"Just as a snake sheds its skin, we must shed our past over and over again"
~ Jack Kornfield
Younger me feels like a different lifetime ago. So many layers of skin shed that it's hard to believe I was once a 20 year old party-girl who was barely dressed and rarely sober.
These days I'm doing well to stay up past 10pm ... and they don't allow 3 year olds and 1 year olds in clubs so my Saturday nights are spent on the sofa with a Diet Coke.
Whilst some of the details of my wilder days might be hazy (thanks in no small part to double vodka red bulls) I do remember the feelings I carried around with me at that age. The self-doubt and the 'not enough-ness'. The niggles that are hard to shake off even with the most thorough shedding and shape shifting.
Time and experience have left me a lot more comfortable in my skin and for past me there are some wise words she could do with hearing.
Know Your Worth
I wish I could go back and scream this at young me over and over again. I look back at all the times I let people treat me like shit, the relationships I should have had the guts to walk away from, and the complete lack of self worth that I pinballed through life with, and I just wish I had realised in my teens and twenties what seems quite obvious now - I am worthy of love, of respect and being treated with kindness.
You Are Not A Number
To be fair, this one is still a work in progress. But I can look back on every photo of me in the last decade and tell you within a few lbs how much I weighed, what dress size I wore, how happy I was with how I looked on a scale of 1-10...
Young me, thirty-something me and the me to come needs to remember that, at the end of the day, the numbers are not important.
No Is A Complete Sentence
Only recently, with little ones of my own, have I begun to really find my voice for saying 'No'.
I'm a people-pleaser and it can make me feel physically sick and hugely anxious when I start implementing boundaries. I wish twenty year old me had known how important it is to decline what's not for you - the more you say it, the easier it gets after all - so by now I could have been a pro. (At least I have bountiful boundaries to look forward to by the time I reach 40!)
You're Braver Than You Realise
Sometimes bravery is a bit sneaky and doesn't look like it does in films. Courage to move away from the city you grew up in, the self-confidence to speak in front of crowds, cutting ties with people who don't treat you well, working on making yourself a better, happier you - they're all pretty heroic. Don't forget all you've achieved, younger me!
Life can be a bit of a bitch. Along with all the great stuff there will be curve balls, drama, the days that feel insurmountable. You'll get through it all.
It's ok to be a bit scared, ok to feel a full spectrum of emotions, ok to not quite know what you're doing. But you've got this.
Lastly, you shouldn't wait until you're 28 to start drinking coffee. It's a game changer.
What would you tell your younger self?