I wanted to write an article about the person I used to be. In theory, it was a great concept, until I quickly realized how difficult it was to think of the things I’ve overcome since my four-eyed brace-face days. I think it’s so easy for us to forget where we came from, especially if it’s a point in our lives we’re not particularly fond of. But what I’ve concluded is that no matter how much I evolve as a person, to some extent, I will always be the person I once was. If it weren’t for her, I wouldn’t be who I am now. But as a twenty-something who refuses to forget who she once was, I do want to share the things I have grown out of (and surprisingly, I’ve grown out of more things than my glasses and my braces).
At 21 years old, here are 21 things I would say to the person I used to be:
- What you feel and everything you’ve accomplished are what you are… not your appearance.
- But it’s absolutely OK to be a girl that does her hair and makeup, and it’s also OK to admit it’s for a guy. But also remember that you don’t have to do anything to impress anyone else but yourself.
- Only say sorry if you mean it. Not everything is your fault, but accept it when it is.
- Be passionate about the people and things you love.
- Grow a backbone and stop being a doormat to someone. You. Are. Better. Than. That.
- Be the type of person you would want to be best friends with.
- We can’t control everything, but we can learn to let go.
- Don’t lose yourself over people that chose to lose you.
- Remember when you were put on time out? That’s because it was a lesson to be accountable for ourselves and our actions.
- The most perfect thing we could do for ourselves is to accept that perfection is unattainable.
- But there is also no such thing as having too high of standards. Patience really is a virtue and settling should never ever be an option.
- In order to make someone proud, be proud of yourself and who you are.
- Life will get better than this.
- Stand up for yourself and what you believe in, and don’t do things you wouldn’t choose to do just because they may seem “cool.”
- Even if they don’t say it every day, your family loves you. And it’s not childish of you to remind them that you feel the same way.
- There’s always two sides to every story.
- “Gay” and “retarded” are not adjectives for stupid, and you sound stupid for using those words in that way.
- Your intuition is never a coincidence. Don’t ignore it.
- It’s OK to have feelings.
- That jerk who made fun of you for being a four-eyed brace-face all of middle school is going to hit on you when you finally grow out of your awkward stage.
- Don’t worry your life away.
Photo taken by Colleen Scobie