Sometimes I wonder:
“If you could give your younger self one piece of advice, what would it be?”
Although it is not lost to me that part of my response to this question comes from aging, maturity and gained experience, I would still say that given the chance to tell my younger self a piece of advice, it would most likely be “Be true to yourself.”
I can look back and see that I didn’t always do that. Sometimes it was knowing that something felt off, yet I stayed in the safety of comfort. I can see the red flags that were present in what eventually led to my (first) marital relationship, yet I chose to believe in the youthful notion that “things will change.” I had a few core beliefs from childhood that I hung on to for too long and there were times when I knew that I was compromising myself in a way that wasn’t being true to what I believed and felt.
Perhaps had I been able to give myself this advice, I would have been more reflective of my choices; I would have not been so quick to lean into denial or excuse something to myself. The journey was still mine to have and I do treasure all of my experiences, both joyful and painful as they have helped to shape me into who I have become. To be true to yourself is a timeless piece of advice that I will lean into for the rest of my journey; when challenges arrive at my doorstep or I am faced with another person’s judgement of a situation. Today, it sits closer to the surface, and for that I am grateful.
Photo credit: Me and my older sister in the sombreros brought to us by our grandparents!