WHAT I WISH I KNEW WHEN I WAS YOUNGER

6:00 PM


So the other day I realized that soon enough I'll be thirty. Relax, I'm not saying that I feel old. But because thirty seems to be the age where people start taking you seriously and looking at you less as a child (yes, it takes that long!), it made me wonder of all the things I wish I had known early on in life.

Having a child has also a great impact on all of this thinking because as parents we find ourselves constantly striving to amend the mistakes we made and use our knowledge to help our kids. So hopefully, these words may help some of you now, or actually be a place where I can refer my children to, when the time comes.

Take this as a letter to my younger self, if you will, but here are some of the things I would have told myself back then, in hopes that I would actually pay any attention at all.


This is the most awkward stage of your life

I know the world seems like an awful place, you hate what you see in the mirror, dislike everything you do and think you're simply not good enough. Even though it may not look like it now, once you realize it, everything has fallen into place. Teenagers are meant to be awkward, so just embrace it! Remember that the intensity of everything you're feeling is due to hormones. It get's better with time (except during that time of the month), and in a blink of an eye, you'll learn not to care as much about things that really do not matter.


It's OK not to fit in, you're not alone in that

The same way you don't like everyone, not everyone likes you and that is totally fine! Don't spend your energy trying to please everyone. Instead, focus on doing what truly makes you happy and you'll see that soon it will attract people with similar interests that will become your friends for life.


No one knows what's inside your head unless you say it out loud

Spoiler alert: Telepathy is something that only exists in movies. So do speak your mind out, ask for help and be proactive if you ever want people to know or understand you. Most people will not know how to "read" you unless you give them some clear hints.


You'll learn valuable lessons from each and every moment that seems awful now

This is definitely the most important thing to keep in mind. You may suffer, cry, feel regret for making mistakes and feel as if nothing will ever get better, but these are the moments that will undoubtedly teach you the most important lessons that no one else would have been able to teach you otherwise.


You don't need what you think you need in order to be happy

Even though it may seem like the only thing you need in order to be happy is that item on your endless wishlist, the fact is that it will most likely only give you a temporary happiness and soon enough you'll find yourself wishing for something else. You'll soon realize that what really makes happiness aren't physical things. So cheesy, I know. But so true!


Adults were kids too and you just need to remind them of that every once in a while

On that note - not all adults are jerks and no, they do not speak a different language, it's you who are not paying attention. It's easy to forget how you were when you were a kid later on in life. Not only the times change and things tend to be different but when all the bills and responsibilities accumulate on top of each other, adults tend to rush things up and not live in the moment. In the end, adults are just bigger kids and they'll continue to be until they die. One day, you'll feel that way too and you'll cherish the day that a kid will remind you of how you were. Thanks dad for this lesson, as you can see it stuck around!


Everything is a matter of perspective

To be fair, I was still a kid when I realized this. I vividly remember the day when, in drawing class, I turned my ugly drawing upside down and immediately fell in love with it. But it took me a while to realize that this is a motto that should be applied to everything in life. It is actually a great exercise that will teach you to be more open to everything around you.


You can truly be whatever you want to be

Even though it may seem like you're surrounded by people with their sh!t together, the reality of it is that no one ever has their sh!t together. It's Ok if you aren't sure of what you want to become. The majority of people live their lives never truly knowing it. It may even happen that only when you're sixty, looking back in life you'd know what steps to take in order to be who you wanted to be. Though it may already seem too late it is never too late to be happy. We're all trying our best here. Just enjoy the process and work with all your heart for the things you're sure you want in life. Don't let anyone ever tell you that you'll not be able to do something if that's really what you want. If they do, prove them wrong. 


Don't take everything so personally

I have to admit that I still fail at this sometimes. It's hard not to make everything about yourself when your insecurities speak louder and you constantly believe that something you did is the problem. But, even though some things may be, others are completely out of our reach. Remember that we see the world as we are, not how it actually is. Take a deep breathe, help others and move forward.



What would you tell yourself if you could go back in time?


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