I have sat on this blog post for a few weeks, stewing about whether to post it, but over the past few weeks I have had a few phone calls from my two youngest sisters, and it got me thinking, what advice do I wish I had given my younger self and now my younger sisters? I finally decided to pull the trigger and post it, but here is what I wish I knew when I was younger.
1. It’s easier not to gain weight than it is to lose it. East healthy, be fit. I’ve heard this one over and over, but until recently never gave it a second thought. While I have never been tiny, I certainly haven’t been large. In the past few years, I have given that a run for my money. I am now officially someone who struggles with my weight. I still don’t exactly know how I feel about that, but I wish that I had had paid more attention to my weight before it became an issue, and then I wouldn’t have to worry about it now.
2. The next one is a little political, and has more than one point to it, but pay more attention to the world around you. When Donald Trump got voted in at the US Election, I, probably like the rest of the world, was paying attention. One of the first things I heard about The Donald, was that he was cutting funding to not for profit companies that help pay for or subsidise abortions. I had a friend at the time doing a secondment over in the US with Planned Parenthood, and I was outraged. She, rightly, pointed out to me that it was great that I was outraged. However, I did realise that abortions are still not legal in all states of Australia? No! No, I did not. Now I believe in a woman’s right to choose. Do you want that abortion for whatever reason? Good for you, I think you should be able to do so. You don’t want to have a baby? Brilliant. Good for you. I feel like I should have been paying enough attention to my world around me to work out that this is something I care about and want available should I ever need it here in Australia.
3. Own your decisions. We all make decisions with our lives that other people aren’t going to like. Some are, admittedly, better than others. So I have made quite a few decisions where I look back and wonder what was I thinking? But, at the end of the day, whatever I have decided was my decision. And I’ll stand by it. Doesn’t make it right or wrong, it’s just what I did. Everyone makes mistakes. That’s just how the world works. I think that it’s how you deal with them that matters. My theory is if you make a call? You own it.
4. Regrets. I have found that the things I regret are the things I didn’t do, rather than the things I did. Didn’t leave that ex early enough? You didn’t buy that car? Didn’t spend a year working overseas? I get it, in fact, I had a mild panic moment earlier in the year when I realised that in twelve months’ time I would no longer qualify for a visa to go work in a Canadian Ski Field. It doesn’t matter that I hate the cold, I regret not jumping and taking that chance while I was young and single and could have easily done it if I had the determination. I personally don’t think that money is ever wasted on travelling.
5. Cut the dead wood and foster the positive. I’m not saying to ditch all your friends, but we all have that toxic friend or family member. When they start hurting people that you care about, sometimes it’s better and easier just to call it and go no contact. Are you in a relationship, which is causing you hurt? Leave. You are strong enough to do it, and there’s no shame in that. Sometimes it isn’t worth the drama. Following on from this – you are not who you are in high school. As you grow older surround yourself with friends and family, who are good people and push you to be the best you can be as well. Put your time and effort into these friends and family members and develop these positive relationships rather than the toxic ones.
6. Random beauty tips: Eyebrows are sisters, not twins – they will not ever look the same. Similarly, when you are driving, keep some tweezers in the car. I guarantee at some point you will find a stray hair that needs to go. Less is more with makeup. You either do dramatic eyes, or lips, not both. Likewise, unless you are heading out for a night of clubbing, show off either your cleavage or your legs. Not both. Also Laser Hair removal. My little piece of advice is, if you have darker hair and shave or wax it, get it laser removed. It will save you time and money long term and hurts way less than waxing. Best adulting decision ever.
7. Less is more: Buy fewer clothes, but buy classic clothes that you love. I tried an experiment last year where I culled my wardrobe down to 33 items of clothing, and I enjoyed it. The theory is you have 33 items in your wardrobe for a season, and you substitute them out when the weather gets warmer or cooler. I liked it, even if I was doing my washing more regularly. I fell off the wagon as the year went on, and to be honest I now have no idea how many items I now have in there, but I would suggest that the number has trebled. Despite this, I have kept my clothes fairly classic, blacks, or earthy tones so that when I do my next sort, they are all interchangeable, which is the objective. I’m planning a new clothing cull and arrange in the next few months, with the aim of eventually implementing this concept for the whole house.
8. Stop worrying what everyone is thinking. I took some pole classes when I was younger, and one thing I remember was a friend saying to me that they wouldn’t come with me because they were worrying that the other people in the class would judge them for the size of their ass. My theory on that is no one will be looking at your ass, as they are all worried about the size of their own. In the end, I couldn’t get her to come with me, and that’s okay. But it does make me aware now that I didn’t want to worry what people were thinking about me.
9. Don’t expect something from people that they don’t have to give you. This one is another Mummy expressions, and I can’t tell you how much it has helped me. Some people you know, if you call them at three in the morning, they will be there. Others? Not so much. And that’s okay. As long as you know the difference between the two and are happy to accept them as they are, brilliant.
10. You do you. I believe that everyone needs to do what is right for themselves, as long as it isn’t hurting anyone else. After all, as Mummy says, we are each the star in our own worlds. We all need to do what is right for us. Whether it’s gay, or straight, being in a relationship with one person, three people, or no people at all. Be kind, and happy, and that’s all you can want.
These are the things I wish I knew ten years ago and in the words of the great Coach Taylor, Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can’t Loose.