So today is my 28th birthday and I have been reflecting on the past 12 months (and the past 28 years) of my life and what I would tell my 18 year old self if I could. Here is a list of 5 life lessons I have learned along my journey so far. Maybe you will identify with one, and feel free to post your own life lessons in the comment section below.
- Dear 18 year old self, throw your plans out the window and just ride the wave. When I was 18 years old, I was planning for college. Originally, I wanted to be a journalism major, then I transferred to the University of Pittsburgh and followed the pre-med track. Life was all work, no play. I did really well in college, but after getting accepted to medical school (after all of that hard work) I declined my seat and started to follow my heart. Which led me twodaymag. Which led me on the amazing journey I have been on. Which led me to graduate school. If I could tell my younger self anything, it would be no to worry so much, life is going to work out the way it wants to. (Easier said than done, right?)
- Dear 18 year old self, be kinder to yourself. I am a perfectionist (and I realize this!) and I can be tough on myself. But, at 18, I was deranged. Everything I had to do had to be p-e-r-f-e-c-t. It was exhausting. Now that I am more comfortable in my own skin, I have adopted a love it or leave it attitude. We can’t control what the world thinks of us, and I just want to be nice to myself. I wish she would have been nicer to herself, too.
- Dear 18 year old self, carpe diem! My aunt recently passed this year and it made me reflect on the choices that I have made in my life. As an adult, I have really learned to enjoy life, seize moments when they arise, and say YES to adventure. The world really is a big, beautiful place and when you are able to let go and take it all in, the fun really begins.
- Dear 18 year old self, you will be okay. I swear! I thought that if medical school didn’t pan out, life would be over. But guess what? My life has been wonderful. Not perfect. Not free of stress or pain. But wonderful. I wish I could have shown myself what the future was going to hold so I could just relax and realize that it’s all going to work out!
- Dear 18 year old self, what’s the hurry? Slow down and be 18. I was in a really intense relationship that started that year. I took on a massive school load double majoring in college. I wanted to be a grown-up so badly, but I don’t think I realized what that meant. There is no rush to get into a relationship. There is no rush to decide your life’s work. We are on a journey, and as a 28-year-old woman, I now understand that life changes direction and it is best to be adaptable and open-minded about what the future holds.
And let me just reiterate, 18 was a wonderful time in my life. I am not suggesting that it wasn’t, but had I known then what I know now...I would have stressed a lot less!
Share with me your life lessons on this journey we are embarking on together...
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