What I would tell my 18 year-old self


photo by Alcy Sivyer

I remember graduating from high school almost as though it was only a few years ago, not a decade ago. When I was 18, I felt very lost.

I had no idea what I was doing in life, my career because I hated school and, secretly, had little hope that I would survive in the ‘real world’. Which, gave me anxiety because the worst thing in the world is not being able to survive.

Clearly I did survive! Being a young adult has been challenging but great. But, I wish I had been told the following things:

1. Believe in yourself.

I know that it is difficult to believe in yourself but if you don’t, who else will? People trust and hire confident people. Give yourself a leap forward in life by supporting and believing in yourself, it makes life easier.

2. Set boundaries of respect for yourself.

Right now, I see that people in your life treat you however they want to and you don’t know how to tell people to treat you with respect. First, start with respecting yourself and you will notice that most people will follow suit. Also, don’t be afraid to communicate to someone if you feel they have disrespected you. I truly believe that most people are unaware of how they behave and, in Maya Angelou’s words, ‘When people know better, they do better’.

3. Forgive!

Forgiveness is so important. Hali, there is no point in holding onto what that girl, Claire said to you, she will forget and you will be stuck holding onto negativity and stress within your body. That’s the biggest problem with unforgiveness, most of time, the person who has done wrong has no idea and we hold onto anger for something that can just be let go of. Your life belongs to you, not those who have done you wrong or hurt you.

4. You don’t have to prove that you are lovable, you just are.

You are about to go through three long-term relationships where your biggest lesson is to learn that you are lovable- you don’t need to convince others that you are. As a woman, you have been told that you are only worth being loved at a certain weight, with a certain hair colour and if you can be a good ‘wife’. But, Hali, all of that is a lie. You were made from love, The Universe’s love, and therefore, you are an expression of it. No matter what you look like, you are already worthy of love.

5. There is enough to go around.

Contrary to what you have been told, there is enough to go around. There is enough money, enough men, enough water, enough food and enough anything to let go of the need to compete with your fellow humans to get what you need, particularly fellow females. When you see another woman doing well, let it inspire you. Use her well-doing to motivate you. If she is able to achieve, so are you. Live life to life others up, not push them down.

Or, maybe learning them was part of my experience. So, I am grateful for the process that lead me to learn from them.