Ok, so this one has taken me a little while to think of what I would say to 21 year old me; other than it will be ok. BUT alas I have thought of some things, otherwise this would have been a very short and boring post.
Just a little context to where I was in my life at 21: I was in my final year of university; I was worried about my next steps; I was not in a great space mental health wise; I was in a relationship.
1. Finishing uni
First thing I would say is, that yes finishing uni was super sad, super scary and a really anxious time. However, the friends made will stay with you forever and will continue to be such amazing friends, that will be there every step of the way. Ledge heads the lot of them. Yes, you will lose contact with a few but it’s ok because the main ones are still there and you will continue to get messy with them very regularly. Not only that, the feeling of achievement after finishing is amazing. Also, don’t worry, things post uni will all fall into place. Oh and also your liver is like mega grateful that you are no longer drinking 2 pound bottles of wine 4/5 times a week.
This was a big one for me back then and still is but not as much. A message to 21 year old me would be ‘stop worrying SO much, people don’t actually care as much as you think’. I was obsessed with my image and more to the point I was obsessed with my own self loathing of my image. I would tell myself to be kinder to me, I really needed to accept and love myself more. The thing I now realise is that if you self loathe and do nothing about it then you are in a horribly viscous cycle. I would tell myself to use my gym membership that I had and used perhaps once a month (lol) and go and get fit and healthy for my own sake. God knows the gym is my happy place now (after I have had a lil strop about not waking up looking like a Victoria’s Secret Model EVEN THOUGH I worked out for 1 hour). I would love to give 21 year old me a hug and say u r well wikid, do not base who you are by how you see yourself in the mirror.
My biggest message here would be ‘love yourself enough to respect yourself’. I was in an extremely toxic relationship where I was really manipulated and all areas of my life suffered. It all ended in a horrible way and my biggest regret from the whole thing is that, even though I knew I was not being treated right, I did not respect myself enough to walk away. I believed if I did I would never find anybody again and be alone forever. But I needed to love myself and understand that actually, that was enough. I have spent 4 years on my own to fully heal from that relationship and am so glad I did. I feel now I am in a place where I like myself, I respect myself and I look after myself physically and mentally. Now, life is not solely about having a boyfriend, it is about enjoying life with my family and friends and most importantly myself. I wish nothing more than to tell 21 year old me that that would happen one day.
4. Mental health
Times were really hard at this age, it was my hardest time in terms of mental health. I suffered with depression and anxiety quite badly. I would go back and tell myself ‘you got this gal, you can do this, things all work out and you have the power and strength to not only get out of this hole but to do a complete 180 on it all and become a super positive, growth mindset gal. What a bloody (modest) ledge you will be, just keep going and make those changes day by day and be kind to yourself. Time genuinely is the best healer. Oh and also, you are a good person and as life goes on you will realise that.’
Just like random things I would say are: ‘enjoy every moment, appreciate those around you, appreciate yourself, learn from mistakes, respect yo’self, go after your dreams, always trust your gut, do not be scared to do things alone, try everything (within context obv).’
And no sorry to ruin your day 21 year old me, but you are still not married to Leonardo DiCaprio…yet.
Oh and something massive I would tell myself; is to not base my timeline on others! Everyone goes at their own pace and life happens on diff timelines for everyone. So don’t stress about that. Sometimes in your twenties everything starts to feel like a ticking timebomb to achieve everything you have ever wanted. But yano, I have heard 30 something year olds still have a life too?! Who would have thought it?!
My twenties so far have been a mad rollercoaster ride and I am so grateful for all I have learnt in those years and how much stronger, independent and passionate about life I have become. I look forward to the many more lessons and experiences I will be sure to learn in the next 5 years of my twenties.
Got a bit deep there, 21 year old me would probs be like ‘jeeez 25 year old me is a bit preachy but would be gr8 for a drunk deep and meaningful’. It is true I am fab for a DMC… Anyway, what would you tell your 21 year old self?