Set aside the coffee, this is a job for alcohol. What happened to me??
I mean my dad did warn me, one day you are going to go to bed and when you wake you'll be 50. Maybe I am freaking out as I have a birthday looming. I’m in my 50’s... but I still feel like I’m in my 20’s…until I hang out with 20 years olds…then it is like nope…I am in my 50’s. I mean who the hell is this person staring me down in the mirror…wait is that a chin hair? Shit really???
I can try and see that silver lining and feel grateful that wrinkles don’t hurt (physically) but in the end I am not 20 anymore and not all of that is bad.
Just recently I was having that conversation with a friend…the one that asks...
"If you could go back in time what advice would you give your 20 year old self?
The list was interesting. Aside from invest in Apple and buy real estate the conversation was a cathartic one ripe with the wisdom that can only come from a having some mud on the tires. It has been said, life’s tragedy is we get old too soon and wise too late. How very true.
As I can't go back and course correct with my younger self I'm hoping that my 20-something year old daughters who ALWAYS read my blog but rarely ask for advice might take some little gem from this list …because if they are lucky one day they too will find it now takes a whole week to recover from a hang-over, hair will start growing where it shouldn't and they too will have benefited from pondering, if I only knew then what I know now.
Stuff I Wish I Knew Sooner
- Stop Worrying ~99% of the things you have worried about never happen. Things you cannot control you cannot change. Stop worrying about it. Everything is going to be ok.
- Use Sunscreen (look younger than your friends) ~ I mean I could say eat a balanced diet, look after your health, etc. but I know my 20 year old self would find it most useful knowing that the Hawaiian Tropic Coconut Tanning Oil (0 SPF) and a face reflector board are not your friend.
- Relationships will not make you happy unless you are happy with yourself first ~ Choose to be happy, it is actually a choice. Cause you are awesome and lots to be happy about but just too young to realize it yet.
- A jealous friend is more dangerous than a blatant enemy - Cut toxic friends out of your life. Not all your friendships are meant to last a lifetime...or even past high school.
- Lower your expectations...on everything - Expect less from others, more from yourself.
- Be nice - It is easier than you think to make someone's day just by smiling at them. People may not remember what you said but they will never forget how you made them feel. I know, its cliche...but it doesn't make it any less true.
- Don't be so quick to judge - Everyone is going through some battle you are not aware of.
- Not everyone will like you, and that is just fine - I remember my old boss Rosanne McWaters told me that. I remember thinking, ok maybe everyone won't like YOU...but not me…cause I am nicer than you. But she was right. Pleasing everyone is impossible, pissing off everyone much easier.
- College is not the only path to success. BA degrees are becoming more and more useless to getting a job. If it's not your path don't beat yourself up, get into the stream of life and follow your passion.
- It's not only OK to be different, it is essential. Go ahead, be uncommon.
- Trust your gut - If you can quiet the voices in your head (and from those around you) the answer is always there inside of you. Trust yourself, you have more power than you are using.
- Get outside. Walk, explore, play... travel, travel, travel. Be barefoot more often. The trees are busy making fresh oxygen just for you. Breath it in. See the world.
- Learn to embrace change, it is coming whether you want it or not ~ You're not the same person you were a year ago, a month ago or even a week ago. You’re always changing, as is life. Embrace the change and don't fear the unknown.
- Enjoy being alone - Give yourself time with you. Reflect, dream.. sleep in.
- Confidence is the key to just about everything ~ Confidence is beautiful and comes not from always being right but from not fearing to be wrong. Don't be afraid to take risks, speak up, honour your feelings. Believe in yourself. You got this.
- Enjoy the journey - Slow down, look around, enjoy the ride. The destination almost always is not where you thought you were going anyway.
- Stop comparing yourself to others - There will always be people who are skinnier, wealthier and more successful than you. It is a fact. It is you versus you. Take yourself on, not others.
- Find gratitude for what you have - That is not to say don't strive for things you want but take a daily inventory of all you have. Be aware, be humble and grateful. You are so fricken fortunate.
- Tell your parents you love them...often - Take them for dinner, tell them "thank you". They will never get tired of hearing "I love you" and one day you would give anything to tell them one more time.
So thinking forward (way forward) what advice would my 70 year old self give to me today?
- Live life on your terms. It is the only way you will be truly happy.
- Keep Moving. Ditch those super high heeled Louis Louboutins for Cole Hahn Zero Gravity walking shoes. One day walking will be an effort.
- Friendships are as essential as the air you breathe. Nurture those that feed your soul. Ditch the others.
- Be nice.
- Wear sunscreen (look younger than your friends).
We do not get old simply by just having birthdays, we age when we start to give up on our dreams. So never stop moving. Learn...Re-Invent...Explore as much of this planet as humanly possible as it will be experiences not possessions that you will cherish. My 70 year old self will have also reminded me that I am...
Sassy, classy and still kicking assy. (Damn straight)
Thanks to all my friends helping with this list of brilliant advice. I welcome more and what is important to you.