Seven years ago, I would’ve told you to travel more.
I know you’d say that you were trying to be more responsible about money, and honestly, that is still a good thing, but there’s nothing in this world that comes close to the experience and education that you get when you travel. So I’d tell you to go on the trips. I’d remind you that it’s more important to spend your money on experiences, not things, for the things you buy can break or lose their luster, but the memories of the trips you take will last forever and change you indefinitely.
Seven years ago, I would’ve told you to stop seeking love in all the wrong places.
I’d tell you to stand up for what you need in a romantic relationship, and stand in that space proudly. If saying what you want means that the person you are giving love to walks away, then let it be that. Sometimes things just aren’t meant to be, and you cannot mold someone into the person you wish they would become. They have to be that person on their own. Your love is something special, and it’s ok to be discerning with whom you give your love to. It’s okay to want a reciprocal love. You deserve a reciprocal kind of love.
Seven years ago, I would’ve told you that it’s okay to own what you want.
I’d tell you to own what you want, and I don’t just mean that in a material sense. Own what you want in your relationships, in friendships, in how you see yourself in this world, in how you are seen by others. Own what you wish to accomplish, to attain, to dream about, to achieve. Write your goals down. Keep them close to your heart, taped on your desk, written on your computer, wherever you need to see them. But when someone asks you about them, do not shy away from the magic you wish to create. Do not diminish the dreams you wish to build. Own them, even if nobody else understands them. After all, they don’t need to understand them—they are not for them, they’re for you.
Seven years ago, I would’ve told you to embrace the season in which you find yourself.
The older I get, the more it becomes clear that life is made up of seasons. And I’m not talking about the weather. There are seasons of singleness, seasons of togetherness, seasons of perfectness, seasons of sadness, seasons of change, seasons of chaos, seasons of stillness—the list goes on. Seven years ago, I would’ve told you to embrace the season that you were in, that although the loneliness feels overwhelming, it will not stay for forever. That the jobs would be good then, but there would be a downswing. I’d tell you to relish in the moment that you find yourself in, because worrying about tomorrow (and the next day and the next day after that) will do you no good. I’d tell you that the highs and lows are part of what makes this life beautiful and extraordinary, and that yes, you can get through them all. You have that kind of strength within you, you have those types of loved ones beside you to help you, too.