Everything I Wish I Could Tell My Younger Self

Everything I Wish I Could Tell My Younger Self

Everything she’s going through is temporary.
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Oh God, where to even start. As we all know, our high-school days, at least the early ones, are a mess of acne-prone skin and awkward relationships. Of course, there are those kids who were popular in high school, but let’s not pretend they didn’t have their phases too. There are so many times I wish I would’ve known better, would’ve had more common sense or at least a friend with some.

Firstly, I think I would tell young me the usual things. You know the “you’re pretty enough, you’re good enough, you’re skinny enough…you don’t need the approval of others to affirm your self-worth.” Kind of pep talk. The kind that everyone has heard from their mothers a million times and have stopped believing are true.

But then, I think I would reprimand her. In high school, I was a notorious goody-two-shoes. Still am, probably, maybe just mellowed out by the freedom of college. I would tell my younger self that it’s okay to be stupid sometimes, to be young and dumb because that’s what the teenage years are all about. The whole point of being an awkward adolescent is to learn how not to be a terrible adult (Though some do better than others).

It didn’t help that I switched schools halfway through sophomore year, leaving behind a large public school for a tiny private one. My graduating class was 47 people. Had I stayed at my former school, it would’ve been closer to 500. To say the least, I didn’t really fit in. I wish I could go back and just tell myself that the more I retreat into my shyness the worse it will become.

It would be really easy to go back and warn my past self about the bad decisions I’d make, like that one blond kid in ROTC I ended up “dating.” Oh, how naïve I was. But some things, as terrible and heartbreaking and messy as they are, are meant to happen, and we can only ride out the aftermath. Some experiences are so apart of who we are and how we behave that we don’t even realize it, don’t even realize that the heartbreak has made us stronger than we were before.

There are always things we wish we could fix, and ways we could’ve done better. We’re all human, perfection doesn’t suit us. Mostly, I just wish I could go back and tell my past self that everything she’s going through is temporary. That life I lived was only a precursor to what will come, the sunlight that will help me find myself.

We all have something we wish we could tell our younger selves, something that would’ve made us feel less alone, less confused, less unhappy. But ultimately, until a time machine is created, none of us will be able to fulfill that wish. So that means we just have to live with our experiences as best we can.

Cover Image Credit: Jesscia Kournounis

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I'm A Woman And You Can't Convince Me Breastfeeding In Public Is OK In 2019

Sorry, not sorry.

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Lately, I have seen so many people going off on social media about how people shouldn't be upset with mothers breastfeeding in public. You know what? I disagree.

There's a huge difference between being modest while breastfeeding and just being straight up careless, trashy and disrespectful to those around you. Why don't you try popping out a boob without a baby attached to it and see how long it takes for you to get arrested for public indecency? Strange how that works, right?

So many people talking about it bring up the point of how we shouldn't "sexualize" breastfeeding and seeing a woman's breasts while doing so. Actually, all of these people are missing the point. It's not sexual, it's just purely immodest and disrespectful.

If you see a girl in a shirt cut too low, you call her a slut. If you see a celebrity post a nude photo, you call them immodest and a terrible role model. What makes you think that pulling out a breast in the middle of public is different, regardless of what you're doing with it?

If I'm eating in a restaurant, I would be disgusted if the person at the table next to me had their bare feet out while they were eating. It's just not appropriate. Neither is pulling out your breast for the entire general public to see.

Nobody asked you to put a blanket over your kid's head to feed them. Nobody asked you to go feed them in a dirty bathroom. But you don't need to basically be topless to feed your kid. Growing up, I watched my mom feed my younger siblings in public. She never shied away from it, but the way she did it was always tasteful and never drew attention. She would cover herself up while doing it. She would make sure that nothing inappropriate could be seen. She was lowkey about it.

Mindblowing, right? Wait, you can actually breastfeed in public and not have to show everyone what you're doing? What a revolutionary idea!

There is nothing wrong with feeding your baby. It's something you need to do, it's a part of life. But there is definitely something wrong with thinking it's fine to expose yourself to the entire world while doing it. Nobody wants to see it. Nobody cares if you're feeding your kid. Nobody cares if you're trying to make some sort of weird "feminist" statement by showing them your boobs.

Cover up. Be modest. Be mindful. Be respectful. Don't want to see my boobs? Good, I don't want to see yours either. Hard to believe, I know.

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The Cliche 'Follow Your Heart' Is Probably The Most Important Cliche Of All Time

Our heart or our brain? What should we listen to first?

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In life, we are constantly faced with tough decisions concerning relationships, college, career, marriage … the list of decisions we must make in a lifetime is endless. This means, however, that there are plenty of moments in our life where we will put into question our very own intuition, where we will waste time going back and forth between our mind and our soul. So then we ask ourselves when faced with a decision, what do we listen to? What should we listen to? Our brain or our heart?

Yeah, okay so following your heart is probably the most cliche thing you've ever heard. Our younger selves constantly heard the saying all the time growing up. Did we act on it? Maybe, but not in the ways that we should be acting on it now. Give it a chance and just think about it for a second.

I've realized that as you get older, it becomes harder to just listen to yourself. There are distractions all around you. Some come from the comments of your peers, some come from the devices in your hands, some come from the news headlines you see in bold. With this, you find yourself struggling to find a balance between thinking about something and just doing it. You find yourself unable to decipher what exactly you should listen to. You suddenly become lost within your own little world.

Who would you be if you didn't follow your heart? Would your life be completely different than it is now?

If we think about how we got to the place we're at today, we simultaneously also think about those decisions I mentioned earlier. And those decisions were probably mostly made from our own intuition, not from logistical thinking. The sad part is we don't even realize this, and we don't even realize how important this is.

How did you choose a college? Deciding where you're going to spend the next four years of your life, working towards a career is a big deal. Some will describe their decision as a feeling they got when they stepped on campus. Yes, the tuition was a factor along with retention rates and undergraduate programs and study abroad opportunities, but the one factor that truly mattered was how they felt so at home, while in reality being so far away from their hometown. So, this decision was made from a feeling, this decision was made from the heart.

Relationships. When deciding to tell someone you love them, you're following your heart. When deciding to commit to someone in a relationship or in a friendship or whatever it may be, you're following your heart. You're putting everything on the line because of how you feel. Nothing else matters. Just the two of you, together, happy and in love. And because of that, because of the magnitude of that one feeling, you listen to your heart first and figure out everything else later. Now, being able to have that, being able to experience this type of love, well that's just one of the best feelings in the world.

We can even consider a career. When trying to figure out what you want to do with the rest of your life, you are looking for that feeling, for that career to find you. You are searching for that inevitable inclination telling you, you're meant to do something in this world. You dream big imagining yourself doing this one job that you feel so passionately about, changing the world and inspiring others to do the same. You are motivated by this one field so much that you decide to do it for the rest of your life. If that's not following your heart, then I don't know what is.

It seems so obvious. We hear "follow your heart" all the time. But do we ever actually realize how much impact a heart can have on one's life? No. And that's why it's maybe not so obvious. Because we're told to follow our hearts, but we never actually take the time to comprehend it. And so, we live our lives letting this concept of intuition before cognition become underrated. We let it secretly impact some of our most important life decisions without even ever realizing it.

So realize it. From now on don't just listen. Act. Follow your heart as much as you can and never look back.

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