So I turned 38 this week, and I’m officially at the age where vacuum sales and canceled plans excite me. I now mutter things like, “they really don’t make music like they used to,” and you can find me at kid’s birthday parties saying, “I remember you when you were this little!” *insert hand gesture* Seriously, when did I turn into my parents?
Do you guys remember the sunscreen song? I listened to it again recently and I had the best ugly cry I’ve had in awhile. Highly recommend. And if that wasn’t enough, I then went to Instagram to ask my community for one piece of advice they would give their younger self. Was most of it ridiculously cliche? Yes. But was it also incredibly inspiring? Also yes. And for the record, I still need to hear many of these myself.
- Wear sunscreen (and for the love of God stop the tanning beds)
I wish my younger self knew that making sure I was consistently a 100 shades darker than I was supposed to be resulted in future wrinkles, dark spots, and potentially skin cancer. But also, Iooking back at old pics? I looked like Magda from There’s Something About Mary. Just, no.
2. Other people’s opinion of you is none of your damn business
Stop worrying about what others think about you, it has nothing to do with your worth. I learned pretty late in life that most of the people who have negative opinions of you really don’t know you. And what they have to say about you says way more about them than you. Read that again.
3. Your looks are the least interesting thing about you
Seriously no one is looking at you in that bathing suit, take that towel off and get in that pool. Don’t let your physical appearance dictate how you choose to enjoy life and the things you can or cannot do. Beauty coming from within is not just a slogan from a billboard, that shit is true. Confidence is sexy. Intelligence is sexy. And wit? Just rip my clothes off why don’t you.
4. Be yourself and not who you think others want you to be
F*ck the mold. Be different and embrace it. Weird is cool. Man I wish I could tell that to my 10-year old self.
5. Help others
And do it often. Because it’s your responsibility as a member of society. But also, it feels good. It fuels the soul. And speak up, even if your voice shakes. For yourself, and for those who have no voice. Do this often.
6. He/She’s just not that into you
If you have to ask yourself if they really like you, then they don’t. This applies to friends too.
7. Time isn’t guaranteed
Stop waiting. Do the things. Put down your phone. Spend quality time with your loved ones. Use the fancy dishes. Take the vacation. Spend the money. Eat the cake. Say I love you. Because life can be taken from you in an instant.
8. Practice gratitude
Do this daily. This is especially important through life’s darkest times when it feels like you have nothing to be thankful for. This will soon become second nature to your daily thought process, and you will be a happier person.
9. Failure is a necessary step for success
Believe in yourself. Don’t just be OK with failure, embrace it. Be uncomfortable. Know that is the necessary step to something incredible. And ignore the noise. It is often those who are too afraid to fail, that are the loudest in their criticisms of your efforts.
10. Don’t sweat the small stuff
Someone once told me to ask myself, “Will this matter a year from now?” And if the answer is no, then you really need to chill out. And as a serial stress ball, I can assure you that most of the things I’ve freaked out about in my lifetime, definitely didn’t matter. Except the one time I thought everyone was looking at me at the pool because they thought I was hot when in reality I had toilet paper sticking out of my bathing suit. That will haunt me until the day I die.
But like, not just the day before you see the dentist.
12. Don’t set yourself on fire to keep others warm. -Penny Reid
Stop being a people pleaser. Put yourself first. It’s not selfish, it is necessary. There’s a reason we’re asked to put our oxygen masks on first in case of an emergency on airplanes. The day you realize this is the day you really start living.
13. Enjoy the chaos that comes with kids, because one day you will miss it
14. When you meet someone for the first time, listen to their name
Seriously, why is this so hard?
15. Comparison is the thief of joy. -Theodore Roosevelt
In the words of Baz Luhrmann, don’t waste your time on jealousy; sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind. The race is long, and in the end, it’s only with yourself.
16. Stop slouching
Seriously, sit up straight you look like a pretzel.
17. Never stop trying new things
Even if it’s black licorice and I’m confident you will hate it. Try it anyway.
18. Don’t be so quick to judge others
It’s pretty easy to judge people, trust me I speak from experience. But you never know what people are going through behind closed doors, and you sure as hell don’t know the whole story. Be kind.
19. Stay curious
Knowledge is a beautiful thing, and something no one can ever take away from you.
20. It’s never too late to pursue your dreams
Leave that job that’s making you so miserable. You think you can’t, but I promise you that you can. It won’t be easy, but it will totally be worth it.
21. Get to know people
Surround yourself with people from different backgrounds, religions, ethnicities, political beliefs and socioeconomic status. This will keep your mind open and your heart full.
Lastly, and most importantly, dogs make everything better. It’s an irrefutable fact, and I will die on this hill.
Also, I love this.
What would you add to this list? Drop it in the comments below.
Feedback? Comment below, or email me: (Deema Tabbara Lopez) at firstname.lastname@example.org