So exactly a month ago, I turned 31.
31, I’m definitely in my 30s now. In my mind, 30 was more like a bridge year between my 20s and 30s; but that’s it. I’m at the end of the bridge now, and its time to walk over to side where definitely ‘adulting’ is less of a millennial verb describing chores one has to do to wanting to do these same chores because it makes life easier and more efficient.
Over this past month, I have thought of several things I’d tell my younger self- my 13 year old self let’s say, if the digits on my age were simply flipped— things I hope my younger self would find useful to navigate through life.
At 13, I was a gawky teenager with large bushy brows and braces. At 31, I the bushy brows are tamer, the braces are gone but I believe I am still the same person majorly, just with a few greys and life lessons wiser. So here are some pearls of wisdom to my younger self.
- Love yourself as you are right now at 13. Those braces are there to make your smile a lot prettier. It will help you through your life. At your university dance, you’ll actually win the girl who smiles the most award- no jokes. People will also on the whole remember and think of you as a positive person, who is full of life (even when you are not).
- Hold on to your beliefs, they are pretty powerful and help you be a strong independent woman one day.
- One day you will be thankful for your upbringing. Every single aspect of it.
- You have a very high EQ. So if you feel you are extremely emotional, and like you do not fit in, that’s ok. It’ll only make you stronger, smarter and more sincere.
- You will make genuine friends one day who will love and care for you unconditionally.
- Do not be jealous because others at your age —13, have had the opportunity to move away or travel abroad. One day you will too- and boy will you have wings!
- You will still be a picky eater at 31. Vegetables are still not your best friends. See who said adults know it all?!
- You are a pretty good driver. Don’t worry too much about having to drive with daddy training you. It’ll only happen once and you’ll survive it.
- All those extracurricular classes you are hating at the moment, you will be thankful for one day. Go thank mum right now.
- You are extremely intuitive and instinctive. Hone that skill further. Your gut feeling is NEVER wrong. NEVER.
- Your 10th grade and 12th grade scores will not define you. In college you’ll find subjects that really interest you and you’ll love to study, I promise! Just get though the next 5 years and then it’ll be a breeze.
- Boys will come and go. The real person you need to learn to love is yourself.
- Your sense of style will evolve as you do. That is one thing you never have to worry about.
- Don’t settle- don’t jump into relationships because you think you don’t deserve the best.
- You will make people insecure. It is not you, it is them. Do not, I repeat, do not agonise yourself over it.
- Learn and try to listen more, talk less.
- Do not give up on reading. It is a mistake.
- When you meet a bully, and you will —know that it is not about you, it is about their lack of self confidence and sense of self.
- You will go to NYC when you are 29, no sooner, no later and it will be life changing, but not how you think.
- Failure is ok. The more important thing is to learn from it.
- You are brave. Believe it. If you don’t believe me, ask mum. She’ll tell you one day why she thinks so.
- Mum and dad are cooler than you think they are.
- Not learning French was a mistake. You will work in beauty – it could have been really handy.
- You are funny and have a good sense of humour. I know that you know it. You will meet the right people one day who will think so too!
- Try to develop some upper body strength. At 31, you are still a bit weak.
- Your self doubt is just that! Others don’t go looking for your flaws with a microscope like you do.
- Learn to take a compliment. At 31, this is still a struggle.
- It is ok to cry in movies.
- Continue taking photographs like you do now. Photography is a hobby you’ll truly enjoy.
- Remember being an adult is the same as being 13, but with a lot more responsibilities. Enjoy this time of living a carefree life as a kid.
- Your heart has the capacity to grow larger in love and stronger in sorrow, so don’t be afraid of being hurt or getting your heart broken. You never were, never are and never will be a wallflower, always remember that.