Reverb10 asks: Future self. Imagine yourself five years from now. What advice would you give your current self for the year ahead? (Bonus: Write a note to yourself 10 years ago. What would you tell your younger self?)
1. Never give up.
2. Good things come to those who wait.
3. Patience really is a virtue.
4. Not everything good that happens in your life is your idea, and sometimes it’s not good to finagle, harass or pester people around you to make those ideas become reality.
5. Acting like the adult you’re supposed to be will almost always work to your favor.
6. Immature, self-conscious people are rarely as successful as those who’re mature, self-confident adults.
7. Always take time to enjoy life and find the blessings that surround you. They’re there, even when life seems darkest.
8. You’re happier if you do something you love for a living. And if you can’t, you should do your best to make a conscious choice to enjoy what you’re doing if that’s what you’re stuck with.
9. Believe in something.
10. Stress is generally created by worry. If you can’t change something, don’t worry about it. But if you can change it, take action, and do so.
If I could write a letter to me, I’d tell my 23 year old self that it is never, ever, ever (in a million years) ok for someone to make you feel like less than you are. Regardless of whether or not you’re married to them, live with them, or they’re simply your friend- you are free to be who you are and do what you want- so long as it fits within your moral boundaries. Another adult should never “let” you do something, because if they’re telling you that they’ll “let” you do something, they’re exhibiting an amount of control over your life that is unhealthy. The only person you can truly control in your life is you. You control what situations you allow yourself into. You control how you react to given situations. You don’t have to allow anyone in your life that doesn’t contribute to it.
If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, flies like a duck, then it is probably a duck. If you see red-flags in people and you’re afraid of becoming collateral damage, get out of their way. Remove yourself from any situation that doesn’t ultimately contribute good to your life. As an aside- most alcoholics are functioning, so listen to your gut, not what AA describes as an alcoholic. I know from which I speak.
People rarely change. Growing up in the Southern Bible Belt, you’re raised to pray for people and their souls. There’s nothing wrong with this, but God certainly doesn’t miraculously zap people into submission. It goes against who God is. If someone is self-loathing and brimming with hatred toward themselves, chances are it will manifest itself in their relationships with others. A person like that can’t be “fixed” by God unless they first realize that they have a problem. God helps those who help themselves, is a very true statement. A person who has “issues” and is abusive toward others, or is an irresponsible or immature adult, same goes with them. I know from which I speak.
Life really can be easy and stress-free. Enjoy each moment, enjoy each day, give freely of yourself to those that need you; but don’t sacrifice yourself or your self-esteem in the process. Sometimes stepping away from dangerous, hurtful, people is the best thing you can do for everyone.
Don’t be afraid to dream big dreams and know that the choices you make affect those dreams. Don’t let people tear down your dreams. They’re your dreams to dream; hold tightly to them so they can become reality.
What would you tell your younger self? What would you tell yourself 5 years from now? I’d love to know.