Earlier this week, Emily Levenson posted in the Propelle Rock It Facebook group asking, “If you could write a note to your younger self, what would you say in only two words?” I must have typed out and deleted them so many times because I had such a hard time finding the right two words.
Don’t stop and be yourself seemed too generic; it wasn’t specific to me. Try harder makes it sound like I wasn’t trying my best. Don’t be complacent and everything will be okay are more than two words.
When someone asks the advice you’d give your younger self, I always picture myself as a little kid because those are my “formative years” and there are things I wish I would have known.
I still insist that, as a kid, no one could tell me anything I’d listen to. I thought I knew pretty much everything and no one could tell me otherwise; all the advice was well-meaning but they didn’t know what I was going through!
No, I won’t get over this crush. Yes, it is the end of the world and the biggest thing that ever happened to me.
I know when you’re going through something, it seems like the end of the world and it just consumes you and then you can look back and be like, here’s what should have happened.
I think I would have listened to myself, though, because I could say to myself, “Hey, you, listen to you. Here’s what’s up,” and I’d have to take that advice because I’ve been there and now I’m here on the other side.
Also, it’s specific to me Advice never felt specific enough when I was a kid. I wanted someone to tell me, “This is what you need to do,” instead of guiding me with well-meaning cliches.
When I think about how I was as a kid, I was quiet, pretty timid, and unless I was in my comfort zone, I didn’t venture out too much. So that was what I thought I’d take into consideration when giving advice to tell my younger self.
Get outside of everything. Your comfort zone, the house, the books you read, the music you listen to, the friends you play with, the people you talk to.
Trying something new is scary and you may disappoint your parents’ expectations or get into a hairy situation with your friends, but it’s better than not doing what you want because you’re afraid of the outcome.
Try getting out of your own way, trusting your instincts, finding something new to occupy your time instead of the same old stuff.
Even in college: get outside. Sure, study hard, but have fun. Don’t try to pack all the fun of four years into a few weekends when you’re finally free. Savor the moment and be present to what is happening around you.
And don’t be afraid to get a little messy. That’s definitely good advice, but much more than two words.