Thinking about my twenties in yesterday’s blog post made me think of all the things I wish my thirty-something self could tell my twenty-something self. So, I decided to compile a SHORT list, because really there are way TOO many things I wish I would have known or thought through more clearly. Well, here we go;
#1. Friends are REALLY important. In my twenties friends came and went. I don’t really have that best friend of 30 years that so many people have. I am stubborn, I fight, and I don’t return phone calls. I pretty much never give second chances… Well, as a thirty-something I wish I had given some second chances once in a while. I had some friendships that I miss. I wish I had treated the friends I had better. I know I made mistakes.
#2. Having a boyfriend isn’t important… Please see my post from yesterday for details. I wish my twenty-something self didn’t want to help these boys that were wounded pigeons and I wish I had accepted that sometimes bad things happen to good people and they self-destruct. Life is about making decisions and not everyone wants to be saved. Some people decide to be miserable for a year or their whole lives… and as a thirty-something I know I can’t change anyone’s mind. They need to make those choices for themselves.
#3. Run. Running has changed my life. Thirty-something self enjoys it immensely. I wish I had run earlier in life.
#4. Don’t take out those college loans! I love my education; it has made it possible for me to have an amazing career… However, my thirty-something self feels like I’ll never be out of debt.
#5. Take time to relax. As a twenty-something I was always busy… working, school, family, and everything else. I never just enjoyed being young.
#6. Twenty-something self… You are skinny and pretty! I never in my life felt pretty. I always wanted to lose more weight and I always worried about food. I was obsessed with restricting… never drank soda, never had salad dressing, never wanted creamer in my coffee… because I read crazy articles in Cosmo that told me creamer added an additional 20 calories to your intake. WTF, Twenty-something self! As a thirty-something I ordered a salad with dressing for the first time recently and I enjoyed it. The extra 50 calories or so it gave to a salad of maybe 75 calories… well worth it. As a twenty something I devoured every weight watching tip, I didn’t eat healthy at all. I used diet pills… and I did many other things to lose weight. I ended up anemic more than once. I pinched nonexistent fat. I couldn’t look at myself in the mirror… Now, as a thirty-something I can admit that I have been obsessed most of my life with appearance and it’s not healthy. I wish my twenty-something self just felt like she was good enough. I still restrict but I am not as bad as I was… I had a radical idea this New Year’s to actually just be happy with my body and I think I’ll write a separate post on how that’s coming along.
#7. Twenty- something self don’t trust everyone. Some people are bad. Some bad people look and act like friends… be safe. I can’t go back. My twenty-something self was very naïve.
#8. Follow your heart… or your intuition or your natural instincts… however you want to describe it. My twenty-something self knows what I’m referring to.
Of course the most amazing things happened in my twenties… and here is a list of all the things I did right!
#1. I traveled and lived in South America for 3 years… I also went to France! (France=obsession of my life)
#2. I had my daughter. Best decision of my life.
#3. I got divorced! Second best decision of my life, haha… really seriously it was.
#4. I changed schools and completed my BA degree at Rockhurst University, I’m a hawk.
#5. I met Robert, my current husband… and I said, “Yes” when he asked me out!
#6. I mentored a great kid, Alon Smith… as part of an Americorps’ program. I won an award for this accomplishment.
#7. I took a risk and left a career in teaching for a job in biotech… Amazing decision twenty-something self! Way to go!
#8. I didn’t join the Coast Guard; it was a close call… long story. It ended up being a good decision for me, I am very pro-Coast Guard but it just wasn’t my calling.