I have a birthday coming up in a few days. And as I get closer to a milestone year (ack!), I thought this would be a good time to reflect back on my life and ponder the question, am I living the life I had hoped to when I hit that half century milestone?
Until recently I always looked forward to my birthday. It meant that the days were getting warmer and the entire summer was still ahead of us. The highlight of my day was getting a phone call from my grandmother as she would sing happy birthday to me! It was a special moment between us because we share the same birthday. Recently, my feelings toward birthdays has changed. At some point, I stopped remembering my age and now have to calculate how many trips around the sun I've taken. I think how as I'm getting older, I may have already lived half. my. life. Let that sink in. There may be fewer days between now and the day when I won't be here anymore than to the day I was born. Wait. What? How'd did that happen?
So I wrote a letter to myself. To my younger 21 year old self. If I knew then what I know now. Because I'm not dead yet. Because maybe there are some lessons I still need to learn and it's not too late. So here goes...
My dear Trina,
You're still young and have your entire life ahead of you. I know 40, let alone 50 sounds like a million years from now. But it'll be here before you know it. Live life fully. Without any regrets. There are some things I wish I knew then that I know now.
You are more perfectly you than imperfectly anyone else.
For starters, you are amazing. And perfect. In every way. Don't spend a single minute of your life comparing yourself to anyone else. You are more perfectly you than imperfectly anyone else. You don't need to say or do anything to please others. If they don't like you for who you are, then they are not worth being a part of your life. You have so many wonderful qualities. Embrace them. Share them with the world. Don't hold back on being the best you, you can be!
Dream. And dream big. Then chase those dreams.
Dream. And dream big. Then chase those dreams. Don't be afraid to reach for the stars. Because you deserve to make all your dreams come true. Don't let bumps or detours along the way deter you. Because nothing comes easily. The harder the work, the greater the reward. Don't ever forget that.
Don't be afraid of failure.
Don't be afraid of failure. Yes, you'll make mistakes along the way. But just pick yourself up, dust yourself off and try again. Keep trying until you succeed. If you don't try because you're scared, then remember this. What if you try and something bigger, better than you ever dreamed of happened?
Live authentically and you'll be happy every single day of your life.
Don't wait until (fill in the blank) happens to be happy. Be happy now. With where you are at. With what you have. With who you are. Happiness isn't a destination. It's a journey. And if you're waiting for that whatever to happen so you can be happy, when you finally get it, you'll find that you still aren't happy. You don't need anyone to be happy. Live life authentically and you'll be happy every single day of your life.
Be yourself. I can't emphasize that enough. Love yourself for who you are. You don't need anyone to validate you. Because if one person does, as soon as another one doesn't, you'll feel insecure again. You have nothing to prove to anyone but yourself. You are enough. Trust me. You are.
You have the whole world at your fingertips. Make the most of it. You only have one life. Don't mess it up!
You got this!
Love, your older self