Things I wish I could tell my Younger Self About
The other day a friend celebrated her birthday. We are the same age. One among us was telling at her just to pull her leg saying “You’ll be 30 in 3 years.” That realization is scary. I thought about it hard and wondered about the big 3-O. When you reach a certain age, it’s inevitable that you reflect more deeply about what’s left of your life.
My review where I came from, considering how I got here, and wondering where I am to go next. In my case, I realize how much more deeply I am trusting myself, clinging to my soul, than I ever did as a younger person. In some ways I “know” so much better now.
I have been on a long journey together with many twists and turns. I believe I have come to a good place, and I hope to keep moving forward because I am loving the journey more than ever. And I know I would not be where I am now without all the varied experiences I’ve had. I am thankful for that.
Even so, I often find myself wishing I could tell my younger self some things about how life really works, about what’s real and true, and thereby dissolve some of the harmful expectations and assumptions I had way back then. That is a frustrating contrariety, but it’s worth thinking about.
I wish I could tell my younger self:
- Sometimes bad things happen to good people. Sometimes very bad things happen to very good people. We will never fully understand this, but we may catch a glimpse of the why someday.
- Life is good. Not always, but mostly. And when it is not so good, be assured it will get better.
- It’s a good thing that we don’t know everything that’s going to happen to us. If I had known all the pains and heartaches I would encounter in life, even amidst the joys and victories, it would surely have been too much to bear.
- It is a gift to get to meet new people and to get to know them, especially those who are different from you in some way, culturally, ethnically, religiously. Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone may be painful for a time, but the benefits are everlasting.
- You didn’t do so well in school. Maybe you didn’t achieve good grades. Don’t worry. But you can always pick yourself up. Educate yourself with what interests you.
- It is really important for you to stand up for yourself. You will truly be amazed how empowering it is.
- Eat good food, Do exercise, and have a healthy balance in life. The older you get, the more you’ll understand why.
- Accept yourself as you were created. Nobody is perfect. And you don’t even have to be. I spent fighting too many battles and it took a long time to surrender, and by that time it carried somewhat painful consequences. How I wish I could tell the young me that it is okay to be true to yourself. Because God does not make mistakes.
- You are not the only person in the world who feels this way, whatever “this way” is that you’re feeling. Share and connect, You will be surprised to know that a lot of them feel the same way.
- You are wonderful just as you are. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t stop working on your tough edges and areas of ignorance and inexperience. You are always a work in progress!
- We are on a journey, which means things will change. Events will change, even the important ones and sometimes shockingly. Nevertheless it shall be a good journey, and it’s worth every step.
- This one is hard, but believe that your person would come to you along the way. It might take a while. A few heartaches will eventually get you to your ideal person. Don’t beat yourself up even though it takes a while to find this person. Be patient and it will work out.
- When you do connect deeply with one person, be serious about it. Work at it. Be open and honest with your significant other. It is a rare and wondrous thing to be in relationship, so make every effort to preserve and improve and deepen it.
- If you are alone, you won’t always be, unless you don’t make any effort otherwise. Make the effort.
- Your family truly loves you and want the best for you. Listen to them. Trust them. Love them. But realize you will soon be on your own, and that’s a good thing.
- Stop watching so much TV! It’s tempting I know. But really less you stare at the box, it’s better for you. I didn’t understand then. I wish I could have done more other good things like exploring new projects, teaching myself new skills rather than watching TV.
- Work hard and carefully to figure out a career you will love. This will involve trying different things, new things. I am thankful to find a job that I love. It has moved me forward into what was next.
- Children are a blessing and a joy. Just keep in mind that they will break your heart and scare you to death more times than you could ever imagine.
- Religious configurations is composed of human beings, and so it possesses many human failings, which often reflect your own. Surrender to this.
- Read more! (Although, young me, did read an awful lot, there are so many nice books you can read, increase your knowledge and experiences. We human have the ability to write beautiful words)
- I wished the younger me had known how important was it to never give up on family. There is nothing more sublime than human in the human being. You just cannot live by yourself. You will always need a support system.
- You will never waste any moment you spend on getting to know your Creator better. You can do that by reading the Holy book, by prayerfully reflecting on, what he calls you to be and do, and by being in community with others on the same quest.
- Read the Quran thoughtfully, open-mindedly, prayerfully, with sageness. Focus on the meaning and you can’t go wrong.
- Avoid close minded, negative people. Don’t let them suck out your positive vibe.
- You will have a tendency toward complacency. Resist this.
- Try new things. Be curious. Strive for something that stretches you. (The now-me found Yoga 4 years ago. I wish the younger me had known how much it helps with my anxiety. Yoga can change your physical and mental capacity quickly, while preparing the mind and body for long-term health. Of course, there’s a limit to this, so be careful.
- Being bullied doesn’t only happen at school. It definitely happens at work too! Don’t let it define the person you are or never let it come between your career goals. Never take credit for someone else hard work
- Everyone should feel accepted and included. Be as much as kind to everyone you meet. That is, including yourself. Everyone is fighting their own battle.
- Travel as much as you can, especially to distant places. This will add incredible dimension to your life and experiences.
- Find something artistic to do. In fact, try lots of different things. There is something primarily meaningful and life giving about creating a thing of beauty.
- Engage in self-reflection, but don’t let it become self-deception. Sometimes you will need to talk things over with people you trust.
- Don’t think too much on how others have hurt you. Feel your feelings, but let them go. Move on.
- Some people go and some people stay. Some friendships or relationships don’t always work. Never blame anyone for this.
- Forgive. Forgive. And forgive again. You may never forget, but for your own sake, forgive. And try to forget. Just try.
- And don’t forget to forgive yourself.
- Be Thankful. Gratitude leads to more happiness and well being. Even scientists say so.
- Bless others. Be a positive influence in any way you can. Even a little effort you make on others could go along way.
- Don’t make life more difficult because you’re too proud — you want to be right, you don’t want to admit a mistake, you don’t want someone to know you’re having a tough time. Don’t beat yourself up. When you make a mistake, fix it. (The Olivia Pope way). When you need help, ask. Don’t let your pride get in the way.
- Don’t take yourself so seriously all the time. Laugh. Often. Laugh from your belly whenever possible ( The younger me had a lot of fun and I’m really happy that I laughed and laugh a lot)
- There are some people in your life you will never understand, and maybe not even like. Make the best of it. But if you realize they are harming you, avoid them. Don’t let them suck the air out of your spirit.
- Write. It will be difficult to find the time and energy at times, but it is a vital creative pursuit.
- Don’t get too invested in technology. But keep it in perspective; don’t let it consume you. Life in the real world is far more meaningful and important. And fun.
- Don’t be afraid to tell someone you love him or her, as long as you really do. Don’t hold on to your feelings.
- Some people will give you good advice; listen to them. Others don’t know what they’re talking about; learn to distinguish between the two. You will know in your gut when others’ advice is sound. (And I hope mine is.)
- Don’t judge people on how they look or the way they present themselves to the world. Look around and you will understand that. Judging the cover is never enough. You have to get to know the person inside. Appreciate their uniqueness.
- Appreciate and value yourself among the vast spectrum of people living in universe. Learn to value yourself.
- Use all your failures to your advantage. Learn from them. Promise yourself to come out even more successful.
- Believe that life has a purpose. Do not be afraid.
- Stay hungry. Stay foolish ( Yeah! I stole that one from Steve Jobs)
Actually, my younger self, I cannot tell you anything, let alone these things. So try your best to figure this all out on your own as soon as you can. Learn from your mistakes. And live so that someday you won’t have to wish you could tell your younger self anything.