Advice I Wish I Had Listened To
Do you ever do the thing where you ask for advice and then for whatever reason….. just don’t take it? Honestly, I wouldn’t go back and change anything (I watched the Butterfly Effect, no thanks) because every crummy thing led to who I am today. It’s just hard to look back and know that I made my life so much harder than it had to be.
Turns out, sometimes those adults in your life actually know what they’re talking about.
Try new things all the time
I love discovering new things that I like, whether that be recipes, hobbies, music, whatever. But…. new things make me anxious. I take comfort in familiarity so taking a chance on something unknown freaks me out. I’m a lot more open to trying things now and I know how to push past the anxiety, but looking back at my life I see how much I missed out on because I was too afraid to step out of my comfort zone. It’s not a great feeling.
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes or fail
Everyone in the world fails at things and makes mistakes. Knowing this should make it so much easier to just do our best and accept the results, but nope! It doesn’t. Or, at least it didn’t for me. I never wanted to do anything beyond what I was told when I was in school because the thought of trying and failing horrified me.
I wish I had tried harder to pursue the things I loved back then, like photography, but I was too embarrassed at just the thought of not being good. Making mistakes is how you get better, and I knew that. I also knew that I’d have to start out at the bottom where I wasn’t good, so I just chose to not do anything. That sucks, don’t do that.
No one actually cares
There were a lot of reasons I never made many friends in school, but one of them was that I was too afraid to even talk to anyone on the chance that they’d think I was weird. The thing is, everyone is so busy with their own lives and worries to be thinking about what you’re wearing or that one awkward thing you said or your bad skin. I still do that fun thing where I replay all the cringy things I’ve ever done but I’m sure that I’m the only one who even remembers them. Can we all just agree to go a lil easier on ourselves?
Things are rarely as bad as you think they are
Dear teenage me,
Stop turning everything into a catastrophe. Things might be hard and scary, but you’ll figure it out and get through it. Take a deep breath and just start working through it. Immediately falling apart, assuming it’s hopeless and giving up before trying is only making it that much worse than it already is. You’re going to be fine.
Don’t wish your life away
Speaking as a 25-year-old unemployed single woman with no money or plan for her life, listen to your mom and enjoy being a teenager. Angst and all.
Find a reason to enjoy at least part of every day. The worst feeling is hitting the end of the month or year and realizing you’ve been so busy waiting for something amazing to come along that you missed everything else up to that point.
I wish I had listened to this as a teenager because maybe I’d have it figured out now. Y’know, as I write this post 2 days later than I planned to.
Don’t compare your success to someone else’s
Life isn’t a race and there isn’t just one ‘winner.’ If someone else reaches their goal before you, that doesn’t mean you won’t reach yours or that it’ll feel any less amazing for you when you do. You don’t have to keep up with anyone or do the same thing your friends do. If you want to travel, find a way to travel. If you want to paint every day, buy the supplies. If you want a house, save your money and get that dream home. If you want to start a company, do that. Success means something different for everyone. Figure out what it means to you and stop worrying about what anyone else is doing.
Embrace the things that make you happy
Stop worrying whether your hobbies or favorite music or whatever it is that makes you happy is weird. The great thing about growing up with the internet now is that within seconds you can have proof that no matter what you’re interested in, people all over the world love it, too. Instant validation.
Don’t waste your time pretending to like things that you don’t, because I’ve been there and done that. It was awful. You’ll be bored, feel like a fake, and your friends will be able to tell that you’re not being genuine. I don’t have time for that anymore. You can bet I’ll be bopping my way through Disney World on my way to wait with some 5-year-olds to meet Mickey Mouse no matter how many people think it’s weird. Just find what makes you happy and actually let yourself be happy. Life is much better that way.
What advice do you wish you had listened to when you were younger?