Recently, I treated my first cousin to dinner. She is beautiful, well-traveled, extremely intelligent, and in her twenties. Listening to her share her stories and plans for the future took me back a decade to that period in my own life. A simpler time when I thought I had it all figured out. Plans set! Not knowing that life had its own agenda…one quite different from mine. Not realizing that before I could blink my eyes good, I’d be in my mid-thirties. As I listened to her, clearly explaining her plans, I wondered if she made room for life. I wondered what I’d tell myself when I was her age.
Now, the Besties and I have covered a very similar topic in a This Week At Brunch episode, and you should check it out AFTER you finish reading and commenting on this, of course! As I am approaching the mid-point of my thirties, I thought it would be nice to readdress this topic for the purposes of self-refection and ultimately GROWTH! I promise not to repeat any lessons from the Besties!
When People Show You Who They Are, Believe Them…The First Time
This lesson comes from the oh-so wise Maya Angelou via Auntie Oprah. In every problematic relationship (be it a friendship or in a romantic one), the person showed me who they were prior to things falling apart…EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. It may have been in a small action, or in an action to someone else. I had a sense that something was off or contradictory to my expectations for the relationship. For reasons that I am still trying to figure out, I chose to ignore my intuition. Both consciously and subconsciously, I justified their actions only for them to do what I knew they’d do anyway. I could have saved myself from a lot of heartache…not to mention, time!
Mom/Dad Is Always Right
This one is difficult to write for sure, but it is true. I don’t know if they have some inner-connection with the universe that allows them to foresee shit. Or, if they just know you (their child) well enough to know, but Mom (Dad) is always right. Now, rather you listen to them or not is definitely your call, as I do think its important for every person to find their own way. Just know that they’ll be right in the end. Sorry…
Don’t Waste Your Money on Dumb Shit
The things that mattered to me (things that I spent my time and money on...like stalking the newest MAC collection) during my twenties don’t matter as much now. If I had the money I spent on clothes, I could have circled the globe, twice! Then, I thought I had so much time to do things like traveling. While, there is a lot of truth to that thinking, time is precious, so BE PURPOSEFUL with it! Money is a beautiful gift that allows you live life as you choose…so don’t waste it on shit that won’t add value to your life and legacy.
Create Good Health Habits NOW
As you get older, your body will begin to have a mind of its own. Things will ache that didn’t before. Limbs will crack with the simplest of activities. Do yourself a HUGE favor and build your armor now. Having a strong and healthy body is your best defense to the effects of aging. Workout. Floss. Eat breakfast. Sleep. Take Vitamins. Drink water. Your body will surely thank you later.
You Don’t Know It All
Life is a journey. The person I was in my twenties has changed and evolved. While some things I wanted then are the same, many things have changed. Make a plan, but leave room for life. Know that all the plans in the world won’t stop the hang-ups and bang-ups that are a part of your maturation. There’s no way you could possibly know it all because change is the ONLY certainty.
My twenties were a beautiful time period filled with a lot of love, life, and lasting memories. Twenty-something Veronica, you had some of it figured out, but most of is still in process. I am grateful for the journey. I am grateful of another decade to get it right, and look forward to the advice from my Forty-something self!
What lessons would you tell your younger self? I would love to hear your thoughts!
Love Without Fear,