I’ve been compiling a list of things I wish that 30+ year old me could call and tell 20-something year old me. Particularly the me of my mid-20’s. Do you know how as a kid you know most things? As a teenager you know EVERYTHING? And in your 20’s you know everything but now you have “life experience”? I think I have finally figured out that I don’t know jack shit! Its a much more peaceful place.
In my 20’s I knew what I wanted for a career, how many kids I wanted, exactly what my life would look like, and not to mention I had the answers to the worlds problems. Recently, I’ve realized my perception has totally changed. I am 31 and I know a little about very few things. So I’ve compiled a list of things I wish I could tell 20-something year old me.
1. Be careful with your body! Its going to get old, stop beating it up. I am pretty sure I broke more bones in my 20’s then the average person breaks over a life time. Jumping in front of a soccer ball to “save” a goal isn’t smart (and lead to a shattered wrist and broken arm). Guess what still aches when it rains…that wrist. Its all fun and games to take some risks but calculate them. You are not invincible.
8am after hospital all night for shattered bones circa 2008 (25 years old)
Caught a softball with my face I looked like this for weeks (26 years old)
2. You are what you eat! No seriously…ramen noodles, pizza, pasta, cake, and chocolate do not make up the food pyramid. I ate everything and anything in my 20’s. Fast food at 3am…sounds great! Occasionally, it all good. Moderation is key! Sometimes you should eat A piece of pizza not A pizza. There is a big difference. The older you get the harder it gets to drop the weight so don’t put it on to start with.
3. Every second of the day does not need to be filled with other people. Honestly, I was terrified of being alone in my 20’s. I spent 22 hours a day with people (and didn’t sleep much). I lived “alone” for 4 years and hated every second of it. I am pretty sure 90% of that time people slept over because I wouldn’t stay alone. Take some quiet time, chill, relax, just be alone with yourself. If I had done this I think I would have had a better grasp on who I was as an individual. I am such a different person now and while it was a journey to get here spending some time with me may have been a quicker road.
4. READ! Not for school, not for other people, for yourself. Find something you enjoy and read about it, not because you have to because you want to. Sometimes that means a weekend with a trashy novel. There is nothing that will ever replace the smell of cracking open a new book, and taking a new journey. Technology will eventually destroy this concept for people. 5. Your tastes are going to change! In EVERYTHING! Food, friends, clothes, music, styles, everything! Be okay with that. This also means don’t pour everything you have into one thing because in 5 years it may be much less important. Good ol’ cliche….don’t put all your eggs in one basket. This also means be open to new stuff, be a little adventurous, say no sometimes, do things for you not for others.
6. You’ve only got a few true friends. Through college and my 20’s I thought I had a million friends. Truth is I have a few amazing friends and a bunch of acquaintances. It is all well and good to always have someone to hang out with or do some stupid stuff with; these are acquaintances. Friends are the people after not seeing for a year you can show up at their door and things never changed (except maybe marriages, babies, and whatever else). Your relationship is the same. They aren’t mad at you for not calling every 15 minutes. You move away and can still pick up the phone and cry to them when shit goes bad. Keep your friends close, figure out who they are early, and value them. I have a handful of amazing friends from college, 1 from high school, and the people I randomly talk to on Facebook. I have some amazing friends here now, and some acquaintances I hang out with because they are around.
7. Your body is going to change. Sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse. Do something proactive about it while you can. Get your butt in the gym…to actually work out not to hang out. I hold weight in different places now (granted there is less of it), things look different, etc. I found my first grey hair at 30, oh well, I ripped it out and moved on. Do pro-active things to feel better about yourself and embrace the change.
8. Stop caring what other people thing. If they don’t like it they can screw. Do what you think is right. Don’t always go with the crowd. If you wanna wear something that doesn’t match…do it. Ask the people at the gym, I do this all the time. Wanna stay home on Friday, in your sweat pants, and read a book? Do it! There will be other Fridays to go out. (Don’t judge what hubs calls sweats, cats, and books fridays in my newest rebellion to leave the house post 5pm). You wanna buy a grown-up onsie and rock it around your house when people are over? Do it….True story….we had people over, and yes thats a butt flap!
9. Be confident. Yes this plays off the last one, but it is so important. Seriously at the end of the day who gives a damn? So the neighbor thinks you may be a little weird….so what? You talk to the cat (yeah, don’t judge me). Forget you’re wearing a tee shirt in the NC sun, for 5 hours? Oh well! Make good choices, be proud of who you are, and rock that shit! You’ll be much happier overall.
(Yeah…real life….2009 I think)
10. Your priorities are going to change. For me this clicked sometime in the year I turned 30. I don’t know what did it, or why. Drinking became less important. Being home and spending time with the hubs and true friends because more important. Me time became more important and when I made it a priority I became a much happier person. I get my ass in the gym every day because I owe that to myself. Work has fallen way down the totem pole. Not because I don’t like what I do, but because it is not the end all and be all of life. Don’t let the important priorities change, but know some will and thats okay. Moral of the story…do what makes you happy, and what you think will make you the happiest long term.
Our wedding rings and my fav pic of them (I took; circa 2007; 24 years old)
That my friends is what I’ve decided I could tell 20-something year old me. Lots of it builds on each other. I suspect this will be funny to look at in 10 years when I’m in my 40’s and want to tell 30 something year old me to shut up! What do you wish you could call and tell your old self? What did you stress over that looking back was ridiculous?