As adults we are often lost in the world of responsibility, routine and expectation. At some point life shifts. I am still unclear when that point actually occurred, whether it is merely a perception of my adult self or whether this is just the norm and therefore acceptance of this new life is required.
We went from being children and seeing life with amazingly open eyes and adventure; to teens that often felt like life was suffocating. Life as a teen was a strange mix of excitement in anticipation for the grown up life ahead and fear of being grown up and having these responsibilities. A fear of suddenly being expected to have a life path mapped out to some degree and a confidence in that path. As I entered my final years of high school, I was repeatedly asked by everyone what I was going to be. This was a question that caused fear and anxiety – who the hell knew at 16 what they wanted to do for the rest of their lives.
Adult life apparently started long ago – I am almost 30 and life paths are only a little clearer now than they were as a teen. If anything, life is a lot more chaotic and responsible. There is little room to rebel – because there really isn’t anyone to rebel against as an adult…it just means your decisions and consequences are yours alone.
As I quickly approach 30 earth rotations, it has me thinking. This is not unusual for deep reflections as we approach milestones and they often appear in the same form – is life as I hoped it would be? Am I living the life I wanted and aimed for?
With some knowledge acquired and these thoughts dominating my mind, I wondered what my adult self would tell my 12 year old self about life in some capacity of advice. Calling on the wisdom of those I know, I was bestowed with the following honest and direct pieces of advice:
- Don’t worry, people will like you for who you are. But more importantly, you wont care whether they do or not
- Be fearless and always believe in yourself
- Run away and join a circus
- Be yourself always, don’t let anyone change you, be a good person always because good things happen to those who wait
- Life will seem bad for a while but it will get better and it will make you tougher as a person
- Don’t ever get a credit card
- Don’t worry so much about what others think. Everything is going through something that they don’t want to deal with
- Make real friends, not easy / convenient ones
- Family is forever, learn to accept
- Be confident in everything you do because everyone are just losers
- Trust your instincts because if you listen carefully, 9/10 times they will lead in the right direction. Never forget that wealth and success make a man rich but laughter makes the soul rich.
- Cherish your family
- No need to stress I’ve got your back. Don’t care too much about school work, just have fun
- Be yourself, don’t be afraid to speak your mind and be the better person
- Stand up for your beliefs
- Don’t be afraid to be different
- Try everything that interests you
- You are about to jump on the biggest rollercoaster ride that will last for about 6 years. You can’t change all the ups and downs but there will be check points which you get to decide the path you will take and will shape you into the type of person you will become one day.
- Do whatever you choose to do. Will this affect your future in a good or bad way and think about that.
All of these points really made me think. Teenage years were tough on our self esteem and confidence! Phewww to those tough years being over! Although I secretly loved them…
As I sit in deep reflection of the years I have lived, the experiences I have had and the memories I have accumulated, I honestly don’t know if there is anything I could tell my 12 year old self to brace her for the years ahead. To be honest, I doubt my 12 year old self would have been open to receiving advice as to her future. My 12 year old self seemed to have been certain that she was in complete control of her destiny. She was sure that life would be just as she wanted. She was sure that life would be amazing and full of adventure. She was sure that she had all the control and did not accept that life happens regardless of our personal life choices. Nor do I think I could have braced her for the challenges she would face and convince her that it won’t break her.
If there is one thing I have learned about life, regardless of the ages at which points I reflect upon, the only ongoing advice I hang onto is that:
Life happens and continues to happen.
Live your own way- there isn’t any other substitute…