Advice to Younger You

There was a segment on OWN TV where women shared advice on what they would tell their younger selves. Things such as don’t rush or don’t take yourself too seriously are significant.

I consider my younger self to be the girl I was freshman year in college, high school, junior high and those elementary school days.

Dear Issy,

It’s your responsibility to make yourself happy.

“Happiness is the consequence of personal effort, you fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it and sometimes travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings.” – Elizabeth Gilbert.

In the past, I did not embrace this advice. Instead, I was the person waiting for someone to see something in me. As sentimental as it sounds, I use to want someone to show me the world. I use to want others to take me out. I wanted them to tell me good things about myself. I would then get upset when my life couldn’t reflect that. I’d get upset that I wasn’t enjoying my life enough.

But time and time again, I remind myself that it’s my responsibility to make myself happy. To surround myself with people who understand and accept me as I am. It’s my responsibility to create the life I want for myself.

I would tell my younger self to relax more.

I would tell my younger self to not spend time worrying about what other people see in her.

I would tell my younger self to go out more.

I would tell my younger self to accept her imperfection.

I would tell my younger self to not be a pushover. I would tell her that the classroom is not the only place that she should speak up in.

I’d tell my younger self to listen. To not be in a rush to get her point across. To go to the next place. To do the next thing. I’d tell her to listen.

I would tell her to stop sitting and fantasizing about the life she wants. I would tell her to stop waiting for the best friend and boyfriend that’s going to love her and make her happy. I’d tell her to learn to love herself enough so she can do things for herself. I’d tell her that if she tried to open up, she’d find that people are not against her.

I’d tell her that working to be successful is not the only thing that matters in life and it’s not the only thing that requires work. It takes work to form good friendships. It takes work to be open to a relationship. It takes work to be happy.

I would tell her that she needs to compliment herself a lot more, all the things that make her who she is, imperfect but still beautiful, still smart, still clever, still kind.

The video below always makes me smile. This is for all the girls/women, guys/men, you’re phenomenal.

What would you tell your younger self or what’s the best advice you received that left an impact?

Post Author: Isioma Ononye

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