Dear Younger Self,
You have to take care of you. And I don’t mean through meditation (though that is great) or through working out (also great); I mean you have to find what things make you tick. You can’t be afraid to take an unknown path or have your own ideas of what your future should look like. You have to know who you are if you are ever going to flourish in other relationships. And please understand that who you are is ever evolving; you have to search it out and continually be willing to get to know yourself and what makes you happy if you are ever going to be truly content.
Too often when you are young you feel this pressure to be something by a certain age. To be married. To have kids. To know the direction of your life. But in my experience the only pressure we should put on ourselves is to find ourselves first. This isn’t selfish. This doesn’t mean forgetting every other person but it does mean that you have to realize that if you don’t find your own happiness, your own passions, your own true desires it won’t matter what career you have, how much money you make, if you are married or if you have kids. Because you won’t be living your life. You will be living the life you thought you were supposed to have. And if you keep telling yourself that by 25 you will be on the right job path, or 30 you will be married, or at 35 you will have kids you could end up missing the way the way things are truly supposed to fall in your life. Do not put a timeline on your life.
The failures, the successes, the unexpected turns in the road of life, and likely the path you are truly meant to be on are not planned out every step of the way. You can’t live any life you want to lead without choosing to put yourself first. Be bold. Move away. Start a new career. Try new things. Let go of finding the right one, the right career, the right kids or the right anything by a certain age. Know that in your independence you will likely find the things that draw people towards you and what draws you towards them. You will discover the things and people that will add to your life and the type of people who will simply take the best from you. And believe me you will know when you start to live your life for other people, it won’t feel right and you will have to make a decision in that time to forget the opinions’ of others and live for yourself. You will have to decide to do right by you.
The truth is none of our journeys are the same. Finding yourself will make you a better friend, spouse, co-worker, parent, and overall human. You will continue to grow and learn about yourself throughout that journey. Know that there will be people that join us for the long haul and some that are there for smaller periods of time, but it makes none of the experiences with them less valuable. We won’t have anything completely figured out at any stage of our life, which is actually pretty exciting to think we will only continue to grow and find new adventures. That we will look back every now and then and be amazed at how far we have come, how much we have accomplished, and how much more we want to do.
Dear young one no matter what you do, or where life takes you, if you remember nothing else I tell you remember this: find you first.