Not quite sure why, but I have been thinking about my life and past a lot lately and got on the topic of things I would tell my younger self (and these are things you think about when you have two hours to kill on the treadmill). I know we can’t change our past, only our future, but if I had the chance to give the naïve young Stephanie some advice/thoughts/words of wisdom, these are some of the things that would be included.
- As much as you loved environmental science, I wish you wouldn’t have given up on going to dental school. I think it was more of the fear of failing or not getting into the program that scared you. You may not have gotten in or finished or liked it once you started, but at least you would have tried.
- Getting married in your very early 20s was a stupid idea. I have no clue why you thought that once you left college you had to have this piece of your life planned. How well did that work out for you? (Note: I would NEVER wish away my kids.)
- DON’T EVER TAN! It’s not fun going to the doctor have spots checked out and removed because they are potentially cancerous or pre-cancerous. Embrace the pale and dammit wear sunscreen, especially on your face. The crow’s feet and lines aren’t a good look.
- Why did you ever agree/decide on some of those stupid haircuts that are still the brunt of family jokes over 20 years later? Rat tail??? Come the hell on!
- Don’t hate on your body so much because when you look back at pictures, you will realize that you looked pretty good in a bathing suit back then. And, HELLO, cellulite-free thighs! Years of cheerleading made them big but strong and without a single dimple.
- You shouldn’t have slacked off freshman year of college because knowing that you graduated with a 3.59 GPA and missed High Distinction by 0.01 still pisses you off.
- Consider taking up running sooner. You are not super fast, but you are pretty good at it. And it helps you from becoming a total hot mess.
- Your desire to be a people-pleaser and make others happy above your own happiness leaves you feeling crappy about yourself more often than I can tell you. If you can find a way to fix this when you’re younger, you will save yourself a lot of trouble. It’s unfortunate that your self-worth is tied to the opinions of others.
- Being part of the Eastern cheer staff and getting paid to teach cheerleading would have been an awesome opportunity, but you were too afraid to do it. Take some chances.
- Quit acting like a little bitch to your dad in high school. He loves you so much, and you regret that you lost that time because you were busy being a moody, know-it-all teenager. You will always feel as though you need to make that up to him.
- You should have stayed in touch with your friends from college, especially Sarah and Kristin. You hopped on the family fast track and lost that connection when you were busy being a mom and wife. It wouldn’t have required a huge effort, but you missed out and you miss them.
- Live by yourself for a period of time. No husband, no boyfriend, no roommate, no kids. Just you. I think you would have liked it a lot.
- That being said, you hurried through motherhood, wanting to finish each day, and you didn’t stop to enjoy the moments when your kids were younger because you were “too busy.” That time has passed, and there’s no getting it back.
- You can wear silver jewelry instead of gold with your skin tone, have long hair despite not having thickness, and wear a strapless dress with your triangle shoulders. The fact you had these made-up rules for things like these was just silly.
- Chocolate and beer are amazing, and you should have indulged in them sooner before you had to worry about the calories. And remember when you used to make Stove Top Stuffing as an after-school snack? Those were the days.
- You are enough 🙂
What is a piece of advice you would tell your younger self?