Giving advice and taking advice are two different things, but both equally important in life. When you learn something from experience, you need to share your wisdom with those younger than you. I am doing that–giving advice and sharing what I know. Sharing nine things I wish I had known when I was in my twenties.
I wish I had followed advice when I was younger. I wish I had known these nine things when I was in my twenties. Living life, and making mistakes are part of the process. This is where you learn.
Know that you will make mistakes, you will fail. And fall.
The import thing is to get up. Keep going and never give up on your dreams. If I could give you some advice, some advice I wish I had when I was younger, it would be this:
1. First, listen.
I probably was given all this advice when I was younger, but I am sure I didn’t listen. So, listen! And implement the advice.
Also, while I am writing about listening—listening to your elders is a smart idea. Your grandparents, aunts and uncles, and even your parents have great stories to tell. They have stories about their childhood and how they met their spouse. These stories are important to tell. These stories are your stories. So, listen.
2. Be brave.
When you are young, you are constantly walking through new doors. Most of those doors will be wide open for you, but some you will need to open for yourself.
Walk through them. Be adventurous. Don’t wait until you are older. The opportunity may pass. It took me a long time to be brave and adventurous. I am not talking about climbing mountains or rappelling down a building. (although I did that last one!!) I am talking about discovering things that excite you, challenge you, and keep you going forth with those interests. Things that make you smile. Do what you love, even if it is a hobby or a side-hustle. Taking pictures, writing, singing, speaking in public, knitting, whatever is your passion.
Do things that scare you a little bit and that are hard. Push yourself to master the talents that interest you.
Do this now—don’t wait. I graduated with a degree in journalism, but because I feared rejection, I didn’t write professionally for 24 years, after I graduated. Think of all the words I wasted. Time and words gone. Don’t wait—be brave now! Do what you love. No matter how old you are, you can follow your dream. You can start your dream.
3. Be you.
Be you and not them. Your friends are important. New friends and old friends. What is more important is to be yourself. This is hard to do when you are young, but the sooner you realize this, the sooner you will find your true-and-forever friends in life. The more you are you and not them, you will find your people who are most like you.
If you are true to yourself, you will find your tribe, your flock. If you try to blend in and be like other people, and less like yourself, you will not find your true friends. More time wasted. This is the time to figure out who you are, and this is the time for you to be that person. The more you are authentic to yourself, the more authentic people you will attract. Being with people who have similar interests, and who want to have similar adventures, will be more enjoyable and more comfortable. You won’t have to pretend–you can just be you.
4. Keep moving.
Whatever activities you do that kept you moving, keep you busy–continue those, or find new forms of exercise, just keep moving. Whatever weight and body shape you are now, will most likely change, as you age. It happens to the best of us. If you keep moving, that won’t happen to you. You will be healthier and happier and believe me—once you stop exercising—beginning again is extremely hard, and let’s face it, just no fun. So, don’t stop. Never stop moving.
Live your healthiest life, but have that cake, and eat it, too.
Life is too short. Being healthy and happy in your body is important all throughout your life. This is vital to self-love and happiness. Body image is a serious thing. Being fit and active is better for you and you will have one less thing as an adult to be concerned about. Keep moving!
5. Go outside and play.
Go for a walk, go to the park, go for a hike. Just go outside and enjoy and never stop enjoying playtime. Being one with nature is good for your body and your soul. Read a book outside, enjoy drinks with friends, eat outside, meditate. Go outside and play.
While you are still young, spend as much on eye cream and neck cream, as you can. (actually, the same is true for olive oil!) Buy the good stuff, as expensive as you can afford. Use these products every day, starting in your twenties, or before. You may think you have no problems now, and you probably don’t, but you will. If you start using these products now, you will have less issues in your fifties, and beyond. And, the habit will already be in place.
7. Wash your face.
Never, ever, go to bed with your makeup on. Wash off that makeup. Wash the day away! And, please take off your eye makeup, too. Leaving your makeup on will give you wrinkles and blemishes. If you get in the habit of taking off the day, it will never be an issue.
8. Use sunscreen.
Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen. I can’t say this enough. Everyone says it, but it’s not until you are older that you start noticing the damage. I am not even talking about cancer, I am talking about wrinkles on your toes. Yes, your toes. Wrinkles and spots, from the sun, on your hands, arms and legs, chest and back. And, toes. Once the damage is there, it’s hard to undo. It’s too late. When I was a teenager, I would lay out in the sun, with baby oil. Don’t be stupid. You may love the way your “kissed by the sun” skin looks now, but you won’t when you are older. Trust me here. Oh, and there’s also that cancer thing.
9. Stay young at heart.
And last of all, never grow up. Never grow up when it comes to music, movies and T.V. This goes back to playing—outside or in. Laugh. Laugh at yourself. Laugh with your friends. Laugh a lot and never stop. And Dance. Take time for you. Love yourself. Stay young at heart and you will lead a happy life. I know this advice may all seem obvious, but remember, I wish I had listened to this advice years ago.
Keep learning and growing, changing and evolving. Keep being yourself.
Continue to be brave and walk through those doors with your head held high. Keep moving, through those doors and through life. And when you are my age, pass this advice on. They may not listen, but you can try. And just maybe, some of this good advice will help them.