If you could sit down and give some advice to the younger version of yourself, what would it be?
Here’s some words of wisdom to the younger me from the current me:
1. Your siblings are not trying to kill you, although it may seem that way. Think of your spats much like those of dogs where there is a constant unexplained struggle to be the “pack leader”. If you have to be in a scuffle, always, always be the referee. This position is no less painful, but rest assured, your pack-mates will remember your compassion and sound reason when their hormones come-of-age, resulting in a relationship that more closely resembles the word “friends”. And remember, they didn’t pick you either – you’re no more perfect than they are.
2. Love your body. Everyday, when you look in the mirror, say these words, “This is as good as it gets.” This will help you appreciate the “now”. Time is cruel and hope can be a fickle thing – they’re as unpredictable as the weather. One day, you may get caught in a hail storm without even realizing it, only to find said hail damage the next time you try on that bikini, sadly realizing your insurance doesn’t cover posterior damage!
3. Don’t smoke. Drink water. Eat apples. Chocolate doesn’t love you back. Never drink more ounces of liquor than there are hours in one day. No, I’m not joking…this is the “old you”. Just trust me.
4. Be good to your parents. Make more time for them. Don’t “get around to it”, just do it. One day, if you’re lucky, you’ll realize you know them as friends and not just your parents. For the record, they’re usually right and when they’re not anymore, then you know technology and time have surpassed them and they need you more than ever.
5. Travel. It’s the only way you’ll learn that you, your hometown, and your country aren’t the only ones in the world. It’s also the only way you’ll learn to appreciate them and the rest of the world. You’ll see how the rest of the world views you and the things you know and that in itself is enough to help guide how you want to carry yourself through the rest of your life.
6. The love of your life exists. You won’t know how you found it or got there, but once you meet them, you’ll realize all the questioning and struggles with the amateurs before them gave you a bunch of heartache for nothing. P.S. You have to love yourself first.
7. Never get sucked into gossip. It never stops no matter how old you get. It’s the worst kind of information and is usually negative. Once you join in, you end up becoming as negative and uninformed as the people who are doling it out. Always remember that the world is a small place and you will most certainly run into everyone again. Be prepared to face them and your actions.
8. Refuse to be an “angry elf” at work. Okay, so some days you might not want to be there…just like everyone else. Cliche or not, always bring a positive attitude to work with you, no matter how crappy your job, eventually it will rub off on a few others and make the daily grind more enjoyable for everyone. You might even convert a few “angry elves” in the process! You won’t remember the job, but you’ll always remember the people and they’ll always remember you. Be remembered for a good reason.