Oh to be 20 something again. Life was a huge gift waiting to be unwrapped each day. I was still wondering where I would live, whom I would marry, what my kids would look like. I was a bright-eyed, cute, glass-half-full type of person. My take-a-penny-leave-a-penny sense of fair play had firmly taken root. I thought life was generally fair. Such a sweet girl I was.
I was also confused and heartbroken. I was floating through life trying to find somewhere to land. I had neither wings nor roots. I knew nothing. Now, life has proven to be a fantastic university with love, business, friendships and everything else. I am wiser, yes. There are so many things I understand now that I just couldn’t fathom back then.
Sometimes when you are moving forward with life, with a business, with a relationship, it is helpful to look back. If I could talk to that 20 something self assured, overly confident, smartie pants, I’d have a lot to say. Here are nine things I’d tell myself.
9 Things I Wish I Could Tell My 20-Something Self
1. Go easy on yourself.
Stop trying so hard to be perfect. You will inevitably failed and then all you can do is beat yourself up for failing. Give it your all. Try your hardest. Have high standards. And, understand that sometimes you need to accept being good enough.
2. Life won’t always be this way.
You won’t always fit into a size 10. Enjoy that shirt-tucked in, belt-wearing time in your life. Tunics and leggings are coming. Know that whether things are really good in your life or really bad, it won’t always be that way. Can you simply enjoy the season of life you are in without always looking around the corner for the next big thing?
3. Read the fine print.
Whether it is a business contract, a tax document, or the dozens of pages of a mortgage, read the fine print! Don’t move so fast that you don’t pay attention to the details. Not doing this can be life-changing. You may learn a very hard lesson.
4. All that glitters ain’t gold.
Just because the guy or girl looks good does not mean he/she will be good for you. Be sure to look beneath the surface when you meet people or get involved in a new venture.
5. Save up.
If 20 somethings could focus as much on saving their money and creating wealth as they are on the Kardashians, they would be very wealthy indeed. Frugality will serve you well. If you can get out of your twenties without mountains of debt, you will have set yourself up for a substantial boost in your later years.
6. It’s OK to walk away.
You don’t have to finish everything. You can walk away from a job, a blog, a relationship, a friend. If someone or something isn’t serving you well or feeding your soul, you can quit. Walking away is not admitting defeat.
7. Not all friendly people are friends.
8. Love your body.
Twenty years from now, you will give anything to have the body you have now. Enjoy it. But also know that when your body doesn’t look the same, it’s probably because of a whole lot of living.
9. Have fun.
Stop taking everything so darn seriously at 22. Don’t put the world on your shoulders at 25. Quit thinking you’re over the hill at 29. Let go and relax a little more. There will be time for fear and stress. I guarantee it.