the world with someone special to me. Do I regret a million things I have said or how I have acted towards my parents, siblings, friends, colleagues and husband? Sure, do! But I have learned from my actions and am able to be more aware of myself. Regret has taught me some of my most valuable lessons in life.
- you can not force friendships. A lot of the time friendships are more of a timely matter rather than a true bond. I have no close relationships with anyone from high school and a handful of intact relationships from the hundreds of friends I had in college. I forced myself to stay in touch with many from my younger days and in my late twenties realized many of my friendships did not have the same foundation as they did in years past. We had grown up, and had experiences that changed us, and a lot of time these friendships were just not convenient. Many friendships slowly faded, some grew substantially and I am forming (what I like to call) “my village”. I have realized I do not need to force connecting with each friend each week. The friendships I know will last are those that I may not talk to or see for a while, but when we do it is as if no time has passed at all.
- no one knows what they are doing. Everyone is in the same boat, trying to figure out this life thing. We all have our challenges making due with what we have, nothing will go right 100% of the time, but you figure it out as you go. The more and more I hear from others who are older, this is a constant tune. I do not think this ever goes away, no matter which decade.