If you’ve been wondering where I’ve been for the past week, I’ve been on a road-trip with my family (cue call to therapist.) I’m half joking – the trip, for the most part was actually a lot of fun (more on that soon!) However, now I have a lot of everyday life stuff, work and blogging to catch up on. Getting back into the swing of things has been harder than I thought. My half unpacked suitcase currently looks like it’s throwing up on my bedroom floor and yesterday I thought it was Monday, when clearly it was Wednesday.
Since I’m obviously a total train-wreck this week, I’m really grateful that Laura of Red Lips and Academics offered to take the reigns and write the next instalment of Things I Would Tell my 20-Year Old Self. Laura is another awesome Bloggers in Sin City alum that I had the pleasure of meeting this year. Laura writes beautifully and just is all around lovely. She’s also a very stylish lady and I’m sure at several points during the conference I creeped her out because I was staring at one of her fabulous handbags or statement necklaces – this girl knows how to accessorize! She’s also one of the people I met at BiSC that I wish I’d had more of a chance to get to know. It was only after we met that I found out we both love author Francesca Lia Block, which makes me automatically adore Laura too. I’m really happy to have Laura guest blogging today & hope that we’ll get a chance to hang out again in the future!
Hopefully you guys can relate to Laura’s advice to her younger self as much as I can (FYI. I probably should have had #2 tattooed on my arm during most of my 20’s.) Take it away Laura!
That boy you’re so madly in love with now? Not going to be there in seven years. But that’s okay.
Right now, you have no idea that boy you adore so much will soon break your heart. No idea those nights curled up in the crook of his arm will end. No idea you won’t spend another day sending silly text messages. No idea you’ll have to relearn how to be on your own. You’ll have no idea why it didn’t work out until many years later. And when you finally figure why, you’ll be thankful that it didn’t.
You don’t have to prove anything to anyone. Including yourself.
I get it. You were a terrible high school student. Unenthused. Apathetic. Now you want to “make up for it” by being an overachieving college student with good grades and an even better resume. Listen, you don’t need to prove that you’re smart, good, _______ enough to your parents, your professors, your friends, yourself or anyone. Quit looking for self-validation in other people or outside achievements and just believe in yourself. You are enough.
Don’t bother making career plans. You’ll change your mind anyway.
Remember when you wanted to be a veterinarian or a psychologist? Doubt it. You’ve dutifully made plans all your life only to change your mind a few years, months, minutes later. So don’t freak out too much when you decide senior year of college you no longer want to be a journalist. I know you’ll think you’ve lost your way and wasted the past three years of your life in school, but you haven’t. Something bigger and better is in store with you outside of your plans, outside your comfort zone. Keep working hard. You’re preparing yourself for it.
You don’t change much in seven years, so start accepting yourself now.
You may change your mind about a lot of things, but who you are stays the same. You still dance wildly out-of-sync to pop songs. You still haven’t gotten over your childhood fear of grasshoppers. You still refuse to eat the crusts of your sandwiches. So get used to the quirks and start loving your flaws, and only hang around people who do both of those things willingly and out of love. You’ve got the rest of your life of just being you, and things will be a lot easier if you just accept who you are and forget those who don’t.
Enjoy being in your early twenties because that does change.
The window where you can do stupid stuff and blame it on your age is quickly closing, my friend. So, live it up and make the most of it! Do something others or even you find completely crazy. Take a risk. Then take another one. Make a good story, learn some hard lessons, and don’t be afraid to live your life. Silly, wild youth is a fleeting dream world. Enjoy your stay while it lasts.
What advice would you give your younger self?