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I have always been fascinated by the ‘Letter to My Younger Self’ and whenever I see them in magazines and online, I always make a point to read them. I imagined that it would be quite a cathartic exercise. I guess I’m quite fortunate that I don’t have a great deal to purge, and what has brought me challenges over the years, I sit with comfortably now. But what I most enjoyed about the process has been reflecting back on how I’ve grown and what I’ve learnt.
I offer no ground-breaking advice, but some simple musings will serve me well beyond today.
Here are a few things to help you on your way.
You’re mostly a happy soul so don’t lose that; this disposition will usher you through the trials.
Reshape regrets – they’ll only eat away at you. If you can reshape them you’ll see the purpose they served to make your life better in the end.
Celebrate your success, not only do you deserve it but it will help you identify your true friends. Those who celebrate with you, wish you only good. Those who don’t celebrate with you, harbour resentment and will one day let you down.
Champagne will thicken your waist (and your head), when you over indulge be sure that the joy of the over indulgence will outweigh the discontent of a thick waist. Mostly it will, but be sure to check in with it.
Listen to your father. He was wrong (mostly) about you being the class clown, the town drunk and at times the village idiot, but he was bang on with his advice about adjusting your expectations of others. He told me to never expect someone to behave the same way as you would, if you do you will always be disappointed (your older self is still working on this).
Listen to your mother and store away what she has to say. Each day something will come up that you will want to ask her and when she is gone you will miss deferring to her on life’s practicalities. She would have known what to do when your youngest wouldn’t sleep. So listen up.
Be more compassionate when you feel that someone has failed you. You will fail someone some day to, and not be able to help it. We all have limitations.
Trust yourself. That sick feeling you get in your stomach has always been right. Don’t ignore it, act on it, then you’ll find that you’re on your right path.
Write everyday, it is the only way to hone your skills (your older self is still working on this one to).
That cliche, authentic. Well, there is no other way. The only way is to live truthfully, honestly. You will fail at everything you do if you are not living truthfully. Life will be so much easier to live when you are being your real self.
Don’t worry about money. Things have a way of working themselves out, even if it’s not how you imagined it would be.
I probably don’t need to tell you this, but have fun, always. Even when you feel your soul is under fire. The joy of the small things will get you through.
And finally, always remember that life will never be better than it is now, so make the most of it.
And so my friend, be brave, be bold and go gently; it is a fine combination.
Do you have some advice to your younger self that you’d like to share? Share below, it is rather cathartic after all.