We all have these feelings that make us look back at our younger self and realize, oh girl if only you knew then what you know now. I’ve looked back at the years before I was married, before I had kids, when things were easier, and think…
“Why was I in such a rush to grow up?”
I mean really though do I need to ask that question? We all know the answer. It’s the constant wanting what we can’t have syndrome. Always thinking the grass is greener on the other side. Yada, Yada, Yada. But once we become adults we realize the harsh reality of it all.
When I was younger, the one thing I couldn’t wait to do was move out on my own. I’m the youngest of five so I watched as they all grew up and moved out to their exciting lives on their own. I was envious of the freedom they had to go do whatever they wanted and I still had to ask permission from my parents (the dumb things you get upset about when you are a kid). The thought of being in my own place, making my own rules, the parties (let’s face it that was the biggest one) was all I could think about. I wanted to have what the characters I watched on tv had. They looked glamorous and like they had it all. I wanted it all too.
Something that I was in denial about though? The fact that everything comes with a price. Money, consequences, whatever, there’s always a catch. I always thought that once I got a simple job all of my wants and desires would come easily. When I was younger my friend and I always said how we wanted to buy this one house in our neighborhood and just do our own thing. We made it seem so simple to do. Like yes a couple of kids are going to be able to just up and buy a house on their own with their babysitting money. I was definitely delusional in my young age, but seriously who isn’t?
Oh, but now I realize the harsh reality that is life. No things are not just handed to you (normally). My parents did a great job in making me work for things I wanted. My first job was working at a sandwich shop when I was 14 (almost 15). The reason I went and got a job was because I was told I couldn’t have a cell phone until I purchased it on my own. So that’s what I did. I got an allowance, but it obviously wasn’t enough to get and sustain having a cell phone. I also had to work if I wanted to have spending money and to purchase my first car. By the way I didn’t get my first car until I was 18 years old. It took me that long to save up money for it because well your girl sucked at saving money.
My money saving techniques were so bad that one time I was saving up for a puppy ( a Pomeranian named Gizmo) and lost everything in one swoop of playing poker with my best friend. Honestly to this day I think he swindled me because I had no idea how to play poker so it wasn’t fair, but I was stupid and played anyway. I also went home and cried. By the way I was 10.
But I digress…
But what I would really like to tell young me?
You think life is hard now? Just wait until you turn 18. It just gets shittier from there.
I’m completely joking, but seriously it gets harder.
Especially when I thought I was untouchable and that I didn’t have consequences for my actions. Example: getting pregnant at 18 years old.
That’s when life became hard. That’s when reality really hit me and I was no longer living life for just myself, but now I had a little boy who completely depended on me. You are probably expecting me to say that if I could go back in time I’d tell myself to use protection. On the contrary, I would never go back and change anything that centers around my son coming into this world. Was I young and careless? Yes, but I will never regret getting pregnant and choosing to keep my boy. It wasn’t an ideal time, but really it was the perfect time because he saved me from being self destructive of myself. Which I worry is a road I would have taken. But I didn’t go down that road and I will always have him to thank.
However things I do regret?
I regret putting so much pressure on myself to fit in. To seek attention from people who probably weren’t the greatest. Not truly appreciating the amazing people I had in my life. I regret always comparing myself and putting myself down for not looking like these models or even some of the girls in my school. I regret being so naïve.
But it is humbling reflecting on my younger years. I may have all of these regrets, but to be honest you are suppose to make mistakes when you are young. You can’t learn and grow without making mistakes.
So even though I wish I could take away a lot of the things I do regret and wish I knew when I was younger to save me some heartache. The journey to the woman I am now was a road I needed to travel and that I have no regrets on. It hasn’t been easy in the slightest, but I will never want to lose the memories and the lessons I learned.
I would tell myself one thing though. Don’t put too much unnecessary pressure on yourself. It does get better, this won’t last forever, and enjoy the rollercoaster you are about to embark on because it’s a doozy.