If I Knew Better


As I was reading my dear friend Amber's post about shit she wish she would've known way back when, I was inspired to write about all the things I wish I knew. I've always wanted to do this but I felt like at 24, I probably still have more living to do. But hey, I've experienced things that if I can go back in time and change, there's a strong possibility I would.  But then again, I'm not sure because I wouldn't be where I am today if those experiences hadn't occurred.

So here's what I would tell my 17/18 year old self if I knew what I know now:

Stay in New York & Take Your Ass To CUNY York & Find Your Footing From There
Fun fact: I received a scholarship to attend York college and like the stubborn, spoiled brat that I was, I turned it down. I had my heart set on going out of state for college. But I wasn't aware nor did I do the full research of how much it would cost me to go to school out of state, especially with no scholarship involved. Looking back, I do wish I would've accepted that scholarship and went to York because between that and federal grants, I wouldn't be Sallie Mae's bitch right now. I would definitely tell myself to go to a school I can afford. I learned the hard way but made up for it later.

It's Okay To Change Your Mind
I'm very indecisive. Back when I was 18, I wanted to study international business and be a top CEO somewhere. Almost 7 years later, I have a History degree, currently working on a Master's in counseling, and have an entire new career path that doesn't even coincide with any of those degrees. But such is life. However, the people in my life gave me such a hard time about changing my mind every couple of months. Truth be told, I was just trying to find myself and figure out who I was.

Be True to Who You Are & Do What's Best For You
Piggy backing off the previous one, between the ages of 18-21, hell even recently, I've been trying to find myself. But who I am has been with me all along. I just never embraced it out insecurity. I spent my life doing what I was told and what was expected of me. I was never that outspoken kid. I was quiet and to myself and did what I was asked. That carried on into my college years, the time of my life in which I had a choice to do and become who I wanted to be. Unfortunately, I didn't accept/become who I wanted to be until a few months ago.

Stop Messing With Fuck Boys
Excuse my French but this is necessary. This is definitely the exact phrase I would tell myself if I were able to go back in time. I wasted so much precious time on boys who were not worth it. But I didn't know my worth back then. I gave it up freely hoping that it would lead somewhere. Oh and it did: heartbreak. I was searching for love in all the wrong places when it was right inside of me all along. But I didn't see it then. My eyes are open now.

He's Not The One & Never Will Be
There was a guy in my life that I thought was going to be my husband. We dated, fell in and out of love, and had a rocky on and off relationship for 8 years. Well, I finally got off the roller coaster but it wasn't by choice. However, it was time. It was necessary. If I could go back, I would tell myself that no matter how much I may love him, he is who he is and he will not change for me; when he calls you senior year -- don't entertain it. The signs were there for YEARS. But I was young and dumb. I was stupid in love. I thought he was my forever, after all was said and done but he was just temporary. I still believe that we're soul mates but we're just not meant to be together like I had believed.

Do What You Love & Stop Pleasing Others
I struggled with choosing a career because I wanted something stable. I wanted something that will pay my bills. I wanted something that would make my family happy. But you know why I stayed in college so long? Because I was miserable with the choices I was making. My choices were not made with my heart. They were made with people in my ear claiming they know what's best. But I internally suffered. I'm happy those days are over and I'm on what I believe is the right career path for me.

Not Every Friendship Will Last Forever
Sad but true. If you've read my previous post, you'll know that I love friendships. Yet I struggled to maintain them. But I am coming to terms with that sometimes friends are only seasonal. Not everyone's meant to grow and continue the journey with you. Not everyone will be a lifetime friend. And that's okay, I guess (still struggling obviously). Take what you've learned from the friendship and move on.

Learn To Say No and Remember It Is A Complete Sentence
I have to be honest. I am a real people pleaser. It wasn't until recently I learned that it is okay and that it is a complete sentence. If I could go back in time, I would tell myself that it is okay to say no and perhaps I should say it more often. Try not to let persuasion and potential guilt trips get the best of you. Anyone who uses that on you does not truly about your care about your feelings. You don't have to explain yourself to anyone unless they actually matter to you. Saying yes won't make people like you. It's either they do or they don't regardless of what you can do for them. Saying yes to everything to the things you don't want will only hurt you in the end. 

Love Yourself
I did not start loving myself until a year ago. And though it's still a process, I'm getting better. If I had any of the love I have for myself now back then, I probably would've avoided a lot toxic situations. But self love and healing is a continous process. Each day, I love myself a little more and remember the love of God.


Be blessed & prosper,
Soleil

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