While I was recently de-cluttering our home, I found an old photograph of me and the first thought that ran through my mind was how carefree I was! I started to think through life's events and how my reaction then would differ to it now. Experience is a beautiful thing, in fact the saying goes that "experience is the best teacher" this is so true! Once you have been through something drastic in your life, nobody will tell you how it made you feel or what lessons it taught you. It is an advantage that I was not notified of life's trials and headache, ahead of time, even amidst some victory and development, otherwise I would not have taken a leap of faith and tried something new. Only God knows what the future holds and he orders our step to achieve greatness!
What would I advise my younger self?
1) Know your worth - do not let somebody else project their own insecurities onto you. I was a people's pleaser because I enjoyed seeing other people happy. As I grew older, I saw it was not benefiting me, most people took me for granted and I soon learned to know my worth!
Remember you are wonderful just as you are. But you should not stop improving on yourself to become a better version of you.
2) Avoid taking things too personal - this is especially with loved ones, I have learnt to manage my expectation and don't allow others stop me from doing good because of their reactions. When things do not go pleasantly, I move to plan B. I will tell my "younger self" to remember I am on a journey and when circumstances change, see it as a learning curve that would be of benefit to my future. The journey may not always be great but it always teaches us something about ourselves as we move along. Every step is important.
3) Don’t take yourself so seriously all the time - Avoid negative people. Make time to laugh from the belly, smile often, chat, catch up on the current information, seize the happy moments that comes your way.
4) Do not be gullible - It is okay to trust others with what is precious to you but apply wisdom The scriptures says a discerning heart acquires wisdom (Proverb 18:15).
5) Travel more - Before you start a family, explore the world and you will learn new cultures and ways of lives. I did travel when I was younger but I wish I traveled to more distant places to add new perspective to my life. Though, it is still fun travelling with my husband and children, albeit more costly, especially during the school holidays!
6) Do not quit learning to play a musical instrument - I have always loved music and was a member of the church choir but when I started learning to play the piano, I gave up due to time and commitment. Thankfully, my children are proficient in playing the piano, violin, flute and steel pan. They have taken their various examination and achieved grade 5 in piano and 3 in violin. Let us just say the enthusiasm I once had, did not go to waste!
7) Do not dwell on past hurt - When others hurt you, try to forgive instantly. Feel the hurt and let it go. The scriptures says, when we forgive, our heavenly father forgives us too (Matthew 6:14–15).
8) Continue blessing others around you. Remember a little gesture, goes a long way! keep on blessing other people on your path. Keep being you!
9) Try new things. Strive for something that stretches you. Of course, there’s a limit to this, so be careful.
10 Save Money - don't get carried away with buying clothes , shoes and handbags. I know they can be tempting, especially with constantly evolving trends and sales, but ask yourself, "do you really need this", what is the purpose of this purchase, and why do I want it? Young people should not be feeling the pressures to spend large amounts of money they don't have, for image or to impress others.
11) Be respectful - As a young person, there will be so many aunties and uncles giving you advice, know which one to take on board but remain respectful.
Here are some of the things I would tell myself growing up - hindsight is a beautiful thing.
What would you tell your younger self? Do share with our community.