To My Twenty-year-old Self
You Are Not Moving Forward but Toward Unnecessary Heartache
(I take part in a writing group called, Five Minute Friday. Each Friday, writers are given a one-word prompt. We are to write on that topic for five minutes and post it unedited. The prompt for today is Twenty. )
What would I go back and tell 20-year-old me? Coming out of turbulent teen years and moving into adulthood was a time of uncertainty and insecurity. Scarce guidance and selfish advice left me confused. I did not even know who I was. If I could go back and speak to my younger self, here are some things I would say:
Don't Marry Him
If you have not met him already, you are about to. He seems driven and fun, but he will only disrespect and humiliate you. You will marry him because you are trying to make a stable life for yourself. Because you do not yet know what stability is, you need to find out before you grab the first shiny thing that comes along. Just wait. Build your savings, travel a little, work on your career. The right man is coming, but you will not find him where you are looking. Be patient for him. You have not met the right one yet, but he is not ready either. Work on yourself while you wait.
You are Beautiful
Other than the attention you get from men, you do not know that you are beautiful. One day, you will wish for the flaws you see now. You keep looking to change the things you are told are not beautiful; your dark hair, your freckles, your pot belly. You work out diligently at the gym and run several miles per day. You are below your goal weight, but you still are not happy. The wrong things are being pursued. Be grateful for what God has given you. It is a natural beauty. It will never come from a bottle or just the right amount of gym reps.
Take Care of Your Health
Your emotional eating will catch up with you. Remember that day when you were 16, and you first began eating emotionally? You did it out of loneliness and pain. You need to get hold of it and deal with your hurts and loneliness healthily. Get counseling to help you deal with the neglect, abandonment and abuse you have endured to this point. If you do not, it will stunt your emotional and spiritual growth and affect your relationships and your health.
Your Attitude Stinks
I get it. You hurt, and that hurt has turned to anger. You are constantly living in survival mode, which feels like a normal life. It is not. Find good, healthy people to surround yourself with but do not make them your heros. People will always disappoint you. You teach people how to treat you. If you want better treatment, stand firm in strong boundaries. You have never heard of this, but it is time you did. You act like you do not care when you push people away, but all you really want is love and acceptance. Set the boundaries.
You think you know Him, but you do not. Find a good church. It is not an easy task, but surrounding yourself with people who speak the truth in love is what you need. You are a child of God and it is time you live your life in the truth. You will never look back. Soften, allow God to love you. His love is not the same as an earthly father's love or lack thereof.