If we can all just go back in time and knock some sense off to our younger selves, wouldn’t we all take the chance? I may not be considered “too old” but there are a lot of things I think I could’ve done better if I knew these things.
1. “You cannot please everyone.”
I know that we all tried to make everyone around us happy at some point in our lives. Sometimes, we sacrifice some parts of ourselves to be available for others. After all, we want to keep our friends and be there when they need us. However, in the process, we may end up neglecting the one person we must truly devote our time to – OURSELVES. There will always be people who, for some reason, don’t like us.
It’s not your job to make people like and accept you.
Anyone’s approval and disapproval does not define you as a person.
2. “Sometimes, forgiveness doesn’t come with an apology.”
No matter how much pain a person inflicts on us, that does not guarantee an apology from that person. The agony of waiting for an apology that can never come eats away a portion of our minds and our hearts. It costs us our peace. A hard lesson I have learned is that forgiveness does not require two people for it to happen. We can simply forgive – even without the other person’s consent. It is something we do for ourselves, not for that person.
Forgiving is an act of regaining our power back.
It is letting go of the grudge, the pain and the hate, all for our sake.
3. “Appreciate your parents and the people who took care of you while growing up.”
We spend our younger days wanting to MOVE AWAY from our parents, the people we grew up with, and the town we have been in for the first decades of our lives. However, once we live different lives somewhere far away, every second spent at home is something we’d hope would last. There will come a time when visiting our folks becomes a luxury to our mundane work lives and as years go by – we start noticing it. Our parents are getting old. With their hair turning gray and their lines showing up, we all realize that time moves and we don’t have forever. At 24, my heart yearns to revisit the fondest memories spent at the home I grew up with, with the people that made me who I am.
Instead of being on our phones 24/7 when we visit, why not talk and actually start to know the people that brought you up?
4. “It’s okay to lose friends.”
Some people are meant to be with you only for a certain chapter of your life. While we grow, we outgrow people. It is inevitable. It’s not a sin to cut off people that can no longer help us become our better selves. If it is, it is a sin to make to ourselves. When we allow other people to hinder our growth, we deprive ourselves of living our potential. As you grow old, your circle may become small. It’s alright.
A few solid, good friends are always better than a hundred fake ones.
5. “Save. Learn about Financial Literacy!”
I cannot stress this enough. I waited for three years after working before I started thinking about my finances! I treated myself so well in my first years of employment that when the pandemic came, I realized that if I lost my job – I wouldn’t be able to support myself. I had zero savings, no investments, and no other source of income except my paycheck. It pays to be smart about finances early on. If I had saved or learned about investing early, I could’ve built something for myself now.
You don’t have to wait to grow “older” before you save and invest.
You will thank yourself for starting early.
6. “Eat healthy. Exercise. Keep your body moving!”
Three years with a sedentary lifestyle definitely took a toll on my health. Barely being able to walk three flights of stairs, I am now blatantly aware that I am not fit. It gets harder to get (and stay) fit when you grow old. Definitely not for the aesthetic, it is an investment you make for yourself – to feel better, TO LIVE LONGER! Find something you love that will keep you moving. I am not a fan of cardio, HIIT – you name it. I found my refuge in yoga.
Your health is your wealth. No matter how old that saying is, it has been passed on again and again simply because it’s true.
7. “Love and forgive yourself no matter what.”
For years, I have looked at myself in the mirror, unsure whether I wanted to be who I am. I hated myself and I hated everything about me. I knew I wanted more but I settled and never aimed higher. I wanted to change my life so badly. However, there was one thing I did not realize.
I cannot become a better person, a changed person – without loving my current self first.
I cannot change my life to a better life – without loving my current life first.
I had to know myself all over again. What do I love? What do I hate? Who do I want to become? When I started to accept myself for who I am, that was the only time that real transformation happened for me.
We all have people close to our hearts. Yet, it is ourselves whom we spend literally all of our time with. At the end of the day, who we are is what we confront. The first step to changing for the better is accepting and loving ourselves for who we are.
For the years to come, having all these lessons with me makes me feel braver and stronger for whatever lies ahead. In every chapter of our life, we learn something worth taking for all the other years to come. Life is a beautiful journey.
Thank you for spending time with me today.