Things I Wish I Knew 10 (ish) Years Ago
Since my birthday is next month (August 2nd, btw... gifts can be delivered to my doorstep), I thought I’d go back in time a little and write about some things I wish I knew 10 years ago. Hindsight is 20/20, am I right? I was a newly graduated (from college) almost-23-year-old with a boyfriend who she already knew she was going to marry. I was also insecure and walking around with depression and anxiety without even knowing it. Here are some things I wish I knew that definitely help knowing now:
YOU ARE NOT FAT. Can we collectively shout this from the rooftops?? I know I'm not alone here. Regardless of actual size or weight, I wish I was able to appreciate my body for what it was then. I’m still on a very long journey to self-acceptance when it comes to body image, as I think we all are on some level, but I’ve been able to move past hiding behind baggy clothes and trying to be inconspicuous because I couldn’t come to terms with my own size or image. I think much of that now has to do with making more of an effort to be in the present more. I weigh a lot more than I did back then, but I've also carried two babies in that time. I have run several 5k's. I've discovered a love for yoga. I still find myself trying to stay away from the camera lens. But, I have realized that by not being in pictures, it’s like I’m trying to erase myself and the experiences I’m having right now. This is who I am today, and life doesn’t stop just because I am working to accept myself.
That guy you’re dating really is as special as you think. I was about 8 months into dating Mark, my now-husband. I had met most of his family by that summer, but I remember going to Wildwood for the weekend with them, and his cousin telling me what a change she saw in him. “I’ve known him my whole life, but somehow I know him so much better in the last week than I ever did. He’s involved in more conversations on the beach, cracking more jokes, talking about the books he’s reading. You really bring out the best in him.” That’s always stuck with me, because all that time I had found it so amazing that he brought out all MY best traits. To hear that I was reciprocating just made my heart burst.
The corporate ladder is so overrated. When I was fresh out of college, I thought the way to prove my worth in this world was by getting promoted and being the boss of everyone around me. Sure, there’s something to be said about that, but the work is a whole lot more rewarding when you find something you’re passionate enough about that the climb doesn’t seem so daunting. And, quite frankly, there is way more to life than just your job. There are your friends, your family, your home, your pets, your hobbies, how you treat others, even! Your life shouldn’t revolve around any one single thing or person, ever.
Trust your instincts and seek help when you feel you need it. Ah, mental illness. Everyone’s favorite topic of conversation. I went around for most of my adult life thinking my actual symptoms of depression and anxiety were normal and that everyone thought the way I did. Turns out that ruminating thoughts and irrational paranoia are NOT normal, and finding a good therapist and a medicine/dosage that works for me has truly been life changing. Also, daily meditation. I get giddy when it’s time to strap on my headphones and tune in to my Headspace app every day.
While you are in Vegas in the spring of '07, you should DEFINITELY place a bet that the '08 Phillies will win the world series… Guys, it really seemed like a long shot at the time, okay??