A good friend recently turned 25. She is gorgeous, smart, strong, and has her whole life in front of her to conquer the world, if she chooses.
Her birthday had me thinking of my life at 25 and what I would have told myself knowing what I know now. At 25 years old, I was in graduate school working my butt off to earn the degree that has very much shaped my life. Despite being a straight A student and having an amazing, supportive boyfriend who is now my husband, I was full of self doubt and down on myself. I was often angry, depressed, and played it safe in so many ways. I didn’t have the tools to handle conflict. I would either shut down when faced with challenges or explode. Some of this has changed and some of this has not. However, now I’d like to think I have more confidence and some wisdom that comes from life experience. I’d like to think I take more risks as well. Some of these risks were by choice and some were because life circumstances gave me no choice but to make a change.
Here are some of the things I would tell myself or my friend at 25:
Don’t settle or sell yourself short. Your potential is endless and don’t let anyone including yourself tell you otherwise.
Go on that trip. See what the world has to offer. Everything will change once you become a parent & that trip will have to be put off. Your children’s needs will supersede your own desires, which is okay. Just don’t forget about them!
Life gets easier, then it gets harder, then easier again. Every stage has different challenges. Knowing that you have made it through past obstacles will propel you to make it through the next set of challenges.
Take that chance. Apply for that reach job! Connect with new people! Try that interesting activity! Jump out of that plane! You will regret missed opportunities and adventures as time goes on. After all, you only live once.
Take care of yourself, as there is only one you. So many people will grow to rely on you and look to you to meet their needs. If you aren’t functioning properly, you can’t help others or yourself. Listen to your body. Rest when you need it. Take breaks. Drink lots of water. Ask for help. Set limits. Learn to say no. You can’t be everything to everyone.
You will be okay. You will be the mother you want to be. You will eventually have the job you dreamed of. There will be plenty of bumps in the road and challenges along the way. Be patient & things will work out one way or another.