Things I’d say to the 20-year old me

If I could travel through time and go back to meet myself when I was 20 years old, I’d pull myself aside, I’d sit me down and I’d tell myself: Hey, foolish girl, stop!  Stop for a minute, take a deep breath and just stop. And live. Live for yourself. You don’t need to prove anything to anyone. You are enough. You are enough just the way you are. Stop trying to be, to give, more than you are and more than you have.

Dream more! But don’t chase after every dream.

Oh, foolish girl, don’t you see you are losing yourself chasing after butterflies? They’re not dreams, they’re illusions. Yes, they’re beautiful, but their beauty hurts. It doesn’t last and it leaves you empty and torn.  Those butterflies won’t get you anywhere, because they aren’t going anywhere. They’re meant to stay like that and die like that: dramatic butterflies.

If I could travel in time and find the 20 year old me, I’d tell myself: stop trusting people so easily. Not everyone is what they seem to be. Don’t call them all friends. Don’t try so hard to win their hearts, you don’t need for all of them to love you, you don’t need for all of them to even like you. They don’t have to be many, they just need to be good. You don’t need them all, in order to be ok with yourself. YOU don’t need them. They don’t define you.

Be strong. Everything will be ok. Even though, before it will all be ok, it will be much worse.

Learn to be happy with what you have more often and learn to long for what you don’t have – less.

Be brave. Take chances.  You’re not that fragile. Take chances, you’ll be ok, even if you fail. Don’t be afraid to fail. It’s still better to take a chance and try than to never try at all. Take that step into the unknown just to see what’s waiting for you there. Don’t make plans based only on what you know for sure. Life might surprise you. Let it.

Don’t pay so much attention to details, stop overthinking every word people say. Don’t let them affect you, don’t let them define you. Nor the ones that praise you, nor the ones that hurt you. Let them bring you joy or pain for a while, then let them go. Let them wash away. They tell a story about the one who said them, more than they say it about you.

If I could talk to the 20 year old me, I’d say to myself that people that left scars in my soul had their own pains. Greater than mine. They had their own scars that needed healing. I’d make myself understand that people that hurt others, just because they can, have a deep unhealed wound that they carry with them and it doesn’t let them be whole, it doesn’t let them live. I’d tell myself to accept the fact that it’s not about me, it’s about them and their suffering.

If I could talk to the 20 year old me, right now, I’d tell myself, again and again, what my father used to tell me, I didn’t understand him then: The world isn’t how you want it to be. The world is how it is. And it doesn’t owe you anything. It was here first and it will be here still, long after you’re gone.

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