In light of entering a new decade this month, I’ve been putting a lot of thought in to what I’ve learned between age 20 and age 30. Now that the beers and celebrations have ceased, I’m left sitting here reflecting on my last decade. Though I’m sure to those in their 30’s, I may sound just as naive as I did at 20, I like to think I learned a few things worth jotting down. Am I an expert advice giver? Probably not, but I’ve been through a few things and really do feel like the last ten years of my life have been worth a little reflection. After all, this is really the only decade I can fully remember looking back on. (quiet sobs of “I’m still young”)
First, let’s reflect on how much I’ve matured in the last 10 years.
So we can clear up any concerns, there is definitely vodka in that inconspicuous looking water bottle.
So we can clear up any concerns, I am in fact, playing with giant legos while drunk and wearing an adorable dress.
You draw your own conclusions as to how much I’ve matured, but something has to be said to 30-year-old Holly having wine instead of vodka.
Now that I’ve extinguished any and all credibility for the following, here are a few words I’d tell 20-year-old me if I knew what 30-year-old me knows.
IN TERMS OF YOUR BODY:
- You’re pretty, so quit thinking you aren’t. Know your beauty because no matter what you think today, in 10 years, you are going to want your 20-year-old body back. This is one of those “going forward” lessons too.
- Stop starving yourself. A healthy you is so much more beautiful than the skinny and malnourished looking you. Learn to be fit instead of famished.
- Stop telling everyone you’re fat. You are the kind of girl who contributes to other girls eating disorders, and that’s exactly the opposite of what you stand for. Stop it. Empower women rather than make them self-conscious.
IN TERMS OF RELATIONSHIPS:
- Relationships are for a Reason, a Season, or a Lifetime. Learn to recognize the difference.
- Stop dating guys that don’t respect you. You deserve better than being someone’s second best.
- Quit trying to find happiness through a man instead of from inside yourself. You’re never going to have a healthy relationship with another person until you learn to have one with yourself first. Go on a date with yourself once in a while. It’s actually a lot more liberating than embarrassing to sit alone in a restaurant.
- Stop giving so many shits about what people think about you. In the words of Bernard Baruch, “those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind”.
OTHER STUFF WORTH MENTIONING:
- Travel more. Meet more people. Learn and appreciate the world around you. This is the time of least responsibility in your life, so go live it. Home will be right where you left it.
- You made some mistakes, and that’s ok. Your life isn’t defined by your mistakes, but how you chose to grow from them.
- It’s going to be ok because time really does heal.
- You’re worth it. Stop telling yourself you don’t deserve happiness. You do. And you’ll find it, I promise.
- I admire you. You’ve been through a whole lot of crap, and you still managed to wake up each day and face the world with your chin up. Instead of using your childhood as a an excuse to be unstable, you chose to be happy even when there wasn’t much to be happy about. You took your struggles and used them to strengthen yourself rather than beat yourself down. Sure, you had bad days, but your struggles are what built you. They are what contributed to your mistakes and at the same time, showed you the path to who you are today. At the end of the day, you’re thriving. You aren’t just surviving anymore. And that’s pretty commendable.