I often wonder, if I had an opportunity to speak to fifteen years old me, what would I say? How would I start? What advice would I give to myself?
Time has passed since I was twenty, and although I feel pretty confident with the amount of knowledge I already have about myself, I have this feeling that I don’t actually know much. The person I am now is a mix of bad decisions I have made in the last ten/fifteen years and the amount of lessons I’ve learned (or not) throughout this time. But even though I know who I am, there is still so much to learn. And I wonder if I would know back then what I know now, would I be a different person now, at thirty three? Or, did all this stuff have to happen in order for me to become me?
Number one problem in my teens and early twenties was that I never listened to anybody else, except myself. It was always all about me and my needs. Ninety five percent of times I was wrong. Yet it took me fifteen long years to admit it. It’s ironic I say these words now, because I am strong believer that YOUR inner happiness should be the most important thing in YOUR life, but at the same time I now think everyone needs a guidance in their lives. We are not born Einsteins, are we? We don’t know until we learn. And so it’s hypocritical to think that our, and only our needs are important. Everyone is different, come from a different background, culture, religion, and every one of us can teach others something new. What and if we learn, depends all on us. So first thing I would say to myself is: Listen carefully. Learn. Teach.
When I look back at my teenage and young adulthood years I can’t help but to feel sorry for myself. Not because I had bad life, because I didn’t. Well, I had bad experiences, but not always was all bad. I feel sorry for myself because I was naive. I believed back then that I have to be pretty to be liked. That X amount of likes on social media will make me popular and bring me friends. That not having an opinion is better than to have it. That I should just look nice on the outside and that will be enough. I strongly believed that I was judged by the way I look, and so better I looked, more ‘friends’ I had. Never mind I wasn’t respected because of that. What mattered to me was the attention I was getting. Over time my makeup got heavier, my clothes were more expensive, pictures on social media became more revealing and all I could think of doing was selfies to impress people with how ‘pretty’ I was. From there, the obsession kicked in, every time I was about to post another picture of myself to Instagram or Facebook, I had to photoshop it. Change filters, slim down legs, nose, waist, remove freckles/wrinkles, and scan every millimeter of the picture to make sure it’s pitch perfect. To this day I am deeply ashamed of myself, and feel very sorry for being so naive. What I didn’t know back then was that the problem was within my self-confidence, or rather I should say, lack of it. And so if I would be able to go back in time, I would definitely say: LOVE YOURSELF – YOU ARE ENOUGH & MORE. Know your self-worth, be confident, believe in yourself. And definitely don’t worry about others opinion of you.
I guess it’s all part of growing up that you learn from your mistakes, but in my case, it took me at least ten years to learn. One thing that I still didn’t learn to be honest is how to save money. I spent way too much on clothes, shoes, bags, make up, food, and everything in between and eventually I lost control of it. And it was all down to me being self-absorbed with low self-esteem. Ironic, isn’t it? Being so narcissistic, yet anxious with huge amount of hate for myself. And so another piece of advice I would give to myself is: Money doesn’t buy happiness or health.
And last but not least, I think the most important one, I would make sure my life motto is ‘Work hard for everything and never give up’. I think the world we currently live in has made it so easy for everyone. If we don’t know something, we simply google it. If we don’t want to cook, we go out to a restaurant or order a take-away. If we don’t feel well, we take a paracetamol. And so on. It’s so easy these days. Not only we learned to live a very simple life, but we also became so comfortable in it that we are not motivated anymore. Are we the nation of lazy people? Or we just learned how to work, but not too hard? Either way, I think it would be beneficial for me to follow the rule of working hard, rather than taking an easy route. A perfect example of that is this blog. I meant to write it every second day, yet I post only once a month. It’s not enough to fill my personal aspirations and the goal I have set for myself. Yet I always find other things to do, even though I have so much to say here. And I guess it’s better late than ever, but I vow now to write my thoughts here more often.
And you? If you had an opportunity to go back in time and speak to your younger self, what would you say? Would you be kind? What advice would you give to yourself?