Wednesday, March 16, 2011

What would I tell 20-year-old me?

This is 20-year-old me.
I would never ever want to go back and re-live the days of my youth. I went through it once, I don't care to do it again. However, the offer becomes slightly more tempting if I can take my current wisdom with me.  I'm certainly not saying I know it all, but I definitely have a lot more experience and perspective now than I did then. The other day, Simone over at Skinny Dip wrote a letter of sorts to her 20-year-old self. I started thinking about all the things I wish I could tell the younger me.  Here's what I came up with ...

First of all, I'm so proud of you for not taking the safe route when it came to college selection. You could have gone where your friends enrolled. Somewhere closer to home. Somewhere you could disappear into the student body. Instead, you chose a place where you not only fit in but could shine.  Great things are ahead for you in your college journey, sure there are going to be setbacks and heartbreaks, but I promise the good will outweigh the bad. Just don't be afraid to challenge yourself and try new things.

Speaking of the good from college, look around at the people you're closest to now. Believe it or not, they will still be with you ten years from now.  You might not live close to them, but they will still be very prominent in your life. They will be among your most trusted friends and your "safe place to land" when you need it.  And you will.  So will they.  They are going to need you too, but I know you'll be there.  That's the kind of friend you are. 

Also, in a few years, those awesome friends are going to take a spectacular trip to Europe.  Start saving money now.  Yesterday if you can. Do whatever it takes so you have the funds to go with them.  Otherwise, you'll just get to listen to their tales.  Please, please, please, save the money.

Now, let's get real.  We need to talk about boys.  I've seen your crush list.  Calm down, girl.  Quality over quantity.  I don't know why some of these names are even on here.  You can think someone's cute without declaring a crush on them.  You should try that.  Most of the names on that list will fade from your life and your memory.  But a few will hang around.  The best ones.  I can't lie to you -- some of the guys on that list will break your heart.  Intentionally.  They have to.  It's the only way for them to get you to move on.  And you will.  And you'll be better off.  You don't want to get tied down to a boy from college anyway -- there are way too many adventures in your future, and trust me, you don't want to miss them. (P.S. That one guy who keeps coming around year after year.  Give him a chance. It might not turn into anything, but you'll regret not at least seeing "what if.")

Of course, your growth and change won't be done in college. After you have your degree and a wealth of valuable experiences, you will continue to build on those things.  Again, you'll have to venture far from home to do that.  Don't be scared.  You're going to a big place full of people with big personalities (and a few big egos).  And you're going to love it.  You're going to discover you like things you never before even ventured to try. You're going to meet people and see lots of great live music.  Again, there are going to be disappointments (in work and relationships), but these will end up being blessings in disguise.  You need to endure these events to become who I am now.  And not just endure them -- work through them and learn from them.

Eventually, you will find your way home again...to a place where you've always felt like you belonged and felt at ease. But I'm not going to tell you anything more about that.  You need to live it to believe it. 

Through all of this -- on the good days and bad days -- I want you to know that I love you.  I will not always show it as much as I should, but I'm working on that.  Just bear with me.

3 comments:

  1. LOVE IT!

    "some of the guys on that list will break your heart. Intentionally. They have to. It's the only way for them to get you to move on. And you will" - this is true and such a good way of looking at heartbreak.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Melissa - Thanks.

    Simone - It's so true, and we can only really see that in hindsight.

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