A Letter To My Younger Self: What I Wish I Knew Then

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A Letter To My Younger Self: What I Wish I Knew Then
Live life to the fullest!

Over the past few months, as each day brings me closer to reaching that proverbial birthday — the 50th — I have noticed more thought being given to its significance — enough to give me pause and reflect as well as ponder this — if I wrote a letter to my younger self, what would I say to her? What experiences would I share? Do I look at my life with greater positive or negative regard? How do I view my life thus far considering all the decisions I have made, both good and bad?

What I have learned so far...

  • Be kind to yourself. Kind words go a long way, use less energy, and get you further along the path than saying something negative.
  • Find passion in your life — whether that be with an interest outside of work or that fortunate position of being able to make a living doing what you are passionate about. Either way, finding passion provides great joy and purpose!
  • Recognize that your interests will change over the years and that's ok. Don't be afraid to explore other options. Above all else, take risks!
  • Have faith in yourself. You are your own cheerleader. You have the key to your life.
  • Find humor in life, in people, in things. Levity truly is the key to life.
  • Living with regret can keep you stuck and create an illusion that things might have been better if you made a different choice. That isn't necessarily true.
  • Find love. More than once if necessary. Don't be afraid to feel vulnerable. Despite the pain it may cause at times, it is worth it!
  • Learn how to be honest with yourself and others, even in the most difficult times. Although this might be trying, in the end, you will be much better off and you will have saved yourself time to move forward in the direction you were meant to go.
  • It really will not always be easy. There will be difficult times. Hardships do have benefits as they test our strength, wherewithal and perseverance. However, how you perceive your ability to overcome them is essential
  • A little dose of cynicism is important. It keeps you on your toes, keeps you sharp, and keeps you thinking about things. It provides an opportunity to utilize critical thinking.
  • Your 20s and possibly even into your 30s are met with tremendous growth, insight, transformation, and some existential angst. That's normal. You will get it figured out and land safely.
  • They say that life is a journey, but it's also a process of figuring things out along the way.
  • It IS ok to buy yet another purse! And a pair of shoes! No explanation necessary!
  • Life will get better as you get older. Wisdom does come with age.
  • Remain open and listen to other people for they have valuable lessons to teach you. Many times your parents were right, though we don't always want to admit it.
  • You are smarter than you give yourself credit for.
  • Anxiety is a killer. Stress is a killer. Find out what the "small stuff" is to you and don't sweat it. It really isn't worth it.
  • You don't always have to be on the go. Quiet time does have many advantages.
  • Relish in your accomplishments. You don't have to go overboard, but certainly take stock of what you did and what it took to get there.
  • Accept that we all have flaws. Decide what, if anything, you want to work on. Don't allow anyone to dictate what you should and should not change.
  • Be honest and work hard to live an authentic life — whatever that means to YOU, on your terms, and not based on how others think you should live. They will get over it!
  • We don't always make good decisions. Sometimes we make bad decisions. Don't beat yourself up too much when this happens. Take stock, brush yourself off, and get back up. Start over. Reboot. Make necessary changes.
  • Dwelling on the "would have's, could have's, should have's" get you nowhere. Fast. Cut your losses and move on.
  • Realize that sometimes there is no great answer, no great resolution. Sometimes "I don't know" is actually an answer. It works.
  • Cleaning is overrated. When given the choice, go out and do something fun! Let loose!
  • Don't wait for things to be perfect, for you to be perfect, because this day will never arrive.
  • Your life is the equivalent of a book. How many chapters do you want to have in it? You can decide how your life will look if you remain open, flexible, and seize opportunities.
  • You can always back pedal, apologize, and make amends. This proves wonders.
  • As your parents age, you may want to be patient with them, but they will test your patience!
  • Friends are vital to feeling connected to the world. Some friends come and go while others remain in your life for many years. Sometimes we outgrow the friends in our life and learn to make new ones.
  • Though family can be challenging at times, they are worth the effort and time.
  • Yes, pedicures and manicures are important! They make us feel good!
  • Don't listen to everyone. Create a filter. Take what you need. Discard the rest. Intuition is very important and is significant. It will help guide you if you allow it to.
  • Find a way to journal your life through words, pictures, videos. These will become your memory and help tell your story when you no longer can remember all the details.
  • Above all else? Have fun along the way!

What wisdom would you pass on? What would your letter to your younger self say?

Something to think about….

This article was originally published at kristindavin.com. Reprinted with permission.

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Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Dr. Kristin Davin, Psy.D.

Psychologist

Kristin M. Davin, Psy.D. 

Clinical Psychologist/Divorce Mediator

Location: New York, NY
Credentials: PsyD
Specialties: Communication Problems, Couples/Marital Issues, Divorce/Divorce Prevention
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