Fill in the blank: Kind. Funny. Smart. Determined. Worthy. This coming Monday March 8th will mark International Women’s Day. How will you celebrate? I’ll be giving thanks to the amazing women in my life but I will also be celebrating me. In 2015, I wrote a short post dedicated to this day. I answered the age-old question, if you could tell your younger self anything, what would you say? Reflecting back on that post made me realize my ‘younger self’ encompassed so many stages of life that one general advice across the ages would not always be applicable. I thought it would be fitting to give advice to myself at each major intersection of my journey thus far.
Dear Child-Me: I know it seems like you will be stuck in this phase forever, but you won’t be. You will grow and you will learn from your adversities. In fact, you will even come to appreciate them. The struggles you are enduring will provide you with lifelong perspective and an unfailing sense of confidence that everything will be okay. No matter what happens, you will be able to get through anything thrown at you because early in your life you learned there was no other option but to succeed. And with time, you will redefine what ‘success’ means to you.
Dear Single-Me: You have experienced your share of heartbreak. You’ve battled loneliness while everyone around you coupled up and moved on with their lives- seemingly leaving you behind. I encourage you to look at your life like a winding path. The distance, on that winding path, between you and your missing piece may be further compared to others, and streaked with distracting detours along the way but know that you will eventually get there. Instead of waiting around- use this time to rediscover your wants, likes, and interests. Get to know yourself again, learn a new skill, revisit an old passion, do something you’ve always been scared to do, dive into different experiences, and engage in new friendships. At the end of the day, happiness is a personal journey, and it is whatever you make it to be.
Dear Married-Me: So, you’ve finally found him- your soul person. You will laugh like you’ve never laughed before, but you will also cry like you’ve never cried. It won’t always be rainbows and unicorns; there will be natural highs and varying lows. Remember to relish the good times and stay positive through the storms. As often as humanly possible, communicate your wishes and concerns, and get on the same page.
Dear Mama-Me: You’ve got this motherhood thing! Yes- it is an undertaking of a lifetime and it can be terrifying, but trust that you’ve got this. Also, just because it is everything you’ve ever dreamed of, have ever wanted, doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to have a bad day. Give yourself permission to take a breather, accept all of your imperfections, grant yourself a break, hide in that bathroom for a couple minutes longer, eat that last piece of banana bread without sharing, ignore the tenth “mama!?” of the day, and forgive yourself often. You cannot possibly do everything all the time.
So, if you could tell your younger self anything, what would you say? See you in the comments!