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My 25th birthday is right around the corner, so for my last month being 24 I want to reflect on the things I’ve learned throughout the years.
Thinking back, I sometimes cringe at the person I used to be. I think we all can relate to that. However, I also have a love for the girl I once was. If I hadn’t made the mistakes that I did, I wouldn’t be where I am today. My mindset would be stuck in the past and THAT, my friends, is a scary thought.
So here’s to the girl I once was. May she continue to grow and cringe at the past all the days of her life.
Dear younger self, here’s 25 things I’d like you to know:
Time heals most wounds.
I know the incident that happened seems like the worst thing in the world. And the aching in your chest is unbearable. But time will go on and you will heal. Not only will you heal, but you’ll flourish. Your bad times will not last. Sometimes, it seems like they do. But even then, God is working in you.
You’re going to pick a wicked good husband.
He is a caring, gentle soul and he loves you to the moon and back. STOP worrying about boys. In the end, a man doesn’t solve all your problems. He’s just there to help you through them. Be patient and wait for that man. He’s worth it, I promise.
It’s OK to ask for help.
Maybe if I had known back then, I would be better at it now. Asking for help is hard. However, once you GET help a weight will be lifted off your shoulders. You can’t do everything on your own. No matter how fiercely independent you think you are.
People don’t care about your embarrassing moment.
I know you feel like the world is staring at you through a fishbowl, but I’d like you to know – you are not the center of attention. People don’t care that you fell running to the bus, that you stuttered 5 times reading in front of the class, or that you got yelled at by a customer the first day on your job. They’ve already forgotten, so allow yourself that luxury, too.
I am not the person you wanted to be.
Thank goodness for that. I don’t have everything in order, a million dollars, or a gazillion friends. In a lot of ways, I’m the exact opposite of what you wanted. And I’m grateful, anyways. There’s not some magic age where everything falls into place. I’m not the person you envisioned and I probably won’t ever be. That is OK.
Do not lose this passion of yours. Your whole life people have been telling you you’re a good writer and if you don’t start using that gift you’re going to regret it. You don’t have to be perfect at it to write as an adult. You just have to try. Over and over and over. Until you get better and stop worrying about other people not “getting” it.
Be kind to yourself.
You’re going to disappoint yourself, think poorly of yourself, and speak negatively about yourself. Remember that you are human and God created you for a purpose. If a heavenly King can love you, so can the soul that lives inside.
Enjoy where you are – right now.
You take so many things for granted, instead of just being grateful for the seasons of life you’re given. If you’re in a season of business – enjoy it. If you’re in a season of loneliness – use it to better yourself. If you’re in a season of friendships – cherish them. All things pass and a new season will come. Relish it and appreciate the time you’ve been given. There’s no rush.
It’s OK to lose a friend.
Sometimes, friends grow apart and you stop seeing someone as often. That doesn’t mean that person hates you. Friends come and go your whole life. It isn’t you – it’s just change. Don’t take it personal.
Everything doesn’t have to happen NOW.
Be patient. Great things are coming. You can’t conquer the world in one giant step. It takes a journey.
Some people aren’t going to like you. That’s OK.
You’re not going to be everyone’s cup of tea – and it’s OK for someone not to like you. What’s important is that you like yourself and show kindness, anyways.
I promise this one fight isn’t going to ruin your relationship with that person for the rest of your life.
This is the people-pleaser in you. Sometimes, you’re going to fight with the people you’re closest to. You’re going to say things that sting and vice versa. This isn’t going to make them hate you forever. In fact, it might even bring you closer.
Just apologize already.
Don’t wait for the other person. Even if you can’t see what you did wrong in the moment – humble yourself and apologize. It’s a big weight off your shoulders.
I wish I could say your future self had this one figured out, but I don’t. You’ll spend so much time worrying about things you have no control over and lose so many hours of sleep. Stop worrying and start trusting in God. He is watching over you and He is in control, so you don’t have to be.
You won’t always be moving forward.
Sometimes, you’re going to feel stuck in a phase of your life for a long time. You may even take a step backwards. You’re going to get past it. You’re going to achieve great success. Don’t panic.
You may never get that reassurance you’re looking for.
You want validation. You want someone to look you in the eyes and tell you, “You made the right choice”. Unfortunately, that’s not how life works and you may never get the reassurance you’re seeking. Trust yourself, go with your instincts, and above all else, pray.
You’re going to get rejected.
Life is going to slap you hard in the face sometimes and reject you. Whether it be a job, a person, or an experience. You aren’t the only one that’s been rejected. Learn from it and let go.
Sometimes, all you need is to call your mom.
You’re stuck in a situation, you feel alone, you’re overwhelmed – call your mom. She is the best at dealing with your emotions. Even if you’re not going through something, call your mom. Call her because you still can and one day, you’ll miss hearing her voice. Hopefully, not for a really, really long time, though.
Sometimes, all you need is to call your dad.
OK – you need a voice of reason. You need some guidance and logic in the situation you’re in. Maybe you’re being too emotional? Call your father. He always knows what to say, gives the right advice, and reminds you that it’s not as bad as it seems. Let him have that. Dads love feeling needed and let’s face it – we need them.
Don’t be a mean girl – even if you’re surrounded by them.
Sometimes, it’s going to be really hard to hold your tongue and not gossip. Or you’re going to feel really cool being part of the group and not even notice the person struggling in the corner. Don’t be a mean girl. Get over yourself and be kind to the girl in the corner. One day, that girl is going to be you and you’ll wish someone showed you kindness at your most vulnerable moments.
The boy you think is the one – is not and will never be “the one”.
Luckily, you found your one in a million and don’t care in the slightest about the boy who once had your heart. Focus on giving your heart to God and THEN you will find your one.
You’re going to want to stop going to church. That’s when you should study and pray hardest.
You’re going to move to a new place, feel out of place at church, and have to force yourself to get out of bed each Sunday morning. You’ll make excuses for yourself and sacrifice your growth because of feeling uncomfortable. Church is not about YOU. Get over it, get dressed, and get your butt out the door. Find out how to serve people, not the other way around.
You’re going to get hurt by people, forgive them anyways.
You’ll get hurt bad. By people you love and by people you barely know. Learn to forgive them anyways. There’s so much strength in forgiveness.
Throw that ugly shirt away.
You know the one I’m talking about. Get it out of your closet and chuck it in the trash can. Don’t even bring it to GoodWill – you’ll be doing no favors by donating that to some poor soul.
Last, but not least, you are enough.
Stop feeling like you should be more. You are enough. You make mistakes, fall short, and stumble because you are human. You will never deserve the life that’s been given, and yet you are more than enough for God.
your unbelievably joyful future self
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