I was waxing philosophical with my husband over the weekend.
Which normally isn’t a big deal, because we wax philosophical all the time.
(Usually over wine, bread and cheese and while the kids are entertained by that awesome invention called Netflix.)
It’s always fun to wax philosophical with someone you’ve known forever and is in the same place as yourself in life.
(For the record, we’re both 40, been married for 18 years and have been together for 20 years. We got married when I was 12.)
So, our wine-induced philosophical discussion started me thinking of things my 40-year old self would tell my 20-year old self.
And because I have a blog, I’m sharing it. Maybe you can grab some wine and bread and wax philosophical with me too.
10 Things My 40-Year Old Self Would Tell My 20-Year Old Self
1. Have kids earlier.
Yes, a career is important. Yes, experiencing life is important. Yes, having kids can impede both of those things. But waiting to have kids until the “time is right” is stupid.
First, there is no perfect time. No perfect time in your career, your life, your financial wellbeing. So get over that notion.
Second, eventually, your kids will leave you (and to be honest they usually leave in stages and it seems to start at 11 years old).
And while they might have sucked the ever.living.life.and.time.out.of.you for the first ten years, they won’t be around as much in the second ten years. They start having their own “lives” and you are just happy to get invited to the party every now and again.
Finally, wouldn’t it be more fun to have the “second-stage” of your life starting at 45 instead of 55? Plus, who wants to think about retiring and paying for school at the same time?
2. Friends Get Deeper, Instead of Wider
You meet so many new people when you are 20…people at work, people at the gym, people at church, people that are other people’s friends. The circle of friends is wide.
And some of those people you will work so hard to become their friend, only to find out three years later it wasn’t much of a friendship, but a way to pass time. They really weren’t friends, they were acquaintances that had similar interests.
Trust your instincts and work hard to develop fewer friendships that go beyond the surface and dig deep. So deep, that when you don’t see each other for three months (and it will happen), it doesn’t matter, because you were able to pick right back up where you left it.
3. Love your breasts.
I know this sounds silly. You think you will have your breasts forever. They will always be perky. They will always be full. They will always look great in whatever bra you put them into.
You’ll get pregnant. You’ll have a kid and nurse them and watch your beautiful breasts blow up to a size that would put a stripper to shame. Then you will quit nursing and they will return to their normal size. And with each kid, the whole process will start over again. Eventually, your breasts look like a balloon that has been blown up ONE TOO MANY TIMES. Deflated. Saggy. Sad.
(And then gravity kicks in.)
So love on your breasts now. Be proud of them. Shoot, show them off every now and again. There will come a point in your life when you want to show them off, but no one will want to see them.
4. Appreciate jumping jacks.
Jumping Jacks. Enjoy them now. You won’t be able to do them without worrying about peeing all over yourself and then you will miss them.
5. Your Life Plan is Funny.
Stop trying to plan out your whole life. You are focused on reaching certain “goals” by a certain age and while that worked well while you were in high school and college, it is laughable to try and do now.
Life will happen. You will have happy surprises and unforeseeable tragedies that will mess up your life plan. You’ll find you want to stay at home with your kids, don’t want to work in the corporate world, and then come around to being your own boss. Quit planning. Enjoy the ride.
6. Buy quality furniture.
You want to upgrade from your “college apartment” hand-me-downs. It’s time for a grown-up look!
But you, my 20 year-old self, are broke.
It seems easier to buy “cheap stuff” from Target and Walmart, but I promise you, you will regret it. It looks cool now, but in about two years, it will look worse than your college apartment hand-me-downs from Mom & Dad.
(For the record, particle board is not a type of wood.)
Nothing you bought in your 20s has lasted to the 40s. The only exception, your bedroom set, which cost a small fortune (must be because it is made from real cherry wood). Buy less, buy quality and it will last forever.
7. Wear Eye Cream.
Every time you look in the mirror, you’ll give yourself a mental “dope slap” because you didn’t wear eye cream sooner. Go buy some now. You can thank me later.
8. Funny, responsible guys win.
I see him, the human adonis over there. HE is so HOT. HE is the reason you made all of the sappy love song mix tapes in high school and watched John Hughes movies. HE.
And then you talk to him, and HE is a tool. But HE is so HOT. For a moment, you wonder if could change HE into someone else. Someone caring, thoughtful, smart…HE has just been waiting for YOU to change him into what HE was always meant to be.
Spoiler alert: YOU can’t.
Ten years from now, HE will still be a tool. And not as good looking because he’ll just look like a fraternity boy who forgot to grow up. A Peter Pan in a mid-life crisis.
But that funny, responsible guy over there. Yeah, the slightly shy/dorky guy with a quick wit, that actually offered to buy you a drink. He’s the keeper. He will be the one that will hold your hair while you are puking, drive across town for a Sylas & Maddie’s Ice Cream because you have a “craving”, and shed tears when your first child is born. HE is the one. Funny, responsible wins.
9. Beauty Comes With Confidence, Regardless of Age.
You will be hit on by men more often in your late 30s and early 40s then you ever did in your 20s.
Confident women don’t play games or expect someone else to pay the bar bill or need male attention to have a good time.
Confidence is knowing, accepting and believing in yourself. Standing up straight, walking with intention, and smiling, laughing, and enjoying a moment of life.
And it’s hard to have real confidence in your 20s because you are truly just “faking it, till you make it”. By the time you are 40, you have enough life lessons under your belt to show your confidence, and that is sexy as hell.
10. You Are Better When Your Filter Is Off.
Mr. Rice, your high school science teacher and your Freshman English Professor can go and pound sand, because they were wrong.
You don’t need to “filter-take down a notch-be less outspoken”.
Instead, embrace the person God made. A super special person with great talents. Will you have to work on areas in your life? Yes, but who doesn’t? Take the filter off. Let people see the real you.
Because the real you, as scary as it can be sometimes, is a hell of lot better than a you that is just trying to be someone else. Posers, suck. Period.
What life lessons would you tell your 20 year old self? Any of my life lessons the same as yours? Leave a comment and let me know.