I came across an article called "Women In Their 40's Give Advice To Their 20-Something Selves, And It's Worth The Read" and I couldn't help but think what I will want to tell myself now when I'm 40. And since I can't do that, here's what I want to tell my 40-year-old self at the age of 22.
First and foremost, I hope you're content with work. You have always been work-oriented and I hope you've found something in a career that you enjoy. Right now, you are teaching English in Thailand with hopes to settle down around your age as an LMFT, but whatever you have chosen to do I know you're enjoying it. Because one thing I hope that is still a strong suit of mine at your age is that I never stay at a job I do not like. But that goes with anything in life. Recently, I have found that I can leave things that I do not enjoy and I just hope that hasn't changed.
I also hope you're content with traveling. Right now, I never want to go back home nor do I want to stop moving around. If that has changed, I hope it's because you've found a place worth settling for. I have never been happier in my 22 years of living than I am right now and I know that's because I left a place that made me feel less of myself. So, if you have settled, I hope it brings you the same comfort and joy that being in Thailand is bringing me right now. And I hope it's not in America.
I hope that you've put all your love and light into friendships. One thing I regret is taking advantage of the friendships I had back home, but now that I am where I am, friendships and meaningful connections are all I could ever want out of life. I have met so many wonderful people here in Thailand and I am over the moon about it. (I have never used that phrase, so here's a moment to mourn my dignity). But I'm serious. And meeting these people have taught me so much about myself. They're bringing out parts of myself I love and some parts that I know I need working on. I've never met people that make me want to do and be better at teaching, at being a friend, and even at living. They've brought out the side of me that wants more from life and I've never felt that before.
And lastly, the two biggest decisions in your life that have completely changed since being in Thailand - a man and children. I told someone the other day how I don't want to marry and that the idea of children is becoming foreign to me. He asked why I would want to become an LMFT if that's true. I told him the same way sports commentators were probably not the best at sports or that playing the sport isn't their forte. I'm not entirely sure marriage or a long-term relationship and children are my forte, but the idea of both is still amusing. And it's not that I don't want either entirely, but having it to myself is a lot to take in at the moment.
So, if you are married, you really bitched out on that idea. And if you have a child or children, you know you have always been amused at the idea of being a single mother.
But nonetheless, I hope you're content with everything in life. Dad still says that I'm a 40-year-old stuck in a 20-year-old's body, so I know once I am your age there's nothing you are going to want to tell me that I don't already know now. So that's why I'm here.
I know a lot will happen between now and then but I hope that you still feel the same way I do about life at this very moment. I have made big decisions to be typing this from my first apartment in Bangkok, Thailand making my own money and paying my own bills. I would have never fucking thought this would be me three years ago. So, what I'm trying to say is, I know shit will happen and things will change but regardless, I hope you never stop making big decisions that will change your life. No matter how selfish they are. I hope that you keep going towards things that feel right.
Leaving people, leaving places, opening new doors, and trying new things has been your biggest struggles this past year and somehow, in four months, they have become your biggest strengths. I've followed my intuition more in the past four months than I ever have before and all I can hope is that when I'm where you are, none of that has changed.