Hey you! Yes, you, the one who is reading this post wondering if any of this is going to apply to you. I don’t know if this post was meant for you or if it applies to you at all, but I do know this: You are beautiful and smart. You are a work of God, and He made you exactly how He wanted you.
I love the quote to “Be the person you needed when you were younger.” In a way, it has become my life’s mantra. As a therapist, I am constantly trying to be what my clients need me to be, and as a wife, I try to be what my husband needs. The same goes for friendships, especially with my crew. Each one of my friends is so incredibly different from one another, and I put a lot of effort in being unique to what they specifically need.
This is how I was growing up, but I didn’t see it as a positive thing. In fact, this was one of the things “the other kids” used to pick on me for. They would say that I was fake, two-faced, a people pleaser, and that I had no personality. When the truth was that I was trying to be the best version of me for each person. That meant that I would be different to different people. I know that now, and I wish I had known that then. But hindsight is 20/20, and I’m just grateful that I now understand why I am the way that I am.
Along with this knowledge, there are so many things that I wish I had known then. Maybe you can relate. Here is a list of things that I would love to tell my younger self. If you feel that you fall into the category of still being a younger self, then I want to say these things to you:
- Stop Trying To Be Perfect.
- Be content with what you are working with. God created you this way for a reason, and you must know and accept that you were beautifully and wonderfully sculpted into the person you are today. You are already perfect, and it is your responsibility to show the world your own version of perfect.
- Make Sure Your Beliefs Are Worth Fighting For.
- This is simple. Know what you believe and why you believe what you believe. If you’re okay with that, then fight and fight hard. Allow others their right to believe differently, but put your beliefs out into the world so that others might learn from your perspective.
- Ask For Help.
- This. This is everything that I needed to hear when I was younger. Referencing #1, perfection was the goal. Perfection meant never asking for help. Perfection meant having it all together. Reality is that I didn’t, and I found myself drowning in an effort to walk it alone.
- She’s Not Your Friend.
- To the girls who made me feel bad about my convictions, my appearance, my desire to include everyone (even the non-popular kids), you were not my friend. My beliefs were right, and my friends have shown me that now.
- He Doesn’t Really Love You.
- To the guys who made me feel like I wasn’t good enough in any capacity from intellect, to beauty, to size/shape, integrity, and faith, you didn’t really love me. I was good enough, and my husband has shown me that now.
- Let Your Hair Down.
- If you knew me growing up, you know that my hair was always glued into place with enough hairspray for all 52 contestants at Miss America. Not sure why, but I felt this intense need for my hair and make up to be perfect at all times. Heck, I even won my Senior Superlative of Best Hair. But seriously, look where that got me… Exactly where I would have gotten with a looser ponytail and less glue.
- It’s Not About The Numbers.
- I wish I had figured this out at 14 before I let myself cry in the Abercrombie fitting room because I couldn’t fit into the right size. Numbers don’t define your abilities to be a good person, they just help you to know which item to purchase without having to try it on every time. To this day, I cut out the tags because I refuse to be defined by a number.
- Always Defend the Little Guy.
- No matter what, always be the person who stands up for others. Never be too shy or embarrassed to put yourself out there. If you can help and you don’t, you are just as wrong as the bullies.
- It’s Okay To Be Alone.
- This applies to so much. I’m the type of person who enjoys a crowd, but at the end of the day, I need to be alone to recharge. I didn’t know that was normal or okay until I heard someone else confidently explain that they were the same way.
- You Don’t Have To Be Like Everyone Else.
- The be different movement happened towards the end of my youth, but I sure could have used it during high school. We were all little carbon copies of each other running around trying not to be too different. I wonder what kind of change we could have erupted if we had proudly and confidently just been ourselves.
- Stop Trying To Be Different | Be Yourself.
- Contrary to #10, I’ve found that the be different movement also kinda ruined the whole be yourself thing. Being different turned into being quirky or pretending to like things that were unique just for the sake of being different. Seriously, just stop trying altogether, and decide for yourself what you like and like that.
The list could go on and on, and I hope that it will through your comments below. If you could give your younger self some advice, what would it be? Don’t keep it to yourself, share it with the world. I believe that we have a responsibility to pour into those who are younger than us, and it’s things like this that they need to know. If no one told you, then why wouldn’t you share it with them? Create a life where you pour into the next generation in order to prevent history from repeating itself. My prayer for today’s teens and tomorrow’s youth is that they not experience any of the heart ache that I went through simply because they didn’t know their truth. We are the leaders of today, and it’s our job to help them understand and develop their personal truths.
– the Wife
2 thoughts on “Things I Wish I Could Tell My Younger Self”
I did need to hear this message today! Not only for myself but for my 13 year old!
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Thank you for writing such an inspirational piece – this is something I will have my 14 year old read even though she may not Really understand how life can make you stronger from negative experiences. It depends how we walk though life and the choices we make, are we pessimistic or optimistic do we say I’m never doing that again because of the fear of failure. Or do we cry/laugh and say wow need to try that differently next time!
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