Saturday, October 11, 2014

Advice To My "Younger Self"

As part of Blogtober14, the DC Ladies are asking women what advice they would provide their "younger selves." This unique challenge has forced me to look back on my life and think about how I may have handled situations differently.

This has been a difficult writing challenge for me. In fact, I was supposed to post this blog entry several days ago, but I was stumped. What advice would I provide to my "younger self?"

After giving this seemingly simple task some careful thought and consideration, I am not sure if I would provide my "younger self" with any advice. I am thankful for the decisions I have made -- both the good and the bad -- and the lessons I have learned along the way. Nevertheless, if I was forced to tell my "younger self" a few tidbits on life, then here's what I would say:

Be Present & Be Thankful: Life is a roller coaster ride with many ups, downs, twists, and turns. Don't just be a spectator. Experience each and every moment in life, and give thanks for all of the amazing blessings and miracles that you have been given.

Build Strong, Healthy & Reliable Relationships: Yes, you enjoy your career. You are passionate about the work that you do -- and you always go above and beyond the call of duty. You are a smart and dedicated. You should be proud of your hard work and all of your accomplishments, but don't forget to take time to invest in personal relationships. Put effort into building strong, healthy, and reliable friendships. Surround yourself with people who appreciate you and will stand by you through both thick and thin, even when it may be inconvenient or when something better comes along. Reciprocate such effort.

Don't Take Things Too Personally: Yes, it's easy to allow minor and insignificant details to cause you to beat yourself up. So what if you cried within the first minute of a very emotional presentation about the most traumatic experience of your life? You were genuine. You shared your experience, you advocated for what you believe in, and you educated others so that they can learn from you. So what if you didn't clean the entire house before company came over? You did the best that you could within the timeframe provided. Don't let harsh self-criticism take over -- especially over minor things. Look at the bigger picture. Realize that you are human and are not perfect.

Follow Your Heart: Yes, it may be good to listen to and consider both solicited and unsolicited advice provided by others, but follow your heart and make your own decisions. Do what you think is best for you and what will make you happy.

If you had the opportunity, would you provide advice to your "younger self?" What advice would you provide?