I’m leaving my twenties behind forever and heading for the fourth decade of my life, which I’m doing my best to play down, but I have to admit, I’m pretty scared. I mean, my 20’s have undoubtedly been the most eventful period of my life; I met at married my Husband at 21 and 22, went to Asia for the first time, adopted our dog, had my first child at 24, moved house approximately 8 times, started and left two jobs, started blogging, made a career our of blogging, visited Anfield for the first time, had another baby…and much else besides, yet I have no idea what is in store for my 30’s.
I like to think that I’ve gained a fair bit of knowledge in that time and would love it if I could impart some of that knowledge to 20-year-old me, and I wondered if any of my blogging friends had any pearls of wisdom that they’d love to go back and tell themselves, aged 20. Here’s what they had to say:
Simone from Sim’s Life said: “Don’t do it!! Simple as!”
Helen from The Crazy Kitchen said: “Don’t be so cut up over those dudes that dumped you – they were twats anyway” (I wish I’d know this one back then!)
Tanya from Mummy Barrow wrote a beautiful letter to herself, aged 16, and this passage had me close to tears: “You are stronger than you know and it will be all right. That strength is what will get you through life. I won’t lie. It isn’t going to be an easy one by any means. You will have a few years that you will look at afterwards and think “how the hell did I get through that”. The answer is, I don’t know how you got through them. But you will and you did. Everything that gets thrown at you you have dealt with, sometimes even with a smile on your face.”
Joy from Pink Oddy simplay says “You are stronger than you think”
Jen from Love Chic Living says: “ I would tell my 20 year old self to lighten up a little, have a bit more fun, and not worry what everyone thought of you so much” – I couldn’t agree MORE with this one.
Annie from Mammasaurus (although, she has so many sites now, I feel we should just say ‘Annie, from THE INTERNET’) said: “Wear a supportive bra – especially when pregnant!” – True dat, sista.
Mary from Keynko said: “You’ll do just fine! Screw what everyone else says – and stick with it and kids are going to be bloody awesome grown ups!”
Liz from Me and My Shadow says: “Make the most of being young and gorgeous because before you know it it’s gone! I never believed my mum on that one, but as ever, she was right!”
Molly from Mother’s Always Right (somewhat appropriately) said: “Stop worrying about the future and try to enjoy the moment a bit more – your mum was right, things always turn out OK in the end!”
I LOVE Donna from Little Lilypad Co‘s advice: “Money doesn’t buy class or morals, so a man who flashes it usually has neither!”
Carolin from Mummy Alarm said: “Make sure to spend time with those you really love. Life takes them away from us too quickly”
Becky from Baby Budgeting said: “Just the same as Carolin; to do as many things with my mum and dad as I could because life is precious and you have no idea s how long we have. I’d also say check out your in-laws FIRST!”
Andrea from All You Need is Love and Cake says: “Everything happens for a reason and you will get through it just fine. Sit out the storms and you will be truly happy one day. But do try and control your temper more!”
Paul from I’m Well Confused, Me said: “Today your father dies, (I discover he died about 6pm, 10 years ago) you spoke to him a few days ago, be at home when you say you will. While it many not fix things it could make it easier.”
Penny from Being Mrs. C gave advice which actually applies very well to Husband and I: “When your work colleague Mike has a birthday party in 2002 look very carefully who else is there. That way you may actually meet your future husband sooner and save a lot of heartache in-between!”
And, it seems my friends are all a bit ‘hit and miss’ when it comes to their future Husbands, as Helen from Stickers, Stars and Smiles said: “Make sure that when a bloke you met once briefly comes up to you in a pub all smiley and handsome, you actually remember him, and don’t refer to him as “some nutter” and totally ignore him. You’ll end up marrying him… *oops*”
Marianne, from Mari’s World, who’s been my personal guru on many an occasion, gave this wonderful advice: “Believe in yourself and stop accepting second best thinking nothing better will come along. It will but you must be patient, also stop spending so much time worrying about having small breasts. IT DOESN”T MATTER! In 20 years time you’ll be hankering after that body you’re so unhappy with right now.”
Finally, Cas from Mummy Never Sleeps, my fellow Essex girl wrote a lovely post to herself which I wholeheartedly suggest you go and read in full, and kindly let me borrow this passage: “I can’t tell you how to get from where you are to where I am, or tell you the shortcuts or how to avoid the shitty bits. I won’t pretend life is gonna be all unicorns puking up rainbows and daisy chains, it’s not, it might never be, I don’t know. All I can tell you is to keep going, persevere and never stop, because what you’ll find in ten years will be worth it, it’ll be far from perfect, believe me, you’ll spend days getting shit on your face and spending hours getting silly putty out of your son’s hair and hiding behind the fridge door to cry for a moment FFS, but it’ll be real, I can promise you that.”
So…what would my advice be? I’m not sure that I can add anything which would count as actual wisdom but I think my one piece of advice would be that you shouldn’t put up with people who continually make you feel bad about yourself or put you last. So often, we continue relationships with people (be they just a friendship or something more significant) who do damage to our psyche because we don’t think we should cut contact with them, but in SO many cases you’ll be happier and less mentally burdened by putting yourself first for once.
Above all, do whatever you need to do to make yourself happy.
Here’s to, what I hope will be, a new decade of happiness.