Now that I’m in my mid-twenties, there are a number of things I wish I could go back and tell my younger self. Here are a few of the things I’d say if I could back and have coffee with my early-twenties self.
Stop comparing yourself to others.
Please. Step. Away. From. Your. Phone. How many times are you going to look at the Instagram pages of near-perfect models and then drown your sorrow in a pint of Ben and Jerry’s? You’re only hurting yourself, sweetie. You are unique. Please stop comparing. It’ll only bring you doubt and self-pity. Embrace who you are and focus on making yourself better, not different.
It’s better to have 3 close friends than 500 Facebook friends.
Facebook is great for staying in touch, but it will also give you a false sense of friendship. It’s not reality. Just because you see your friend smiling in her most recent photo doesn’t mean she’s happy. Call her up. Ask how she is. Don’t assume what you see online is really the case. And most importantly, don’t compare. Don’t compare your day-to-day life to your friend’s Facebook highlight reel. The same way you only post what you want them to see, so do they. Keep it in perspective.
Let him go.
Stop worrying about your ex flirting with another girl. Stop trying to make yourself into the person you think he wants. You broke up for a reason. Chin up buttercup – the sun will shine again and you’ll surprise yourself. Someday, you’ll see him with someone new and you’ll smile. You’ll be glad he’s happy again, but also ridiculously grateful that you’re not the one he’s standing next to. Trust me dear, good things are ahead for you.
Ask for help.
You’ll reduce a lot of stress, simply by asking for help. You don’t need to do it all on your own. You don’t know everything, despite how much you pretend you do. Surround yourself with people smarter than you, more intelligent than you, and wealthier than you. Pull from their wisdom and knowledge and don’t be afraid to say, “I don’t know, can you explain that to me?” It takes a secure person to ask for help – be that person.
Don’t waste time.
Close your laptop and turn off the television. Learn that language you’ve been wanting to learn for the last 5 years. Call a friend you haven’t spoken to in forever and go get coffee. Plan that once in a lifetime trip to Greece or Spain. Make time for family and don’t let the minutes slip away. Minutes turn into years real fast. Enjoy the present fully.
Be honest with others and with yourself.
Lying is a bad habit, plain and simple. When your friend asks if you like her hair, be honest. Don’t deflect by changing the subject. Answer the question with kindness, but with honesty. People can smell a fake from miles away. Be genuine.
It’s okay to say no.
There’s no need to say yes to everything that comes your way. Pick and choose wisely so you can invest your whole heart into things you commit to. Don’t do something you’re not fully invested in. It’ll only hurt the end result and stress you out in the process.
Don’t trust everything you hear.
Fact check everything. It doesn’t matter if you heard it from a friend, pastor, parent, or teacher. Ignorance spreads like wildfire when we take everything we hear at face value. Confirm the source, do your research, and don’t settle until you’ve found the truth.
Keep loving, even when it hurts.
Don’t give up. Love those around you and fight for what you believe in. Pray for your enemies and invest time into those you care about. You’ll only have this season once.
Make the most of it.