Dear readers, I am about a month shy from reaching a landmark birthday. 25. The quarter of a century birthday. The, oh shit you’re old birthday. When I was in my teens, I’d often think about this age in particular and daydream about what my life would be like. You know, once I’m an adult have my life figured out and running according to plan.

Hah.

I hope I’m not the only one that wishes for a time machine to go back and scoff in my younger self’s face. Afterwards however, I would love to be able to pass on some wisdom I have gathered over the last 25 years in hopes to shorten the learning curve of my past self.

1) You are much prettier than you think you are.
This holds true for every girl.  No young woman appreciates her beauty as much as she should, and when you look at old pictures 10, 20, 30 years from now, you’ll be baffled at the flaws you spent so much time agonizing over right now.  Save yourself some trouble and chuck those insecurities right now, please.

2) Your parents are people too.
There is a lot you don’t know about your parents. They have stories that would break your heart, they have insecurities and neuroses and desires too. Cut them some slack and get to know them beyond their mom and baba roles.

3) Take some time off before college.
Travel. Get a job. Join the Peacecorps. Save up money. Gain perspective so you can make the best decisions regarding your education, because it’s a big deal. Don’t be afraid to not take the typical linear path of HS, College, Job.

4) Utilize every resource you can in college to travel.
Do  a summer abroad program. Even better, do a foreign-exchange program for a semester or a year. This is my biggest regret. It won’t be this easy again to pick up and see the world.

5) Become very, very good at something.
Stick with the piano younger self! Or pick up dance, or become very knowledgable on comic books – something. It is never too late to do this, but every person should have an interest or a hobby that they feel passionately about.

6) Listen to your gut.
Even if your heart races at the thought of him, even if you daydream about him all day, if your stomach ties itself into uncomfortable knots and you have to convince yourself it’s right, cut him loose. It picks up on things before your heart and brain do sometimes, and every time I have overrode my gut instincts I have regretted it completely.

7) Everyone is weird.
Don’t stand alone in the corner at the party wondering if that joke you made was totally lame. If you could hear everyone’s internal monologue, I promise it would be just as weird as yours. Please get out of your head and have fun. People aren’t paying nearly as much attention to your flubs as you think they are.

9) Value the time you have with your family and friends.
Eventually you’ll move, and the friends you grew up with will go separate ways. Cherish every moment you have with them right now, when you see them all day every day.

10) Stay away from bitchy girls.
Just because they’re nice to you doesn’t make up for the fact that they are not nice people. Stay away from gossips. Stay away from girls that are cliquey and exclusive. Stay away from drama. That shit is beneath you. On that note… 

11) Choose your friends wisely.
Hold on to the friendships that help you grow. The friends that you can party with are a dime a dozen.

12) Don’t mess with your hair too much.
You don’t want it to be fried by the time you hit 30.

My past self would probably smile and nod at this influx of amazing advice, blog about it on her (my?) xanga, and then promptly forget about it. As it should be. If it were not for the bumps along the road, I wouldn’t be where I am today. This Motley Monday, with my birthday drawing ever closer, I felt a bout of nostalgia and introspection come on. Perhaps you can join me, and reflect on what you would want to tell your younger self, and since that is an impossibility, annoy your younger siblings by bestowing your wisdom upon them!

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