Our project continues with this reminder to be comfortable with who you are and stop trying to force happiness.
Dear 20-year-old me,
If you could only know what I now know, you’d know that all you’re going through hasn’t been for nothing. I know how easy it is for you to look at yourself every day after you come home and think: “These people would like me more if I would…” You can fill the rest of that sentence in any way you want, just remember that the only person you need to have like you IS you.
Change and growth are inevitable.
Change is good but you have to know that change is also gradual. Evolution took millions of years so why are you rushing to change yourself? Those people at school who you think are so important to you eventually fade away, and only the ones who see you for you will stick around. Embrace change, but don’t rush it.
It’s so easy to be withdrawn and focus on the negative things in your life but it’s not a good way to live.
You won’t always be the one that everyone picks on because you’re the smallest in the class. The size of your heart is what defines you, not your stature. Be comfortable with yourself; once that growth spurt hits you’ll find yourself a lot less self-conscious.
Be open – with yourself AND others.
It’s so easy to be withdrawn and focus on the negative things in your life but it’s not a good way to live. You’ll experience so much pain and so much anguish but if you always put on that fake smile and act like everything’s OK, no one can ever know what you’re actually going through. Things are not as bad as you make them out to be – those thoughts that you have about hurting yourself? They’re just manifestations of a larger issue and you need to start talking about you before they start to run your life. Be courageous, be open; be willing to speak. Words have more power than you think. With the right people, even three simple words, “I need help,” will show everyone, including yourself, how strong you really are.
Start saving early and don’t use credit cards to pay for everything
Stop wasting your money!
I know that new video game or those nights out with your friends seem like a really good idea now, but later down the line, it will come back to bite you! Start saving early and don’t use credit cards to pay for everything – it’s a slippery slope that is hard to recover from. Save yourself the time and aggravation and spend only within your means and remember that in the future, you’ll still have to support me as well as a family so make sure I can’t blame you later!
You’ll find her. Be patient.
That girl that you think about, the one who makes you laugh and loves and accepts you, not in spite of your faults, but because of them? You’ll find her. It will take some time but be patient because when you finally meet her you’ll realize that worrying and trying to force happiness wasn’t worth it because manufactured happiness only lasts for so long.
I know all of this seems like I’m lecturing you and that I sound like your parents but, as much as it hurts to hear it, they were right about a lot of things and the only advantage they (and I) have that you don’t is the years of experience under our belts at this whole “life” thing. Trust me, it all falls into place and it all gets better than what you’re seeing now. Just remember to love the person you are and not manufacture who you are and how you think your life should be.
P.S. THIS IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT! When the idea comes up to participate in a dairy or water drinking challenge? Don’t do it. Nobody wins at a dairy or water drinking challenge.
What advice would you share if you could travel back in time 10 years from now? Be a part of Project: #YoungerMe. Check out our terms and style guide, then submit your letter here. Or simply share your thoughts in the comments below! (And be sure to use the hashtag when tweeting us @reply_mag and sharing on Facebook).