As I approach 50, I’ve had some time to reflect on all of the lessons learned in my life—and what a life it has been! I’m sure anyone over 35 has had a moment where they’ve said to themselves, “damn, if only I would have known this in my 20’s, I probably wouldn’t have struggled as much.” Whether that statement is true or not, I strongly believe that we have to go through the sh*t we do to become the people we are today. With age comes wisdom, and I’ve definitely collected a few pieces of life-changing advice along the way. And I’m going to share them with you through a letter I wrote to my 20-year-old self.
I chose these particular pieces of advice because these would be things that I wouldn’t be trying to hear at 20 (those are usually the most important things!). I’m about to turn 50, here’s what I would tell my 20-year self.
Dear younger me, he will call you back—they always do.
Listen, men don’t walk away from something they think they can have. They will always shoot their shot but on their terms. There has never been a point in our life that he didn’t call back—whether he liked us or not. So, please save yourself unnecessary stress and occupy your time with something else.
“Act like he will call back…because he will.”
Lay back and chill. Don’t break your neck doing the most to try to get on his radar. You’re already there. Let him feel like he’s in control of the pursuit. Even if he doesn’t like you, just give him space, they always come back.
Dear younger me, trust the process sis.
Listen, don’t believe the hype—instant gratification is not a thing. Things happen when they are supposed to, not when you want them to. What I’m about to tell you is the ultimate advice for living a good life: “What’s for you is for you.” Whatever you put in the atmosphere enough, it’s going to come back to you eventually.
“Understand that it is a process. Trust the process. You know the direction. Go in that direction. It’s that simple.”
Lead with intention and reinforce what you want with action. It is not about all the things that happen to you to get to where you need to go. It’s about the fact that you will get there eventually. If you trust the process and just keep pushing forward, it will happen for you. Period.
Dear younger me, love people for who they are and not who you want them to be.
Listen, when people show you who they are, believe them…not the story you tell yourself to make yourself feel better. Love people for who they are and treat them accordingly. Don’t waste your time getting upset with people about things they’ve done to you that align with who they are as a person. You knew that they were capable of whatever it is that they did. Would you get mad at a snake for acting like a snake?
“Meet them where they are.”
From parents to significant others to friends, they are who they are. Here’s some stress-relieving advice babygirl, if you can’t handle who you meet today, stop today. They are who you met, so just leave them where they are. It’s that simple.
Dear younger me, don’t take it personally—it’s not about you.
Listen, mind your business and read “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz. You have to understand that not everything that happens to you is about you, it’s actually for you. It’s for your growth—both personally & professionally. It’s to set you on the path you need to be on.
“It’s not about you” tends to be a hard pill for some people to swallow. But, the reality is…it’s not about you.
It’s not about what happens to you, it’s about how you respond. Work on increasing your self-awareness because it’s going to play a major role in your self-control. Learn to just let it slide, and keep doing what you’re doing. Just remember this: every time you stop to make something about you, you’re slowing yourself down. Why? Well because you stopped. Stay focused.
Dear younger me, always do your best.
Listen, live a life of no regrets. How do you do that? Well, you make sure to always do your best. Never put yourself in a position to be ashamed. Ask yourself this every time you need to make a decision: if people find out what I did, can I own up to it? If the answer is YES, then go for it because you’ll have no regrets.
“Have no regrets. Own your sh*t.”
Remember this: if you do your very best, you will find yourself in a place never regretting the effort that you put in because that’s all you had.
P.S: We are living our best lives at 49! We’ve been through some stuff, but what waits for us on the other side is far beyond our wildest dreams.
Your future self