I appreciate that who I am today is because of the mistakes and lessons learned in my past, and for the most part, have no regrets. But, if I were to have a frank tête-à-tête with my 20 year old self, here’s what I’d tell her:
1. If even 1% of you has the desire to live/work in another country, start the Visa process now. Do this so 10 years later when you have the urge to live abroad, you won’t have to wait a decade in order to do so.
2. Compete with your intelligence and kindness. Not with your looks.
3. There is clothing appropriate for the beach, the club and the office. Know the difference between all three settings.
4. Be careful whom you get your advice from. Not everyone is suited to give you feedback that will help your path.
5. Each breakup brings you closer to the person who is right for you.
6. You’re not going to marry him. He was never meant to be forever.
7. Quick friendships can break apart easily. Take time before giving someone BFF status. You don’t know someone until you’ve experienced enough of life with them.
8. Buying shoes too small with the hope that they will stretch out is a bad idea.
9. If he doesn’t make an effort to see you, he doesn’t like you enough. Move on.
10. Ask your parents for advice even when you don’t need it. It makes them feel good.
11. Have enough money saved, your resume always updated and diversify your skillset so that if you lose your job tomorrow, you will still be on your feet.
12. Say yes more.
13. You know when something isn’t fitting. You can feel it in your body. Don’t ignore that intuition.
14. Send more flowers. Write more cards. Celebrate people’s special moments.
15. No matter how much it hurts, how unfair it feels or how hard you are struck down, always handle yourself with grace and dignity. That’s the only thing nobody can ever take away from you.
16. Spend more time outside. Spend less time shopping.
17. Regardless of what Usher thinks, you will never find/make love in the club.
18. Go for the beta male.
19. Don’t post that photo.
20. You will get back up. Your heart will mend. You will forget. And one day in the future, it will all make sense.
Photo by: Helga Kvisli