Ok, I need to get kind of serious here for a hot minute. So, today is International Women’s Day and some of my favorite bloggers are responding to the YouTube prompt: “What would you tell your teenage self?” with the hashtag #DearMe. Well, I can’t do that. I can’t go backward in time & tell myself all the things I wish I had known and believed in back then. Because that’s not going to accomplish anything. Hypothetically giving myself sage advice at the age of 16 won’t do a damn thing other than stir up some really screwed up feelings. And I’m on Prednisone right now, so I hear that my emotions can be a little intense – which is scary for a person whose emotions are pretty damn intense on the regular.
So, why am I trying to participate at all? Because I feel like there are some things I need to tell my current self. And, if they go out into the vastness of the internet & become a semi-permanent fixture, maybe I’ll actually believe myself right now & make some positive changes in my life. Maybe a year from now I’ll look back & realize this is the moment that really opened my eyes. Maybe it’s all a bunch of bullshit, but what’s the harm in trying?
Here are some things I think I’ve been trying to teach myself for years, but just haven’t sunk in yet.
- Yes, you are a nerd. You geek out over things I didn’t even know were geek-out-able. But you’re also pretty damn cool. And funny. And people enjoy being around you. They’re rarely (if ever) thinking about how weird you are and instead are just glad to have your company. Because you genuinely care about people. You’re a great listener. You have a good head on your shoulders & you see the truth so clearly when it comes to other peoples’ problems. Try using that superpower on yourself sometimes – logic trumps insecurity.
- It’s ok that you still don’t know what you want to be when you grow up. I think you’re getting a step closer to figuring it out every single day. It’s probably going to end up being really nerdy. And incredibly fulfilling. So what if you spent your life giving up on things before you had the chance to excel at them? The things you’ve never wanted to give up on are clearly the things you were meant to do: art, parties, fandoms, the internet, people. These are the things that make you genuinely happy & it’s time to figure out how they play into your future.
- Quit beating yourself up over your home’s constant state of chaos. You are 26 years old. The fact that you even OWN a home – particularly one with some serious square footage – is already a triumph. Spend less time worrying about what needs fixed & just enjoy the fact that you have done so well for yourself. You have an amazing husband and nobody with a 4-year-old can keep their house clean, anyway.
- Maybe you don’t need to spend so much time obsessing over that college degree. So your plans didn’t work out when you were in college the first time. Maybe you were scared of leaving home to go to art school, but maybe you just weren’t meant to. There’s no sense looking back on your decisions with regret. If you had moved out of state, you absolutely wouldn’t have the wonderful family & friends you have today.Maybe going back to school is something that would benefit you in the long run, but honestly? Maybe you already have the skills you need for your dream job. You are smart and intuitive and more skilled than MANY people you have encountered so far with higher education & higher salaries than you. Why put so much stock in a piece of paper designed to tell other people what you know how to do?
- Lastly, somewhat a repeat of #1, but REALLY important – your friends & family. Really, they are awesome. The best group of people you’ve ever known – and they genuinely like you. You feel included. You feel respected. And even when you have your insecure moments, one of the incredible people in your life ALWAYS comes out of the woodwork to make you feel loved. Because you’re worth that. Regardless of what the 16 year old girl inside you is telling you…yourself…herself? Ok this is getting weird.
Yes, sometimes I need to give myself pep talks. I’ve struggled a lot in my life, but never as much as when I was a teenager. I’m not saying I had it nearly as hard as others. Not by a long shot. But I’ve had my share of traumatic experiences & I wouldn’t have overcome them to become the person I am today without a little push from people who love me. I’d probably be wallowing in self-pity or completely unhinged if not for the positive impact these people, in particular:
- My Mom. Because where would a girl be without her mom?
- Maggie. One of my very best friends since college. She really figured out how to break me out of my shell & own my weirdness. I will be FOREVER grateful to her for that. We may not spend as much time together lately as we would like, but we’ll always be there for one another.
- Kyle. It’s seriously an incredible feeling to wake up one morning & realize that everything you ever thought about relationships your whole life was SO wrong. Like, SO, SO wrong. Real, lasting relationships are about being sexually attracted to your best friend. Falling in love can happen quickly, but sometimes it takes my breath away to think about my history with this man. How everything just kind of fell into place in a way that feels like it was always meant to be. Whether you believe in fate or not, it’s crazy to think that our entire relationship may not have existed had I not been so desperate to go to another school’s senior prom (long story, maybe someday).
- Kristi. Kristi is literally the sister I’ve always wished for. She pushes me to be better & to try new things, while supporting my current obsessions – no matter how ridiculous she thinks I’m being. She is open-minded & caring and 100% dependable (even though I’ve called her out for flaking more times than I can count). When it really matters, she always pulls through. And she’s not afraid to give me the tough talks that sometimes I need to hear. And she doesn’t just shut down when I have to give her the tough talks, either. She really listens & values my opinions, which I am so, so grateful for.
Well, this got REAL sappy REAL fast, so I’m gonna cut myself off before I write an epic ode to my cat. Basically what I’m trying to say here is that we’re honoring women today, but a woman is nothing without the support of her loved ones. Mine just happen to be a handful of some pretty badass women themselves (and my husband). So. There it is. Insight into one woman’s mind. It’s a strange, sentimental, somewhat scary place. But, it’s where I live every single day of my life. Maybe that explains a lot? Maybe it just makes things more confusing.
Happy International Women’s Day!
Until Next Time ❤