In high school I felt envious of the kids who knew exactly what they’d do after graduation and beyond. Schools and majors had been chosen, summer internships mulled over. Personally, I had no clue about my future and really would have loved for someone to hand me a map of my life, so that I could stop with all the angsty shit that kept me up at night.
Fast forward 18 years and I want to go back and tell my young self to chill already. The truth is that life rarely goes as planned, and what you feel strongly about right now, could completely change 5 years from now.
Case in point: In my early 20s I was adamant that I’d never have kids – and here I am raising 3. They’re here not because they were “accidents” but because one day, years later, my thinking changed. All the things that made a “no kids” life sound appealing, no longer mattered. In my case I grew, matured, and re-evaluated and found myself in a completely different head space than I expected to.
Some other things my young self would be surprised about:
- Being home with your kids while they’re little isn’t the horrible, soul-sucking misery you imagined it to be. You should go back and apologize to the stay-at-home moms in your old neighbourhood for the scornful, mean things you thought about them.
- Art does matter, and you should dedicate your life to creating it because it’s what makes you happy. Stop feeling like you can’t follow your dream simply because it doesn’t come with a benefits package and retirement plan.
- Originality is important. Stop trying to blend in. Life gets a lot more fun when that light bulb comes on.