Part of you believes youth has passed and the fun is over. But whoever told you that school years are the best lied to you. The best years are now.
The awkward, insecure teenager has grown into a confident woman. You can do anything. Be anything. It’s up to you, and only you.
You didn’t have the freedom or confidence when you were younger. You have that now, along with your own money and your own identity.
You also have opportunities that won’t last. They may be gone sooner than you think. When your friend shows up on a whim and asks you to take a road trip across several states—or countries—do it. Don’t hesitate. It’s great that you take your responsibilities seriously, and that will pay off. But ten years from now, you won’t remember the tests that you stayed home to study for. And your employer won’t remember the trips you missed so that you wouldn’t miss your shift.
Cherish your friends. They will marry and move, and some will die, sooner than you think.
Don’t wait for permission, or even company, when you want to do something. Do you want to climb a mountain, or get a different degree, or learn to play a new sport, or travel to South Africa? Do it now. As time passes, it may become harder.
The young, good looking man from the gym may never approach you. If you want to have coffee with him, ask him. There’s a good chance that, no matter how cool he acts, he will be thrilled to say yes. And remember, if he says no, then he is an idiot, and you didn’t want to have coffee with him anyway.
No boy, or man, deserves you. Never settle for anyone who doesn’t exceed your standards. Remember—when you commit to someone, you are trading part of your identity and freedom for whatever it is they have to offer. Make sure it’s a good trade. And make sure they love you at least as much as your dad does.
Also, run from anyone who isn’t confident enough to allow you to keep your freedom and friends. And if you tell him once that you aren’t interested but he is persistent, that’s not cute or endearing; it’s creepy.
Never stop being you for someone else.
Don’t lose your creativity. Don’t stay in a job that stifles you. Do something you enjoy, even if it doesn’t pay as much. Forty hours a week for thirty years is a big chunk of life.
You are young, and you will be young for many more years—even decades. Take care of yourself now. Stay active doing whatever you enjoy, and always eat lots of good food. Eat to be strong and awesome. Never starve yourself to be skinny and weak. Strong people aren’t easy targets–not for predators or sicknesses. No one else will take care of your physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual health but you. Make them all priorities.
And though I’m telling you that opportunities will pass, never believe they have passed. Never decide you’ve gotten too old to do anything that you want to do, because chances are, you haven’t.
Live now, so that you don’t look back in twenty years and regret the things you didn’t do. And continue to live wisely, so that you don’t look back and regret the things you did.
You are more awesome than you realize. Don’t ever let fear, or anything else, hold you back.
You are young, healthy, brilliant, and beautiful; the world is waiting for you.