Sorry I’m so late to post this week! I’ll write more about some of this later, but I had a gig out of town working as a backstage manager/FOH at a dance competition this weekend and then when I returned home I was struggling pretty bad mentally. I’m happy to be feeling a little better today and I have some fun posts planned for the next several days. Hope you guys are doing well and enjoy today’s post!
I’ve spent a lot of time lately thinking about the things I wish I could say to my younger self. There’s so many things that I got wrong, and now at 26 I’m still dealing with a lot of the same things. Or dealing with the consequences of what I messed up on. I’m 1000% sure that 10, 20, 30 years down the road I’ll come up with a lot more of these. I’m trying to remember that this is how we grow, and what is wisdom if not the collection of “yikes” we say when we think about our past mistakes? It doesn’t grow on trees-we have to live and learn. So, here are a few tips I wish someone had given me years ago (or that I wish I had actually listened to when they told me!) They are in no particular order.
Don’t believe everything your parents tell you. Later they may even admit that they were wrong.
Your parents view on the world is influenced by their experiences and upbringing. In some way they have a biased viewpoint or are just plain wrong. People tend to look for sources that tell them what they want to hear, and a lot of them are unreliable. I know it’s tempting to follow their faith, politics, and habits. They may even seem to have it right. Don’t trust that though, because you need to find out for yourself. I’m not saying they are wrong about everything, but if you read diverse books and pay attention to the world around you then you will find that they are missing some things. Try to see as much of the world as you can, and don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Don’t pluck, bleach.
PUT THOSE TWEEZERS DOWN. I’M SERIOUS. Unless you are cleaning up your eyebrows you need to put them away. You don’t know this yet, but you have PCOS, which means that you have hirsutism. This combined with naturally dark hair and light skin means that you are feeling self conscious about being hairer than a lot of your friends. Don’t worry-you’re actually not alone. You need to go to the store, buy Sally Hansen’s face and body bleach and just use that. PLEASE read the instructions on the box carefully. You will thank me later.
Move your body and eat healthy so you feel better, not to lose weight.
Before I expand on this let me add: fuck gym class. Those P.E. teachers are mean and are using ridiculous tests to judge whether you’re healthy or not. Ignore them. You developed faster than a lot of your peers, but you are NOT overweight! You do need to move and get some fresh air, but don’t do it because you feel like you need to exercise for the sake of losing weight. You don’t even need to run a mile as fast as your peers. The sports they do in class are not the only way to be healthy amd their way of measuring your health is limited and outdated. Listening to music while you walk around the neighborhood, dancing to your favorite songs, and practicing yoga are all great ways to gain strength and help you feel better.
One bad experience with a therapist doesn’t mean they’re all bad.
Your first experience with a therapist will be horrible. She will tell your Dad things you said in therapy that she absolutely did not need to tell him for any reason. Dump her, but don’t let that turn you off from counseling completely. It takes time to find the right person, but there is someone out there who is the right fit to help you. Keep trying and try to find one good outcome from each person you see. Even the therapists who aren’t the best have some wisdom to offer.
Moisturize, apply sunscreen, and use an eye cream.
You’re so focused on your cystic acne (it’s okay I know it sucks, just hang in there) that you are forgetting to tend to your skin. Stop using Clean and Clear and harsh alcohol on your face! Your entire body needs moisture every day. AND YOUR LILY WHITE ASS NEEDS SUNSCREEN. EVERY. DAY. (Well maybe not your ass… but definitely your face!!! The sunscreen in your moisturizer or foundation doesn’t count. Also, eye cream isn’t just for your Mom. You see those dark circles your Dad has? And the lines on your parent’s faces around their eyes? Yeah, those are coming for you too so you need to start fighting back now. *smacks you over the head with a rolled up newspaper* HYDRATE!
Focus more on your studies and less on trying to make people like you.
I cannot say this enough: doing well in school will do more for your life than trying to make people like you. First of all, you LIKE learning. And you’re smarter than you give yourself credit for. Get help in math (I’m so sorry sweetie, but numbers are never going to be your friend either) and focus on doing your best in every class. You so desperately want people to like you, but how much do you even like them??? They aren’t good friends to you, and they don’t share your interests. Focus on learning as much as you can and getting good grades and that will take you farther in life. The two or three real friends you have now aren’t going anywhere, and the true fun will begin in college. Your people will find you there. Just be patient, study hard, and enjoy your real interests.
You don’t have to be good at your hobbies.
Speaking of interests: You do not have to be good at your hobbies. I know. This is a wild idea. I didn’t even learn this until recently. Hobbies are just interests! You don’t have to be the best and not every after school activity needs to be a potential ticket to college (or to popularity). You also aren’t going to be talented at things right away. It takes practice to get better, and the point of being young is to grow and figure out the things that you enjoy. Don’t quit things that you find fun just because you aren’t the best at them. You love writing, so just write! Write badly. Write things that you won’t use for school or even show anyone. Write your feelings, incomplete stories, and bad poetry. Play basketball and lose and dance even though you look kind of like a baby deer trying to walk for the first time.
Stop brushing your hair!
YOUR HAIR IS CURLY! STOP. BRUSHING. IT. You need to read up on how to take care of curly hair and start moisturizing it better. Use a wide tooth comb to detangle and stop using heat on it! If you quench your curls thirst they will start looking nice, I promise. Try to find a hairstylist who knows how to give you a curl cut. Humidity may not be your friend, but neither is burning your fragile hair between two plates of hot iron.
I’m sure I will come up with more of these as I post more on here, but these are some of the biggest lessons I’ve learned so far. I would love to know your thoughts. Are any of the above also on your list of things you wish you could say to your younger self? What are some things you would include? Are any of these lessons you only learned recently? I’d love to hear from you guys!