Yes, I am quite aware that I’m still technically “young,” but we learn as we grow, so don’t discredit me just yet.
As I’ve matured both in faith and age, I’ve learned several lessons that would have made my pre-twenty-two years a lot easier. These are things that I’ve really had to push myself to remember, though I still forget some from time to time.
I hope they’ll help you too.
1. Guys suck, you don’t need them.
Just kidding….kind of.
Okay, so they don’t all suck, but you really don’t need them.
Once upon a time, my foremost goal in life was to find a guy and “settle down,” as they say. In many ways I think this can be attributed to the plethora of societal pressures placed on young women, but also to the personal insecurities I had at the time. It’s kind of embarrassing to admit, but I was more or less waiting for a guy to sweep in, negate all of my insecurities, and make my life perfect.
I know, I KNOW.
That was such a warped view because most of these men weren’t raised right.
Just kidding, I don’t actually blame their parents.
But here’s the thing, your insecurities are yours to deal with. You should never, EVER depend on any guy to make you love and accept yourself the way that God made you. Moreover, finding a guy is a horrible end goal in life, they’re not all that special. It’ll be much more fulfilling in the long run to look back on your individual growth and achievements. It will be your legacy to be proud of, not some quasi-alter of the guy you spent your entire life idolizing.
One last thing, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to be in a relationship. All I’m saying is, don’t waste your life chasing validation from someone else. Opinions are fickle. They’ll toss you back and forth until you’re coming apart at the seams, if you let them rule you.
Spend your time doing things that you genuinely love; things that are fulfilling, edifying, and will bring you closer to God because He loves you more than any guy ever could.
2. You’re perfect the way you are.
You are God’s masterpiece, don’t let anyone convince you otherwise. Sure, you may have flaws, and aspects of yourself that need some (or a lot of) work, but so does everyone else.
Don’t let people fool you into thinking that you’re the only imperfect person on this planet.
3. “Friends” aren’t always friends.
You’ll notice that many of the individuals you think are good or true friends, actually aren’t for you. They could care less if you lived or died, and probably wouldn’t lift a finger to determine which was the case.
Your shoulder will be like a cradle for their tears, and your mind a safe haven for their secrets, but you won’t find them when your storm comes….. crickets.
But that’s okay.
Not “okay” in terms of right or wrong, but in the sense that you’ll eventually have to move past it. You’ll let the wrong people into your heart at some point, but you can’t let those experiences dictate who you are as a person. Keep loving your neighbors and doing what is right.
Don’t let the bad apples spoil you too.
4. Don’t sleep on the new chapters of life.
I used to dread new beginnings.
They scared me half to death because I couldn’t control them. I had no idea what the new seasons of my life would bring, so naturally, I imagined they’d all be horrible. It took me a while, but I’ve realized that those are actually some of the most superlative moments.
They are the times when you can completely reinvent yourself.
They are your do-overs, your new leaves.
Maybe you don’t like your current style, personality, selection of friends, or horrible attitude. Perhaps, you’d like to be nicer to people but find it difficult for others to accept a better version of you. Well, you can do so with ease when you’re starting anew.
Don’t get me wrong, you should always pursue self-edification, but it’s much easier to rewrite yourself when you can literally and figuratively leave the past behind.
And if it’s a new chapter featuring the same old people, you’ll still have the opportunity to alter yourself in the interim period between the end and the beginning.
5. Guard your heart, but don’t build a wall around it.
People will fail you.
They’ll hurt you too.
And most of them aren’t trustworthy.
But as hard as it is to believe, some are actually pretty decent.
Allow yourself to find the ones that are, and when you do, hold them close and be grateful for having them in your life.
6. Your parents are your biggest fans.
Don’t ever hurt them, or belittle them.
Treat them with love, kindness, and respect.
They’ll be there for you no matter what you do, and they’re the only ones who truly care for your wellbeing.
<I know we’ve all had different childhoods, so if you had a less than ideal or “atypical” upbringing, you can apply this to anyone you regard as a parent, guardian, or caretaker.>
7. Give thanks for every single blessing.
Don’t become so consumed by the negative aspects of your life that you fail to acknowledge God when He’s blessing you.
He does so completely out of love and generosity, and you’re not entitled to be more better off than anyone else.
8. Your pessimism will poison your relationship with God if you don’t contain it.
You constantly fear the worst, instead of hoping for the best.
Stop while you still can, or your hope in God will slowly begin to evaporate.
And because you find it hard to trust others, your cynicism will extend to Him as well. He’ll become one of “them” to you, a mere suspect on your list of impostors.
The pessimist inside of you will sprinkle seeds of doubt regarding the Father’s love and care for you, as well as His perception of you. After a while, He will appear to be so far away that you’ll ultimately stop believing in His unconditional love, and infinite power.
Your prayers will go from “Jesus please heal my mom,” to “Jesus, I’d really like you to heal my mom, but life sucks and everything is bad, so it probably won’t happen anyway.”
That, my friend, is how you truly lose sight of who you are, and what it truly means to be a Child of God.
9. Don’t be afraid to dream big.
Stop hiding behind your puny, cautious dreams.
Take a risk, or two.
Your world won’t end if your heart’s desires don’t come true.
But most importantly, if you believe in God, you also have to trust that He can do the impossible. I mean, He’s God. Trust Him with your dreams (the good ones, not the self-serving ones) and watch as He develops them into an amazing masterpiece.
10. Breathe, you’ll be okay.
Your life will contain many, many bad days, but they won’t last forever.
Enjoy the good ones before they become fragile memories.
Thanks for reading Xxx
What would you tell your younger self?