What I Know For Sure…Now: A Letter To My 21-Year-Old-Self

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Okay seriously, life is full of lessons whether you want to learn from them or not.  When you do learn, you expand your personal growth and development and make necessary changes so they don’t happen again.  If you don’t learn the life lessons, they will keep happening over and over until you do.  They won’t go away on their own.  That’s just the way it is…sigh.

No matter what age you are, something happened to you that affected your life and how you reacted to it changed you.  It didn’t kill you, it made you stronger.   But what if you could have a conversation with your younger self and give advice that would save you time and grief or give you confidence and perseverance in various areas of your life?  I know I’ve thought about this and I’d like to share what I know for sure… now.

Dear Jen,

You are 21 years young now and are studying very hard to become a nurse.  You have chosen a career path that is helpful and compassionate which aligns with who you are and your core values in life. Yes studying is hard, working in the hospital is hard but never give up because you are on the right path; you’ve got this.  Know that every day you will touch a life or a life will touch yours, this is the beauty in nursing.

What if I told you when you graduate you will move to another country to work and travel?  Not just once but twice. Nursing can open many doors for you and later on there is another big opportunity coming up that you cannot say no to, in Qatar.

Don’t always expect to be acknowledged and appreciated for all the hard work you do, people are tired and busy in their own worlds but in your heart, just know you are doing your best and in the end, you will be rewarded by Him.  Know your own self-worth because if you think you are cheap, people will see and treat you as cheap. Try not to control every outcome, just relax and enjoy the ride because you have so much ahead of you, a world of experiences that will blow your mind!

Life Coaching is in your future which is another beautiful helping profession and by walking this path, you learn so much about yourself in the process and it’s an automatic win-win for you and your clients. You will be so inspired, you will really love this but it takes work to get it going.  Don’t give up.

Relationships are complicated but a very big part of your life Jen.  Friendships are to be treasured and respected by both sides otherwise, it’s not worth it.  Everywhere you go, you will meet new friends and connect well with them for life because of who you are.  You have many amazing friends who inspire you so hang on tight they are your rocks during your toughest moments.   Don’t forget to be there for them too and love them with all your heart.  Sadly, one of your closest friends will be diagnosed with cancer and cannot beat it.  However, having known her, changes your perspective on life for the better because you learn to appreciate the little things, slow down and look within yourself for answers to life’s complicated questions.  You have all the solutions inside you, just dig deep because they’re all there.  You feel a deep sense of gratitude for having known her and you miss her.

Family is another important part of your life and you need to show your appreciation for everything they do for you.  Nobody’s perfect and everyone is doing the best they can, just like you Jen.  Perfection is a dangerous thing and not even possible so let it go.  Imperfections are what make people beautiful including you.  It all depends on your perspective, try to look at them as your gifts.  Your entire family loves you unconditionally, you love them too and you get along with everyone.

Ah, romance, romance.  You have met some really nice guys that showed interest in you so far and you have been interested in some of them.   But Jen, you need to have more self-confidence you need to love yourself more.  Learn how to be assertive and stand up to the ones who don’t treat you right and hold hands with the ones who do.  Don’t get blindsided by flattery, take it for what it is which is sweet.  Not every guy will understand your kind heart but that’s ok, it’s not your job to convince him of it.  Never let the good guy get away, easier said than done.  Romantic involvement is complex and fleeting.  Don’t settle for someone, make sure your man adores you, protects you, makes time for you, has the same values as you, has your back on everything and knows how to use a hammer!  This will save you a ton of frustration…

What you really want is someone who makes you smile, is proud of you, supports you and inspires you, is emotionally there for you and treats you like his queen.  Not a man who drains you or takes advantage of your good nature or abandons you.  He will love you with his whole heart by making you his number one priority and not let his external environment control how he feels or acts around you.

He must know his own core values and who he truly is on the inside otherwise he is a chameleon adjusting to every external environment, not a man.

If you are looking for a chameleon, go to Costa Rica.

Make sure he never interrupts you or puts you down in front of other people; he should be singing your praises instead.  You are a fine catch young lady and never forget that!  😉

You put everyone’s needs ahead of your own and deep down, you want your needs met too and why not?  People pleasing and putting yourself last is killing you without you even realizing it.  You need to take better care of yourself so you have the ability to take care of others.  Everywhere you go you are a caretaker.  Learn to set some boundaries for yourself otherwise people will walk all over you as if you were a doormat.  “No” is a complete sentence, remember that my love.  And whatever you do, don’t let the opinions of others influence you to the point of doing nothing.  You’re better than that.

Be very mindful of selfish people and narcissists in your life.  They are your biggest threat because they give subtle red flags and are very good at charming you.  Take off those rose colored glasses so you can actually see the color red.  They are only interested in themselves so don’t kid yourself into thinking they have something to offer you.  They are takers and you are a giver so you are vulnerable in this situation.  Be very, very careful.

I know you can’t see it now but your heart of gold will fall in love with one man and two children over the years.  Unfortunately heartbreak is in your future but this tragedy has its silver lining.  You experience two sides of the same coin but you are a trooper, a real warrior.  Facing these various betrayals are the biggest stressors you will go through but it’s not what happens to us in life that determines who we are, it’s how we cope and react to it that counts and you have excellent coping skills.  Like grace under fire. You are not a victim so don’t play that role, ever.  You might feel like you are all alone in this but you’re not.  You are stronger than you realize and you have God in your corner.  This is a time for self-compassion and practicing self-care, finally.  You have put this off long enough Jen so time to pay attention to yourself.  It’s self-discovery time.  Be a good example for your kids because they are always watching and taking notes.  Learn the lessons here and don’t worry so much, everything is going to be okay.

You really need a vacation, you should plan one.

Writing blogs for you is a positive emotional outlet and an incredibly important way of dealing with stress because getting your emotions out on paper or a screen is cathartic.  A wonderful healing tool for all.  Not only are you helping yourself but also helping others by letting them know we are all in this together, nobody is alone.  An amazing world of bloggers is out there and each person has something beautiful to offer, appreciate each and every one of them from your heart because they are probably fighting a battle of their own you know nothing about.  You learn to write your way out of this betrayal and when writing the story of your life Jen, don’t let anyone else hold the pen, own it.  You get to write your own ending.  On the other side of this fear is freedom so hang in there, you’re doing great.  You are finding your inner voice and are finally starting to use it.  Better late than never girl!

Exercise has always been a priority in your life but during this time you must keep moving more than ever.  The physical, mental, emotional and spiritual benefits are endless.  Exercise helps to get the negative energy out, clear your mind, release those endorphins and make you feel empowered again.  You meet more friends along the way who support you and you can’t imagine your life without them because they are just so fun to be with!  You learn new activities like Zumba and PiYo which you even become addicted to!

As you make your way through the pain with your kids, your vision becomes clearer and you slowly get your strength back, thanks to your family and friends here and all around the world.  Connection has empowered you to stand up for what you believe in and fight for your rights my little warrior.  You are getting to know and love yourself more and more each and every day, the butterfly is emerging.  One of the greatest lessons you can learn is to practice gratitude, forgiveness and surrender.  These are the silver linings in the dark clouds.  You will make it to the other side Jen, you are almost there so don’t give up now.  Music and lyrics inspire you and give you energy.  There’s one song that’s about standing for something and getting stronger which is exactly what you need right now.  You need to stand for you.  Share this song with your amazing friends and in the meantime…ROAR!

To be continued in another 20 years….

And this is what I know for sure….now.

Love,

Jen
xo

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60 thoughts on “What I Know For Sure…Now: A Letter To My 21-Year-Old-Self

  1. thank you for sharing , a lovely post and one which makes me think. So many great things happen in our lives but often can dwell on those things that at the time take you to difficult places in your life. Reflecting on what we have learned along the way is a positive experience and would we do anything differently if we could do it all again? Probably not its what has made us who we are are. However, my one piece of advice to myself is “love youself for who you are”. Thank you again it definitely provided me with food for thought x

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you so much Julie for your beautiful comments. I agree with you on so many levels especially the part about loving yourself for who you are. This was quite an experience for me to write this blog but it also helped me along the way. I’m happy to hear it helped you too. ❤

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  2. Thank you for this lovely post. I relate to it very much. Unfortunately what I find myself really wanting to do to my 21-year-old self is smack her and shout, “Are you stupid?” Maybe forgiveness will come and in time I will be able to write such gentle words to my former self as you have to yours.

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    • 🙂 Thank you Amy for your comments! I agree with you, I think we could all say “Are you stupid?” to our younger selves to some extent. 😉 Thank you for stopping by and reading

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  3. hey, I am a student of dentisry, i could relate with your nursing profession. Also I am going through a break up and have my birthday in a week. I keep telling myself life has more to offer. But this really hits the note. Thank you for sharing this.

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  4. Thank you for this post. I just turned 20 last week, and this was relevant in more ways than I can count. Thank you so much for sharing again 🙂

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  5. I really love your blog post Jennifer. Very thought provoking, clear and to the point. I love how creative and clear you are with your writing. I love your idea of writing to yourself from your 20 year old self. I will definitely borrow your idea when I want to write a letter to my 20 year old self to see and learn how much I have grown throughout my life. I can tell that you are a very well thought out spirit, and it sounds like you have been here on earth many reincarnations. You trust your spirit and higher self to get through many things in life. I love your writing as much as you love my work. I have reciprocated love that you have reciprocated to me. Keep blogging and channeling your divine knowledge from the spiritual realm because many people will be learning from your life experiences and they can use your knowledge and wisdom to help live their lives better. I definitely have learned a lot from just this blog alone. I already know each blog post that you have written contains much knowledge and wisdom to be learned from. Nice to know your wonderful spirit.

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    • Jabari, first I would like to thank you very much for your insight and beautiful comments you made about me and my blog. I tend to write for myself to help me cope with different aspects in my life and if it helps another person, then I am very grateful for that. There are many life topics we all deal with from time to time and writing about it makes us all feel that much more connected to one another. Especially here on WordPress. Therefore, we are never alone even though it may feel that way sometimes. When I wrote this blog, it was the hardest one I’ve written up to this point and the response has been positive. I really appreciate your open mind and open heart. Very nice to know your wonderful spirit too.

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  6. Wow.. Those were some insightful pieces of advises. You wrote that beautifully and brought the message home. I totally agree with the view that we need to learn from our mistakes and let them perish as a lesson. Unless we won’t the mistakes would keep on happening again and again …so We need to infuse our life with action and focus on being happy and improvising- always 🙂

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  7. This is absolutely amazing Jen.. you’ve done a wonderful job with this n with your life.. you’ve influenced others.. motivated others and you’ve loved with all your heart.. always stay blessed Love.. The Angels are watching over you.. : )

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  8. This is a beautiful letter 🙂 there are certain things we can’t avoid ..like falling in love and being unsuccessful in it 😦 but life is all about getting out of it and realizing our true worth 🙂 I loved the song 🙂 Beautiful video 🙂

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  9. What a brilliant point when you talked about self worth. People will call us cheap if we don’t value ourselves. This might sound harsh but is true.
    Loving oneself is important, maybe one of the most important thing there is. I might be the last person to talk and know about love but you were write with every word you wrote.
    As I made points and notes while reading this wonderful detailed piece, I loved this one-
    Bloggers battle- Everyone here has a battle to fight and that makes us all unique, I today by reading this article of yours learned so much.

    I am glad I read this. I learned today. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jafar, I am so overwhelmed with happiness that you found it this helpful. I think the main points are that nobody’s perfect and we need to trust and love ourselves first so we can do that with others. At 21 it’s easier said than done but looking back, that’s what I would tell every young 20-something guy/girl. I will attempt to do a future letter like you said in your blog post and it will be interesting to read it years from now to see how accurate it might be 😉 The nice thing about blogging is that we all learn from each other, no one is better than anyone else and that’s something worth hanging onto. Many thanks to you for reading my post and making such an uplifting comment. 🙂 Have a great week ahead

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