Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Advice, in Advance

Like most people, I have reflected on stages of my life after they've passed and thought about what I could have done differently.  Often my regret is simply that I didn't appreciate what I had when I had it.

College comes to mind, when a dilemma consisted of debates with friends over which restaurant in the dorms should be the meeting spot for dinner, which season of Sex and the City should kick off the marathon, or which college bar should be the first stop of the night.  (Don't worry mom and dad-I studied too.)


I think it's natural to live through an event or a time period and reflect on what you would change if only you had known.  If given the chance, twenty-nine year old me would grab my twenty-one year old college self by the shoulders and say: 
-"Take more risks!  Study abroad for a term.  Ignore that fear of the unknown and fear of missing out and step outside of your comfort zone." 
-"Take a language class.  Who cares if it meets five days a week and you want Fridays off?!"
-"Enjoy the years living with girlfriends.  Sharing clothes and having impromptu chats in the hallway seems easy, but someday you'll have to check seven different calendars to make girl's night happen."
-"Live it up.  Stop chasing the future and enjoy the now.  Life will not be this simple again for awhile.  Maybe ever."

There will undoubtedly be things I will wish I had known as the next decade passes.  For that reason, I'm willing to take advice from someone who's been there before me.  
While I don't relate to every item on this list, many are things that I am constantly working on, and others are things I could definitely stand to remember.
     *     *     *     *     *
13 Things I Wish I Knew When I Was a Twentysomething
By Candace Walsh, via Huffington Post
Dear Twentysomething-year-old Me,
1. When that man you have a crush on asks, "Are you a good girl or a bad girl?" laugh in his face, spin on your heel and ignore his calls.
2. Wear sunscreen. At least around your eyes and above your currently pert upper lip's cupid's bow.
3. Just because you share blood with people doesn't mean you have to give them the time of day if they are hell-bent on making you feel small, misunderstood and wrong. You've given them enough chances. Cut the cord.
4. Sign up for small automatic savings deposits that kick in every time you get paid. You'll be making down payments on your own future freedom.
5. Rejection is not a sign that you should stop doing what you love. It is married to doing what you love. It should not be kneecapping you. Embrace it.
6. If you have a problem with a valued friend, bite the bullet and talk about it. Don't just disappear on her or him.
7. Tell the truth. People really do sense it when you lie to them, and it makes them distrust you or themselves. It's the darndest thing.
8. You were raised to think that you should be married well before 30 -- and that everything else you fill your life with adds up to failure if you remain single. That's a giant bucket of steaming dookie. Be choosy. The happiness you're chasing is actually suffusing your life right now. You will look back on this time very wistfully when you've got spit-up in your hair and a husband who expects hot meals, a sparkling-clean house and you to resemble the cutie he married.
9. Reconnect with your gut. I know you were raised to ignore it, and to first please others. Without a connection to your gut, you have no compass. Listen to it. If it squawks, pay attention. The more you listen to it, the more you'll avoid messy/self-destructive detours and align with your own satisfying path.
10. You are so beautiful right now. Your skin is amazing. Your metabolism is forgiving. You have epic amounts of energy and curiosity. Do not look to others to fuel up your self-esteem. You're made of awesome. Own it and others will see it.
11. Go easier on your mother. Every single thing (except for maybe three) that annoys and disappoints you about her will be something you recognize in yourself as you get older. That's one big bakery full of humble pie you're cooking up right now.
12. Don't be competitive. Be collaborative. There's plenty of room at the table.
13. Your dream life is not something that will appear to you, or not, like an elusive, mythical unicorn. You build your own specifically perfect life every time you listen to your gut, shake off rejection, honor friends, embrace choosiness, feed your savings account, recognize your own arrogance and ignore dudes who speak bimbo.
{Feel free to comment with your own bits of advice!}

1 comment:

  1. This is such a good post, Norah! So true about girls' nights these days. :( My favorites on Candace Walsch's list are #2, #4, #10 and #11.