In my opinion, one of the best things that comes with age is wisdom. Unfortunately, I am yet to gain any real or useful wisdom so I guess I still have that to look forward to as I hurtle towards that great finish line in the sky. Or at least I hope my wisdom finds me one day….
So then the second best thing in my book would have to be the confidence and assuredness that I find creeping into my life. It’s somewhat surprising to me.
You see I’ve generally been the kind of person who tried to not be overly offensive to anyone else. I’ve always tried to be kind, friendly, conservative. Not overly opinionated (except with my nut job family) or controversial. You get the idea. The problem was that I wasn’t always being 100% true to myself. So here’s what I would say to the version of me living her 20’s and 30’s if I could somehow get a message to her. And if she’d listen (I’ve always been stubborn and pig-headed so it could be a tough gig) but here we go!
- Stop worrying about whether or not people like you. It really doesn’t matter. Trying constantly to remodel yourself to fit everyone else’s idea of you will exhaust you and end up with you feeling empty and unrecognised. The friends you so desperately want to keep happy are the kinds of people who are only interested in keeping people in their circles who constantly stroke their egos. They are nowhere as genuine as the people you will meet when you reveal your true self and besides which, you will come to realise that sometimes the best friend a girl can have is herself.
- You are a beautiful woman who deserves to express herself. Wear whatever the heck you want to! And you know what? If someone doesn’t like it – who cares? I can guarantee you that the world definitely does not end when someone doesn’t like how you look. Also you will learn that you don’t really care how they look either. The old “it’s what’s on the inside that counts” adage really is true.
- You are a sensual, sexual human being whose needs are as important as those of the man who you are with. Do not compromise, do not settle for second best and ask for what you want.
- You are a great mother. I know you constantly question your methods and you will change your mind thousands of times on which way is best to raise your kids, but the only thing that matters is that they know you love them. And I think they do.
- Take some risks. Those jobs that you would love to do but you’re too afraid to try in case you suck at them? Try them anyway. And if you do suck at them you will not die. You will brush yourself off and keep ploughing ahead. Because you have to take some risks to learn and there’s no failures in life – they are just opportunities to re-plot your course. I know that you can do it. Just give it a go.
- Do not give yourself away completely. You do not need to surrender your entire self to someone to make them love you as much as you love them. You need to have something in reserve to love yourself as well.
- Stop believing what everyone keeps telling you. Things like “if your husband hadn’t have married you no-one would have”, “he’s way too good for you” or “you landed on your feet well didn’t you”. Because do you know what? You are a strong, independent woman who is always going to be OK with or without a man. And what’s more you are just as much an asset to him as he is to you and have just as much value in the relationship.
- Learn to surf. It hurts more when you fall over the older you get. Learn to ride a motorbike even though you’re terrified of them. Learn the drums early too. Because you will want to play them lots and lots before you depart this world. And then never stop learning everything about anything else that piques your interest because life really is too short.
- Don’t make promises to keep other people happy because it will only make you miserable.
- Trust your gut and intuition. Turns out it is 99.9% accurate.
- Breathe more. Worry less.
- Keep your spontaneity and wit.
- Grow your fringe out. You will not look like a bald old man – trust me.
- You are an introvert. Stop trying to be an extrovert.
- You do not need to be all things to all people. Find the things you want to do and learn to say no to the other stuff.
You are funny. You are smart. You are creative. You are a quick learner. You are loyal. You are loving. You are unique. You are valuable. You are ENOUGH and sometimes you’re even MORE.
I promise you that the minute you give up the stupid charades and masquerades you will see all of this for yourself.