Friday, August 10, 2012

Advice to my Younger Self

Last month I turned 36.  No big deal to some, just "a baby" as others would say, but to me it was a big deal.  35 was the last year that I felt young.  All of my life -for some odd reason- I have seen 36 as the official "middle age" number.  Once you turn 36, you are closer to 40 than you've ever been!  Your twenties are officially behind you, and your thirties are closing in as well!  You have to start thinking about life insurance, retirement, and nursing home options!  Kidding, of course.  But seriously.  36 has always been old to me, and now I'm 36.

I was looking back at my life, reminiscing about my younger days, and started thinking about what I would say to my 25 year old self (why 25 and not 26? It just sounded better).  The year was 2001.  At age 25 I had been married for 2 years.  I was almost finished with my Master's Degree. I had already been a Licensed Minister for 4 years, and was working at a University pursuing full-time ministry on the side.  I was an ambitious girl.  My husband and I were living in a cute little 750 square foot apartment in Costa Mesa, and life was full of working, school, cooking dinner every night, and staying up late watching Friends re-runs.

Here are 10 things I would say to that girl:

1. Chill out a bit.  Ambition is good, but it isn't everything.  Your accomplishments don't define you.

2. Even if you don't end up doing what you set out to do, you are still important and valuable.

3. When things go wrong and you feel forgotten by God, remember all the times He was faithful to you, and He will continue to be faithful to you in the years ahead.

4. Life is not all about you.  One day you'll have kids and they will throw up on your cute clothes and you won't be so self-centered anymore.  Get a head start and start liking kids now. Be kinder to those moms you see in Target who have kids throwing tantrums.

5.  Be patient with your husband. Cut the guy a break.  He puts up with a lot from you.

6.  Invest in your friendships, because they will last as long as the effort you put into them.  Cut off the ones that drain you and leave you feeling empty. Pour your energy into the ones who make you feel alive and refreshed, as well as the ones who challenge you in your walk with God.

7.  Find a good counselor, for you will need her over the years.

8.  Handle your money wisely now, because your life 10 years from now will be affected by those decisions you make today.  Don't just take out loans without thinking of the long-term consequences.

9.  Forgive others. Show more love.  Be less harsh. 

10.  You are passionate.  Be more passionate about God than you are about His causes. 

What advice would you give to yourself 10 years ago?  I'm curious to know!

1 comment:

  1. Man I wish your 36 year old self was around when I was younger to advise me! Of course I probably wouldn't have listened... :(