Dear Twenty-Year Old Self

letter to my 20 year old self

Dear twenty-year old self,

I’m writing this letter to you as a *cough cough* almost 40-year old woman. A big birthday like this is causing me to reminisce on my younger years and WOW do I have a lot of advice to give you. Being in your twenties can be a fun and exciting time, but it is also an age of finding yourself and figuring out your own way. When reflecting on my twenties, I realize it was a time of great confusion and insecurities. My grandmother used to always tell me, “Youth is wasted on the young.” I know you don’t quite understand what she means by this while you’re in your twenties, but I promise it’ll make sense soon. Here are a few other tips that will help you get through these exciting but tough years….

  1. Humility means not being greater than or less than anyone. Practicing this attitude helps to combat that voice in your head that is constantly telling you you’re not good enough.
  2. NEVER go to the tanning bed. Seriously. It causes major issues later on and they unfortunately still do not have a cure for wrinkles.
  3. Stop bleaching your hair. Once you’re older and start to get the “silver sparkles” that’s when dying your hair is more of a necessity. Right now just enjoy your natural color and let it be!
  4. Exercise smart, not excessive. Right now you’re using exercise as a way to counter your overindulgent behaviors like chowing down on the weekends and drinking with friends. Once I realized exercise is a privilege I get to do versus something I have to do, my entire mindset changed.
  5. Food is not the enemy. The key is figuring out how your specific body interacts with different foods. With a twenty year old metabolism, you can eat whatever you want. However, just because you can eat whatever you want, doesn’t mean you should. Take care of your body and it will take care of you. I choose to follow the Paleo Diet now because that seems to make me feel the best and gives me the most energy.
  6. Oil IS good for your skin. Growing up with acne prone skin, dermatologists always led me towards harsh chemicals that irritated my already raw face. Now, I use various kinds of face oils and moisturizers that hydrate and calm my skin.
  7. Don’t over wash your face. (Can you tell I had major skin issues in my 20’s??) Instead of constantly washing your face with water, look into cleansing waters that hydrate without stripping the skin.
  8. Always make time for the relationships you care about. Investing time and love into your friendships will ALWAYS be a worthwhile investment.
  9.  However, in order to have a good relationship with others, you need to have a healthy relationship with yourself first. The most important relationship to have is the one with yourself so stop beating yourself up.
  10. Always forgive. No one is perfect so people are constantly going to let you down. Holding a grudge against others is just going to hold you back so learn to let things go. I promise none of the things you are upset about right now are still things I’m worried about twenty years later.
  11. Rejection is not always the end of the road. Ever heard the phrase, “When one door closes, another one opens?” Every time you get shut down or your plan fails, remember God has an even better plan for you right around the corner. Any rejection is only protection.
  12. Appreciate college while you’re still in it. Appreciating the academic side of college is something that I took for granted at the time. If I had the chance to go back, I would focus more on the learning aspect and less on the social scene. (Seriously, you don’t have to go to EVERY party you’re invited to).
  13. Learn to love the moment you are in and not look back. Life can get you down sometimes but if you take a moment to breathe and center yourself everything calms down. Look up “mindfulness” and understand how it can change your life.
  14. Everything, big and small, is happening for a reason. Trust in that and just keep looking forward.
  15. Always do the right thing. If your choices reflect your morals, you are going to love who you have become.
  16. Count your blessings every single day. The easiest way to do this is to make a list of of 10 things you are grateful for every day. I know it sounds silly but it really helps.
  17. Breathe deeply. Relax and slow down. You don’t have to have it all together.
  18. Smile from the inside. It’ll start to shine through.
  19. Fake it till you make it DOES work.
  20. Find your confidence. It’s okay to be proud of yourself.
  21. Find your passion. Your twenties are the perfect time to figure out what motivates and drives you. Take your time exploring different paths.
  22. Nurture your creativity. Being creative is a spiritual gift from above.
  23. Heads up: you love photography, fashion, and design. Don’t tell yourself this joy is a waste of time.
  24. It’s okay to want things. That’s the creative part of you. It doesn’t mean that stuff will make you whole. But the fact that you want it isn’t bad. Tell yourself I can “want” as much as I like. Then learn the difference between wanting, waiting, planning, and dreaming. It’s all good.
  25. Cherish every moment with your grandparents and your animals and friends. Every moment. Freeze frame on peoples faces and memorize good moments.
  26. You will fall madly in love with the best man in the world. Your love story is real, unique, deep, and the stuff you’re dreaming about now.
  27. On that note, your wedding day will be magical. All that dreaming and planning you did for this big day as a little girl pays off.
  28. The first year of marriage… not so much. Let’s just say you learn many lessons on patience.
  29. The next 10 years of marriage get better and better. You will feel madly in love with your husband, most of the time.
  30. Your girlfriends will teach you how to nurture yourself. This is a skill only women know how to do so make sure to always treasure these relationships.