I’m still a young woman, only 23 years old. But I would say I have experienced quite a lot in those years. And besides, I’ve always been the youngest one in the family, which has resulted in me being – at least I would say – mature. In the age of 23 I have lived in New York by myself, suffered from eating disorders and been in a three year long relationship, where we lived together and had a dog. I have a good job, study hard and have always worked on achieving my goals.
I feel reflected and smart, but nevertheless, I still don’t feel all grown up. I still call my mom or dad every time I need to take a tough decision or just feel a bit lost. And I do not have my life sorted out – at all. BUT, I feel a lot smarter, more reflected and a lot more experienced since I was 18. At the age of 18 I felt more grown up than I do now, but I still did a lot of mistakes and lacked LOTS of wisdom. Here are some things I would definitely like to tell my 18 year old self:
You’re still not grown up
At the age of 18 you’re still a kid, really. You don’t need to have it all figured out or know it all. It’s okay to try out different things, to fail, learn and act out a bit. At the same time you need to be a bit more responsible and know that as you grow older there will be more consequences by your actions.
You don’t know everything
I would also say this to 16 years old me, she was a real know-it-all. But in that age I really thought i new everything and had it all figured out. Shocker: I didn’t. Oh, and our parents actually know what they’re talking about. I’m serious.
It’s okay to fail
When I was 18 I was so afraid of failing and not being successful in everything I did. That scared me from being the real me, for being as creative as I am and for trying out new things. Now I’ve learned that it is totally fine to fail, it’s a part of life. What the hell is life without trying and failing? Don’t be afraid to do things you really want just because you might fail at it. If you fail, you’ve just learned a lesson and gained more wisdom.
Good friends are the most important thing in life
Take care of your precious friends!!! I have always loved my friends and had a good relationship to them, but when I lived with my boyfriend I forgot to take care of my friends the way that I should have. I soon realized that friends are everything, and it is super important to take good care of them.
Forgive and let go
If there is anything I have experienced the last years it is that forgiveness and letting go is really, really important to be happy. If you hold grudges you’ll only harm yourself. The best way to forget and move on is to forgive and let go.
Work hard for every relationship, but know when to let go
This applies for both friendships and romantic relationships. It is important to work hard for good relationships and for the people you love, but it is more important to know when to let go. Not everyone is meant to be forever, not friends, not boyfriends/girlfriends. If it takes more energy from you than it gives you, it might be time to let go.
Stop trying to please everyone and getting everyone to like you
Everyone doesn’t like everyone. That’s just the way it is, and it’s okay! Nevertheless, don’t work so hard pleasing people just so they might like or accept you. You are good enough just the way you are, and the people who see that is the people you should use your energy on.
Don’t worry so much about what others might think
I used so many years wondering and caring about what other people might think and believe of me. And let me tell you, it was totally bullshit using so many years doing that. Why should I, or anyone, care about what others think? Today I only worry about how I feel about myself and how my loved ones feel about me – as a person that is. We waste too much time trying to please everyone else, but all that matters is the people you love, including yourself.
Learn to love yourself
I just imagine how much pain I would have abstained from if I just loved myself. Think of how many teenagers there are hating their bodies, never feeling good enough and always trying to fit into the norms of beauty set by the society. Beauty is subjective, guys!! And nevertheless, we all have something unique about us. So let us focus on our brains, souls and uniqueness, and forget about fitting into a template the society has made.
Don’t try to plan your life, it will change
When I was eighteen I wanted to be a young mom, preferably by the age of 25. I wanted a life with a 8-4 job, husband, dog, children and a house with a big garden. Look at me now, 23 years old. I want the total opposite! I love living in the city, I want to focus on my career, and I really don’t know if I even want a kid anymore. And I sure as hell do not stress about finding Mr. Charming. Life change, but often in a good way.
Is there anything you would like to tell your 18 year old self? Please share in the comments!