11 Things I would have Told My 20-Something Self

Posted at 4:57 pm on 08/11/2015 by Jill Robbins

Although I still haven't decided how I feel about this next milestone birthday, the big 5-0 that is looming has caused me to get a little nostalgic. Here are 11 things I would have told my 20-something self:

It's okay to not have your shit together

There will be a few times in your life when you think you do ... but you really won't. You will have your moments when you feel like an adult ... but most of the time you won't ... and that's okay.

Today, I might give the illusion that I have this whole grownup thing down. Totally faking it.

You don't want to be with someone that doesn't want to be with you

I wallowed over more so-called broken hearts in my twenties than I care to admit. Okay, maybe I'd admit it if I could remember ... but it was a lot, people. I wish I could tell younger me not to waste time and mascara wallowing over someone who didn't 110 percent want to be with me. I went through my "I like bad boys" phase and until I stopped chasing after emotionally unavailable assholes or guys that just couldn't let go of the ex, I was usually moping over somebody who just wasn't that into me.

Hangovers will hurt like hell when you get older

Go ahead and get those purple hooter shooter things, beer bongs and body shots out of your system now. If you attempt that sort of foolery after a certain age, you'll wake up feeling like the Macy's Day Thanksgiving Parade is marching through your head. Or, so I've heard.

Your brunette friends with the savage tans are going to have wrinkles and sunspots before they're 30

Keep using that sunscreen and rock your pasty white legs, girl. Laugh lines are not funny ... I don't care what anyone says ... and you'll have less of them if you remember that SPF is your friend. Your really good friend. See also floppy hats and Jackie O sunglasses.

Learn to say what you think in times of confrontation

Passive-aggressive or whiny might come second nature but that's not going to do much for you. For example: "I need you to do the dishes once in a while" versus flinging pans and silverware around the kitchen in that "look at meeee, I'm cleaning up your crap" kind of way.

Wait, that's actually a bad example because I'm still working on that one, but you catch my drift.

Always have a plan B

I'm not saying spend your life what-iffing but stop to think about what you might do if things don't work out. This has nothing to do with a lack of optimism but having some sort of idea of which direction to go when life throws you a wrench will come in handy.

Choose your friends wisely and don't neglect them

Life is too precious to hang with jealous bitches or users. If you find yourself yoked to a toxic friend, cut ties. It might be painful but some friendships aren't meant to -- and shouldn't -- last forever. But when you make those good as gold friends, treat them like the treasure they are. You know the ones. They'll hold your hair while you puke and hold your hand when you cry ... and anything else that needs holding along the way. As we roll through life, our needs and priorities change...jobs, relationships and kids can all cause us to put our friendships on the back burner. Most of the time, that really good friend will understand, but make that relationship a priority, too.

Don't waste your time looking for Mr. Right

Things have a way of sneaking up on you when you least expect them to. Besides, Mr. Right Now can be a hell of a lot of fun, too.

Learn to be good with money

Living within your means, balancing your checkbook and basic investing are not rocket science. It's not cute to be the girl with the $300 bag that scrounges for gas money in the sofa cushions.

Choose your words wisely

Ask yourself if something is necessary, true or kind before you let it fly out of your mouth. It's easy to apologize but the phrase "time heals all" isn't always true. And ditch the phrase "brutally honest" because that's just an excuse to be a douchebag under the guise of bluntness and it's usually not productive.

Be spontaneous, but...

Some things are fun to do on a whim, like taking a vacation or changing your hairstyle but there are certain things you shouldn't do on a whim, like get married, get a tattoo of a semi-automatic weapon on your back, or get a dog. It's up to you to figure out what you might need to sleep on.

Sometimes, happiness is a choice and sometimes you find what you're looking for. Look for the good. There's enough bad stuff that worms its way into our lives, right? Bring it, 49. I'm ready for you. I'll worry about 50 next year...

Jill Robbins writes about motherhood, midlife and adoption on her blog, Ripped Jeans and Bifocals.

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