Dear younger self,
You’re interested in some advice from me? That’s weird. It’s not like you’re going to listen to me anyway, because you’re stubborn like that. I digress – let’s start with some basics:
1. Do something for yourself every day – Although I don’t take this advice often, it’s good to keep it on the front of your mind. You’ll never regret taking a few minutes to yourself. Your job and family will thank you. Especially if it’s a shower.
2. Don’t care so much – For the love of all that is holy, you don’t have to care about every single thing. You can choose to not have an opinion if it doesn’t affect you. It’s the most freeing thing you will do.
3. Say yes to things that make you uncomfortable – I know you don’t want to spend your evening networking, or going to drinks with an old colleague, but again, you won’t regret it.
4. Say the joke – more times than not, you will try to squeeze a joke in when you can. Sometimes it won’t land and for those times – it’s at least funny to you. Laugh while you can.
5. Apologize for the right reasons – Don’t do the filler “ope, sorry” about things you’re not sorry about. Own up to your mistakes and apologize if you truly are. No need for fake sorry’s here.
6. Find the positive – I’m not talking toxic positivity here, but people are truly trying their best and giving them the benefit of the doubt will save your sanity. Not everyone’s thinking about you or talking shit. It’s FINE.
7. Choose your happiness first – DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT stay in a job, relationship, etc. for any reason other than that’s what YOU want. If you feel like you should quit, do it, it works out.
8. You’re smarter than you think – Give yourself some damn credit. You’re going to get to the place you want to be. Believe that you will have the job and life that you wanted because you will. Keep being hungry for knowledge and enjoying that you don’t know everything. It will help you in the long run.
9. Stand up for what you believe – While I don’t think being defensive is always appropriate, your friends will appreciate you more for having an opinion you’re passionate about instead of hiding in the corner and agreeing with them.
10. Embrace being the loud one – Every group has one, and it’s you. They are just jealous they aren’t as funny – we will keep reminding ourselves of that for the rest of our lives.
11. Be a good friend – This will be worth it a million times over. If you’re a good friend, your friends will be good to you. And sometimes a person/coworker/employee/neighbor just wants to be heard, be a good friend to them too. You’ll help them more than you know. And some of your best friends will be your former coworkers, so don’t feel weird about mixing professional and personal.
12. Buy nicer stuff – There’s a time and place for budget-friendly, and skincare and makeup ain’t it. Treat yourself with some nicer shampoo, too. You deserve it.
13. It’s okay to SAY NO – especially when you know it doesn’t serve you. Quit saying yes because you feel bad. Protect your energy when you can. You’re welcome.
14. KIDS ARE NUTS – When they tell you that having kids is crazy – they are not lying and you will never be prepared for that type of Thunderdome. Stay agile, my friend. It’s also cool so – balance. On that note – don’t let anyone make you feel guilty for prioritizing your career while parenting, that’s bullshit.
Don’t let anyone diminish your happiness, slow your hustle, or make you feel small. You’re exactly who you are and it only gets better from here. Trust me, you won’t have to roll silverware forever.