Originally written 3/3/2020 by DWL Lifestyle Strategist AshleyMarcel
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Personally, I am loving “blogger choice” July. Looking back over all of the Dear Wednesday letters that have been written, I am humbled and amazed at how far we have come and reminded of the challenges experienced along the way. With that being said, my choice for this week’s letter is “12 Things I Wish I knew Earlier in Life”. It is funny looking back over this list that was written just a short while ago. Months later I can say that I am a different person. I have lived more life and can recognize even more things I wish I knew.
That being said, it is also important to understand that it is the things we did not know and had to learn that grew and matured us. While I can look back and to certain times in my life where my journey may have been a little more bearable had I known some things, I can also look at my present with a grateful heart because I am who I am today because of what I decided to do with the unknown. I hope you can look at this list, learn from it and create your own list.
This week we will celebrate growing in maturity and wisdom. What better way to celebrate this monumental and continuous feat, than to talk about the things I wish I knew earlier in life. Strap in, this may be a little crazy.
Strap in... this may get a little crazy
I cannot say that I have reached full perfection.. yet lol (that's not real life), but I can say that I still have much, much more to learn. In my 30-plus years on this earth I have come to recognize a few things that would have helped in life if I had the maturity (or desire), [insert cringe face here] to look, listen and learn.
Let's start with the should-have, could-have, would-haves... just don't go there . Really it's not helpful to where you are, or where you are going.
Now, the list of things I wish I knew sooner could be miles long at this point, but I am going to share 12 things that I found important to my journey. I would also love for everyone who is reading this letter to sign up on our website and leave a comment under this Dear Wed about things you wish you knew earlier in life. I would love to hear from you!!
12 Things I Wish I Knew Earlier in Life
1. Pay attention to the Influencer's in your life (Parents, Family, Leaders, Teachers, ets..).
There is a wealth of wisdom that can be gained from just watching how people live.
2. Going to college does not automatically equal wealth.
Sad but true. How many people do you know making below $35,000 a year with a college degree??? You must also seek experience and opportunity, if you can't find it, make your own opportunity.
3. The fairy tale love story is not real, even if you think your story will break the mold.
Okay, I am not being a Debbie Downer here. There are some beautiful true love stories out there. However, at some point that story involved clashing, disagreement, and the general conflict that naturally occurs when you are getting to know someone new. All of these things are normal and healthy. The question is, do you want to commit your life to a fairy tale or something real?
4. No, you do not need to start dieting.
Point Blank Period. Diets are short term, if you need to learn about healthy eating then pursue knowledge in that area. If your eating issues are more severe and stem from underlying issues, then seek help for those things. Whatever you do, please do not subject yourself to short term results for a quick endorphin trip. DO it well, so that you will maintain your healthy lifestyle. Key word ... Healthy.
5. People, loved ones, friends will enter and exit your life and it's okay.
People will pass away, and friendships will morph or maybe even end. Not to be too gloomy here, but these transitions, while painful at times, are also a part of life and inevitable. Sometimes the ending of a relationship is the best thing that could have happened. Or maybe the relationship did not end but it went through a transformation process. Whatever the case, understand that life is full of transitions and we must learn to navigate them in a healthy way.
6. Adulting should not be looked at as menacing threat coming to steal your Soul.
I mean... I don't know about y'all but it feels good waking up in my own place, living under my own rules. If it takes paying bills to get that then I will just pay the darn bill!
7. Your craziest dreams do have the possibility of becoming reality so don't allow cynicism to creep in.
I am sure Facebook, Apple computers, Electric cars, space shuttles, disposable diapers, hair relaxers, non-dairy milk, I can go on... all sounded crazy before they were created.
So, in the words of Spanx creator Sara Blakely:
"To Me, Failure is NOT trying, rather than not succeeding". ~Sara B.
8. Genuine Humility will take you very far.
Let's define the word Humble:
Courtesy of thefreedictionary.com
Humble: Marked by meekness or modesty in behavior, attitude, or spirit: not arrogant or prideful; Showing deferential or submissive respect
What it does not say is, not recognizing your talents and gifts in order to make yourself feel better about your own insecurities. That is "false" humility.
Oops, did I say that!?
9. Sandpaper people can actually be great self-improvement tools.
Those people who clash with your personality, way of life, attitudes, etc.. We grow as we learn to work with People who are not like us. Comfort never caused anyone to grow.
10. Do not underestimate the wisdom of those who are younger and older than you, or those who have had different life experiences than you. Guess What? This may even include the sandpaper People!
11. Doing or purchasing nice things for yourself is not selfish or boastful.
By the way, if you enjoy nice things and have the means to get it, do not feel bad for spending the money you worked hard for to get something you want from time to time.
12. Inability to look at yourself and see areas of needed improvement is dangerous and can lead to unhealthy mindsets. Have you heard the Michael Jackson song: "Man in the Mirror"? You can't grow without recognizing that something needs to change.
*Bonus for the 99's and 2000's (some of y'all may not get that reference lol):
You only get one you, love you, cherish you, treat you like you would want someone to treat a loved one.
All of the wisdom nuggets both listed and unlisted start with that understanding. When you value yourself, motivation to pursue dreams, goals, better life, health will grow.
Ask yourself what you want and if your current actions and relationships are helping you get there?
For your reading pleasure, Here are three bonus “things I wish I knew earlier in life”
13. Sacrifice will not look the way you think (or hope) it will.
Sacrifice is NOT comfortable, if it was it would not be sacrifice. However, sacrifice often leads to bigger rewards.
14. Do not be afraid to Begin Again.
It really is okay to start over if that is where life is leading you. This may look different for everyone, maybe this looks like starting a new job, beginning a new way of eating or even moving to a new country. Beginnings can be beautiful, especially if it is leading you towards your purpose.
15. Take Risks!
I have heard many older people talk about what they wish they would have done in their younger years. While not every dream may come true, I believe we often miss out on living a full life by staying in a box.
And NO… I am not saying to take senseless, over the top ridiculous risks, however, I would rather takes risks and potentially fail then get to the end of my life with should have, could have, would have’s.
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This Dear Wednesday Letter was hand-crafted by AshleyMarcel an Administrative Guru, Public Health advocate, Graduate Student, Mentor, Motivator and Cultural Enthusiast. Ms. Marcel has worked closely with both men and women both domestically and abroad helping to build stronger communities and healthier people. She has worked in the administrative world for over five years and is currently studying public health research. Look out for Ms. Marcel, there is much more to come! You can find AshleyMarcel on social media @anwilli7 on IG.