What I wish you knew
Facebook has us supporting the Senior Class of 2020 by sharing our own graduation pictures. As I came across this one of myself on the day of graduation and wow, there is so much I wish I could tell this young girl. I wish I could tell you the things that ultimately make you happy compared to what you think will make you happy. I wish I could tell you that things will work out no matter where you are in your life and things always get better if you hang in there with hope.
You are what I like to now call a happiness delayer. You will always think that one more thing will make you happy. I think most young people start out waiting for great life events to happen. And that's okay. But things didn't always come as quickly for you as you hoped and you spend way too much time waiting for something else to ultimately make you happy. Even when you get what you think will make you happy, you will find a way to push your happiness off again. You will spend way too many years justifying why you still aren't happy and how once something else happens (getting married, buying a house, getting a promotion, losing weight, making more money, etch) you will finally be feel better about yourself and your life. And I cry for you at this point because you will waste so much time putting off your own happiness and not even realizing it.
You, young girl in the picture, have very little self confidence and a sense of self. You have no idea who you are. And it will be decades before you start to feel comfortable in your own skin. You will spend a lot of time hating yourself, thinking everyone else has it better, and your life is just destined to be mediocre. And I wish I could convince you that it truly does not matter what other people think of you. Stop being so self-conscious and just dance for crying out loud. Make your own path and if there are people who make fun of you, diss you and talk about you behind your back, it won't matter in the long run. That once you truly become yourself and are okay with it, there is such a peace that comes with that.
I know you dream of doing big things in your life. And you will. In ways that won't surprise you and then in ways that will surprise you. You will be ambitious and a goal getter. You will do what it takes to be very good at what you do for a living. You will move around a lot. It helps you to find your dream neighborhood so don't be scared. It will all be okay. And then you will completely pivot and be even better and happier.
It will take a lot, a lot longer to get married than you hope. In fact, it isn't until you have completely give up on the idea of ever getting married that you finally find the man of your dreams. Who you know right now, by the way. If you could skip dating all the losers, the tough guys, the ones who treat you like crap and realize that your life won't end if you aren't married by age 40. If you could get over your picture of the type of guy you should be with and just go with the nice guy much earlier....you would probably have married much earlier. And even when you finally do get married, you will still find reasons to be unhappy. In fact, this may be the toughest time of your life. For 40+ years you thought marriage was the answer to all your happiness prayers. You think you will just wake up happily ever after the day after the wedding. It doesn't go that way. You go through a pretty dark period and wonder if marriage is even for you. And you won't talk to your husband about it because you are afraid of hurting his feelings. But you start to move in the right direction when you realize that it was never marriage that was going to make me happy. It was me. It was me all along. And thank goodness for you, you figure all this out before you lose the man of your dreams. Then you will have a great marriage. That it will be even better than you imagined it could be. It's fun and collaborative and a lot of still getting your own way because that is the kind of guy you marry!
You won't ever become a mother yourself but you will have the best furbaby who actually teaches you a lot about how to live life. And you will be the coolest aunt ever and you will relish that title! You will have a good relationship with your nieces and they may even look up to you.
Once you finally figure out it's about the little joys we look forward to everyday...Once you can feel grateful for what you have instead of bitter about what you don't, everything will start falling into place. And then you will start waking up every day with a sense of wonder, joy and excitement about the day ahead.
I wish I could make you understand sooner. I wish you knew that you can be happy from that day on standing outside that horrendous, first car. That it always has been and always will be ultimately up to you! But hey, you do eventually get it. And better late than never!
Join me for the #hopefulistchallenge! It's time to feel better. 30 days of digging in and finding out what it really is that will make you happy. Listen to my daily podcast, read the blog, follow me on social media and sign up for my newsletter for real, tactical tips that can help. It all starts tomorrow morning. Join me for a Facebook Live at 10 am explaining all the details!