We are living in a world that is becoming increasingly hard to navigate through. As I get older I realize there were probably things that I could have done when I was younger that would have better prepared me for life. Hindsight is 20/20 is one of the most accurate statements EVER.
Lately, I’ve been thinking about what I would tell my younger self if that phenomenon was ever a possibility and I have come up with a few thoughts…well, maybe more than a few. Sorry guys, it’s what I do…I OVERTHINK. So here it goes LC (Lil’ Carrie). Here’s some advice for you…
Believe in yourself. Love yourself. Trust yourself.
One of the best things I could have ever done for myself is to love myself more. I have always been so hard on myself, from the harshness I direct to my body to the anger I feel at myself for messing up or making the wrong choices to feeling like I am not doing enough and so on. I know I’m not alone in this. I’ve been working on this for so long and I still have so far to go, but I steadily try. I wish I could tell LC that it’s okay, that I am okay. I wish I could tell her to let up a little to enjoy that body that I hated so much because it was more beautiful than she realizes. I wish I could tell her that it’s okay that she makes mistakes because what she gets right outweighs those mistakes by a long shot. I wish I could tell her that she learns from each mistake and each gives her a little more understanding about the world around her. I’d tell her to love herself a little extra for me because I am truly sorry that I wasted so much time being so harsh to her.
Stop comparing yourself.
There are no two people in this world who are the same. Even identical twins are not completely identical. So, yeah, you may share similar qualities with someone, but that doesn’t make you the same. We cannot continue to compare ourselves to others, especially those in the limelight. It is a waste of our precious time to even think about comparing ourselves. Just do you. Period.
Be open to change.
One thing that has always been hard for me is change. Not change like I redecorated my home every season because that is easy-peasy, just ask my husband. I’m talking life changes. Sometimes change doesn’t show its true face at first. It just looks like hurt, disappointment, and frustration. Sometimes change looks pretty damn ugly to be completely honest. Here’s the thing, LC, change can be so hard, but it can bring some damn amazing things along with it. Just as flowers need the rain to grow, we need change to grow. Consider yourself a flower. 😉 You learn more about yourself and those you love during the storm. REMEMBER THAT. Each storm will change you. How you change is up to you. Don’t let the storms make you bitter. Let them make you stronger, wiser, and more vibrant.
See the good.
With all the negativity in the world it’s so easy to get caught up in it and focus on it. Don’t. Don’t fall victim to it. Instead, choose to see the good. Seek it out. There is good all around us. In the times you can’t find the good BE THE GOOD. LC, you have the ability to help others see the good. Do that.
It’s not about having what you want, it’s about wanting what you have.
AMEN! TRUTH! WISE WORDS! We all fall into this trap from time to time. We are human after all. Try to get out of that trap as quickly as possible though. The impulse we have to buy something or do something or look for better is a little trickster. We start to feel like we NEED what we want. That’s not the case. We can do without it. My dad taught me a long time ago to save for what I want. He told me that if I still want it when I saved enough for it then I should get it, but chances are once I saved the money for it I wouldn’t want it anymore. He was right most of the time, but the really funny thing about this is that sometimes I still wanted whatever it was…like bad, but I didn’t want to spend the money I saved up on it. Sneaky lesson there, Dad. I wish I could have fully understood that lesson a lot earlier. LC, there are going to be times when you feel like you need to keep up with the Joneses but trust me, you don’t need to. You have everything you want and need regardless of what house you live in, what furniture you have, and what cars you drive. Find value in those around you and the peace you feel rather than in things.
Save, but spend.
Wait, what? Actually, you read that right. Save money, but spend some too. Find the balance because the truth is there will be rainy days, but another cold hard truth is you can’t take it with you when you go. You have one life that is actually pretty unpredictable. We do not know when our last day will be so find that balance. Save some, but go ahead and go on that trip!
Being right is not always right.
Huh? What in the world am I even saying? Ha! Actually, what I am trying to say is exactly that…being right is not the most important thing. Sometimes there is more peace in just leaving things as they are. If someone is arguing that the sky is orange, but you know it’s actually blue, just let it be. Let them think what they want. You know the truth and that is all that matters. SO, yeah LC, go ahead and let them think the sky is orange and then go about your business. No more arguing equals more peace.
Listen to understand not to respond.
I wish everyone could learn this lesson sooner rather than later. When we listen to respond we are not doing anything to help the situation. Instead, we keep adding fuel to the fire. When there is an issue, take a step back and try to really focus on what the other person is saying. Try to understand where they are coming from or at the very least try to understand why they may have interpreted a situation the way they did. Listen to understand, LC. It’s important.
Don’t fit in.
I’ve always felt like an outcast. I don’t say that for sympathy, I’m okay with it. As I have gotten older I realize that I don’t fit in and that’s okay. It’s who I am. I wasn’t meant to be blessed with lifetime best friends or my own personal “girl gang.” Nope, I was meant to be on my own journey and find lots of different people along the way to love and learn from. This whole don’t fit in thing really hit me recently when I had an interaction with my hairstylist. She made a comment about how my tattoos fit my personality. She is the sweetest thing and meant nothing by it (I truly do mean that), but it stuck. I’m an over thinker. We all know this by now. Anyway, it made me think about myself and what I look like on the outside to others. Buckle up LC, this one might get a little long…
First, STOP worrying about what anyone else thinks of you. It is not your problem! Maybe had I learned this long ago I wouldn’t be over-analyzing what my hairstylist said right now. What others think of you is strictly their opinion and what is that saying about opinions – something about assholes and everyone having one? 😉 People only see things from their perspective and if you do not neatly fit into that they will judge you. Not all people will judge you, but enough of them to cause you to doubt yourself. Don’t let that happen. You just focus on you, be as kind as you can be, and love fiercely. Don’t look to anyone for approval or justification. Look inward for that.
Second, have your own identity but understand that throughout this journey your identity will change many times. So, here’s what you need to do…wear what you want, dye your hair whatever color you want, cut it all off or grow it out super long, get as many tattoos as you want (just don’t tattoo your face please), say what you feel, stand up for what you believe, JUST DO WHAT YOU WANT. What matters the most is what is on the inside and strangers can’t see that. Shit, sometimes those who know you the best don’t always see that. Know who you are and be proud of her.
Life is short.
Life is short, but man can it be the ultimate ride. Take chances, go on that adventure, say yes to that cupcake, don’t turn down a midnight movie, toast to something with every drink you have, count your blessings, and love fiercely. Don’t be afraid to do things. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Have fun, Joke. Dance. Sing. Tell stories. Make sure you are living as authentically as you can and not taking anything for granted.
Trust your intuition.
It’s always been there and you have always heard it. MAKE SURE YOU ARE LISTENING TO IT. It’s not wrong. LC, your intuition will always be your biggest and most useful tool in this life. Take good care of it.
True colors are a real thing.
When someone shows you their true colors believe them. Don’t distort what you saw, don’t make excuses for their murky colors, and don’t try to turn shit colors into a rainbow. Believe what you see and feel even if it is with someone you love tremendously. Protect yourself. This goes back to trusting your intuition.
Let that shit go.
We tend to hold on to things for far too long. If it is weighing you down, dimming your light, stealing from your energy, or disturbing your peace…LET IT GO. I don’t care if it’s pain caused by someone else or something you are beating yourself up over, you have to let it go. Make peace with it and say goodbye. You deserve better. You deserve peace.
I could go on and on with this list. Until I sat down and started writing I didn’t realize how much I wish I could tell my younger self. This is a really good chunk of it though. Maybe these little tidbits of advice would be beneficial to someone else at this stage in their life. Maybe to my own kids. I don’t know, but I am putting it out there so do what you will with it. Here’s to my younger self, to getting older, and hopefully reaching someone who needed to read this.