You know those commercials that you just block out as you wait for your favorite show to come back on? The ones that replay on repeat and you subconsciously absorb even if you don't want to? Yeah, you know that ones I'm talking about. Recently, Reebok put out one of those commercials. The series of commercials so far has involved famous, celebrity women. Some of these are Gal Gadot, Ariana Grande, and Gigi Hadid. The commercial's theme is to "be more human" and asks "What would you tell your younger self?"
After hearing the question for the one-thousandth time this week, it actually managed to get me thinking. First, do I need a new pair of shoes? Then, what WOULD I tell my younger self? The beauty of growing older is that you can see the parts of your life that you thought was such a HUGE deal really aren't in the grand scheme of things. You can look back and know what you should tell the ten, fourteen, or sixteen years old you.
For me, this question has a few answers. The first thing I would tell my younger self is not to be afraid of being different. As you get older, you realize nobody really fits one hundred percent into that cookie cutter mold that high school students constantly try to fit into. You don't have to like the same things as everyone else. You can have your own interests and hobbies. Those interests will stay with you and might lead you to discover a really cool job. They might lead you to an event where you make lifelong friends. It's okay to be an individual. Rock that 50's style dress or those platform combat boots if you want to.
The second thing I would tell the younger me is that it's okay to let people in. You don't have to hide what you feel or pretend you have a limited set of emotions. The people who really matter will stick by your side regardless of how much you can be an idiot at times. That saying that goes "Those who matter care" is a real thing. Some of the best friends you'll ever make will see sides of you that you wish they hadn't. The great thing about those friends is that they don't care if you're a mess or you're sobbing on one end of the phone while they listen. They'll still love you regardless, and you'll be better off for it.
The last thing that I would tell my younger self is that it's okay to go at your own pace if it means you keep your sanity. The development comes in stages, and everyone goes through those stages differently. Personal development may take longer sometimes than your academic development. Maybe it'll take you longer to develop social skills. All of that is okay. There is no set timeline for when you have to accomplish those things that you feel are "the big ones." Life gets busy and hectic. Events happen that alter your timelines. Don't be afraid of adjustment.
The beauty of hindsight is that we know what we would say now. But don't you ever wish that you could go back and let yourself know that something you thought was the end of the world was really only a hiccup? I know I do. What would YOU tell yourself if you had the chance?