10 Things I Would Tell My 22 Year-Old Self

  1. You will find love.  Don't worry about that.  For the next 10 years, approximately, figure yourself out.  Dance, travel, work, spend time in coffee houses, make art, make love, volunteer, play soccer, meditate, sky dive, knit, do yoga, host women's dinners, go to museums, cultivate friendships.  Date, definitely.  But, don't obsess over finding the right partner.  If you find the right partner before 10 years pass, that's totally fine.  But, don't make that the goal.  
  2. Once you figure out who you are, don't apologize for it.  You can't be someone else.  
  3. Deal with your health issues.  Get mentally and physically healthy.
  4. Learn healthy eating habits.  You might be able to gorge on pasta, bread and alcohol right now, but that will catch up to you.    
  5. Money is important.  If you want to make a difference in the world, that's fine, but, it is crucial that you also figure out how to earn a living.
  6. Don't settle on a career.  If you've effectively done item 1 above, then you are probably on your way to knowing who you are.  With that knowledge, and if you trust item 5, you should be well on your way to choosing a career which you will enjoy, and which will generate a sufficient livelihood.  
  7. Don't settle on a partner.  Evaluate any future life partner intently and compassionately.  Do they treat you well?  Are they kind?  Are they interesting?  Have they figured out how to make a living?  Do you share values?  Are they supportive of you?  Do they have longtime friends?  When you disagree with one another, as you inevitably will, do you do it in a constructive and kind way?  Choosing your life partner is likely the most important decision you will make.  
  8. Cultivate gratitude.  You are a lucky person.  Appreciate and acknowledge that.  
  9. Treat people with respect.  The world works in interesting ways.  The person you meet on Super Shuttle might have a cousin who is hiring in a field that you want to be in.  An ex-boyfriend of yours might end up being a doctor who treats a member of your family.  People might forget what you said, but they will not forget how they felt when they were with you.  
  10. Your family of origin might be bizarre.  Most are.  But, they are who you have.  Keep your connections strong with those in your family.  Call your mom and dad and tell them that you love them.  Spend time with them once a month or so. 
Jennifer P