A few months ago, I wrote installment one of the “Advice to My Younger Self” series. (You can read that here.) I am still grateful that most of my youthful mistakes were made before the invention of the over-sharing world of social media.
To post graduation Jess, I would say…
- Don’t quit. The most painful regret that you will ever have is allowing that injury to sideline your Air Force career. You have a dream and a plan! You have a love for your country and want to make a difference. This is your chance. It won’t come twice.
- Don’t settle for the first boy that puts in a little bit of effort to woo you. He is no different than every other high school boy you’ve encountered. When he breaks your heart, let him go. Cry your tears and move along. He’s not what you want, you are too young to know what you want. Honestly, you my dear girl, are not what he wants. You will never be able to make each other happy.
- Take the time to figure out who you really are. You do not have to be defined by where you live or where you are working, or whether or not you went to a fancy university right after high school. It’s okay to take time to figure out what makes you happy, but do it. Figure it out now. Don’t wait. Don’t settle, just because it’s what everyone else does. Dance to the beat of your own drum. Be you!
To 20 something Jess, I would say…
- Marriage can be hard, especially when you marry young, and the wrong guy. Give it your best effort, and then let go when things end. You do not have to be the only one fighting to hold on, it takes two. You will have many hardships and hurts, but when you leave, don’t look back. You are allowed to let go of toxic relationships, and this is no different. Remember that people grow. Life is too short to live it with people who make it harder.
- You are enough. For some people you may be too much, those are not the people for you. There will be someone who comes along that thinks the sun shines brighter when you are around. Wait for him. He won’t come until your 30’s, but I promise he’s worth it.
- Don’t drink too much. I know you are lonely. I know that you are lost. But the bar is not the answer. Alcohol is not the answer. These things will lead to mistakes that you will regret…not to mention they are a complete waste of money. Go out with the girls, make memories…but keep your wits about you.
- You are an awesome Mama. In your 20’s you won’t hear it at all. You will doubt yourself daily, but you are doing your best and your little boy is going to grow up happy and healthy.
- Start traveling now! There is a big wide world out there and you need to see and experience as much as you can, so start now. There is more than the small town you live in, and there is much more than than three places you are used to visiting. This is not traveling. Get out of your comfort zone. Be curious.
- Take care of yourself…now. Don’t wait. Develop a healthy exercise routine now. Maybe think about taking a multivitamin. Drink water. Coffee and wine don’t count. Take a nap. Say no to things that don’t get you excited.
What advice would YOU give your younger self?
Until Next Time: Peace, Love & Adventures