Things I would tell my younger self.

Recently, on another blog I follow, the writer asked readers to post tidbits of wisdom that they would tell their 20-year-old-selves. It made me think what knowledge I would pass on. For me, 40 seems quickly approaching (although still almost 3 years away.) Looking back though, I have learned and grown SO MUCH as a person over that time. Hopefully some of it will benefit my children (if they actually listen.)

I would give myself cookies and tea (because tea parties are still fun and who doesn’t love cookies?)
Next a pat on the head and a reassuring hug that everything will be okay. My 20-year-old-self was sad, awkward and lonely. I could have really used some type of mentor or guidance while trying to figure out this mess of a world without parents around. I pray that my kids don’t ever have to experience that.

So here it goes:

You will learn how to dress yourself. Without maxing out credit cards.
It took me awhile to figure this out. I thought credit meant better style. It does not. It means debt.
If you don’t already have a sense of putting together outfits, buying things willy-nilly isn’t going to help either.
Now-a-days, I get most of my clothes on sale or clearance or from Goodwill or a garage sale. Some people get weirded out from wearing someone elses’ hand-me-downs. I just think of it as a chance to see how the item really held up after someone else paid full price for it. I also learned how to dress my body type instead of trying to follow what’s in. Long skirts = not for me. I’m short and they make me look stumpy. I have hips, so narrow tapered pants at the ankle, not cool. I wear flared jeans, whether they are in-style or not. It just makes my body look more proportionate. High heels are a no go. I have flat feet and they give me spine and neck pain. Conclusion: It’s fine to update your wardrobe with fashionable items here and there, as long as you have classic basics (that fit properly) to build from.

Oh and nude bras go under white tops. White showing through white = bad. Black showing through white is a wee bit trashy. LOL

4662_97039253720_6123846_n bad outfit erin copy

There is more than one way to measure and define success.
I used to think I had to achieve a certain number of goals by a certain age or my life was passing me by. I wanted to by Hollywood famous, with the fancy lifestyle to match. Doesn’t everyone, right? I eventually figured out that being in that type of spotlight wasn’t for me. Comparing myself to others always left me with the feeling that I didn’t measure up. I didn’t follow the traditional path as most do and I always felt like the odd person out. Until I realized, what I do have, is a job that I don’t hate. While it doesn’t always bring me the amount of income I’d like, it does provide me with flexibility and I’m fortunate to be able to do it. I also have an ever-expanding skill set that provides me many future growth opportunities. Conclusion: Self-employment and rehabbing is certainly not the most glamourous route, but we sure know how to get things done.

Hallie ornament 001 copy

For the love of all that’s good, stop forcing relationships. You will find “The One”.
When you are the product of a less-than-ideal upbringing, as with anything traumatic in life, it scars you. If you weren’t given any sort of semblance of how a loving relationship should function, it’s hard to know what to look for. This is the problem I had. Most of the times someone showed interest, I jumped at the chance for attention. Often, this led to making illogical and poor decisions. My gut would be screaming things were wrong and I would put on blinders and keep marching forward, determined to make the best of the newest debacle I had gotten myself into.

I worked at Taco Bell in Bowling Green when I was 20, I can distinctly remember thinking each guy coming through the drive-thru, JUST MIGHT be the person for me. I didn’t like dating. I didn’t like the games you were supposed to play and how a person shouldn’t act interested. I liked straight-forward and putting it all out there. Living in a college town with all the college shenanigans baffled me. I was told my expectations were too high. That I was supposed to make the best of it. No one was perfect. That the things I valued weren’t important. That’s what marriage is, accepting each other’s short-comings. I would try…

I just wasn’t happy.
I kept at it. Eventually and when I was least expecting it, my persistence paid off.
And you know what? THEY were full of shit.
Conclusion: Don’t ever listen to other people that are unhappy too, even if they are your friends. Chances are they don’t have a clue because they can’t see past their own misery. I would tell my younger self not worry, because I would finally get the love and family I always wanted.

If you feel so inclined, respond with your own things.

pic for website

Last photo by Lisa Penzone

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