Dear a-little-bit-lost, a-little-bit-heartbroken, 27-year-old self,
Happy Birthday. I wanted to write this letter to remember what it felt like to be 27. The wise old age of what you thought was the year where you knew a lot, when in reality didn’t know much at all.
Here are some lessons you wish you knew a year ago when you started this year off, but are fairly happy you didn’t know them, because it’s just that much more fun to figure it out along the way.
1) He is out there. You don’t have to change who you are to find him. You don’t have to be someone who you are not. You can focus on building a business with intention, you should focus on finding the time to be by yourself, to focus on your family, your health, giving back, and then he will be there. He is not the guy who you will change. Those guys don’t want to be with you. Stop making excuses that romance does not exist and that guys don’t want to take girls on dates anymore, the right one will love you for exactly who you are and inspire you to be your biggest self. Keep being you, he will turn up right around the time you are 28.
2) Not everyone is your friend and that is quite okay. You are no longer in middle school. You do not need everyone to love you, and you do not need to be everyone’s best friend. You do not need to worry about birthday parties, social calendars, the more people who tell you they are your best friend the first minute they meet you, the more cognizant you have to be of who you are actually spending your time with. People will talk about you behind you’re back because they are in their own messes, people will love you because you remind them of the things they love about themselves. You can’t be everything to everyone else but you can be good, kind, and intentional. Sometimes being good is not the easy way out. Sometimes being good and doing the right thing is hard and creates enemies. Those enemies don’t matter, and neither do those who are your fake best friends because they want something. Be you, and always be kind to everyone, even those who think they don’t like you. Be compassionate knowing they may not like themselves that much either.
3) Still dream. Don’t be so jaded about the day-to-day work details. Don’t be too fearful to remember why you are doing what you are doing. Don’t be too taken down by the adult decisions that are now inundating your life. Don’t be overwhelmed by payroll, rent, health care — minute details that in the grand scheme of life are just that, details. Remember you created this life for yourself, and every day is a new possibility to see the world as a place where you can dream big, and help others see their dreams.
4) Be humble. Always remember you did not get to where you are alone. You got to where you are because of hard work. Ridiculously hard work. People took chances on you. People trained you. People accepted your mistakes, people believed in you. People saw through your rushing around, faster than lightning behavior, and they wanted to see more of you. You are lucky to have so many people in your life who care about you and want you to succeed.
5) Be grateful. In your heart, thank those who have wronged you because they have not done anything to you, but for you. They have opened up things inside you, which have helped you grow into someone who is stronger. Be grateful for all of the things you have always hated about yourself and recognize they are now things you have learned to love and appreciate. Be grateful for the life experiences that have paved the way for you to know who you are and who you are not.
6) Be kind. To yourself. To your family. To your friends. Spend 80 percent of your time with 20 percent of the people that matter most to you, and vice versa. When you are kind, you are remembered, you do not need to be everywhere, you can be at the places you feel are important to you and when you are wherever you are, be kind to everyone, no matter how they are to you.
7) Work on yourself harder than you work on your business. Don’t forget about you — about where you are going, about how you got here, and just remember you probably will be reminding yourself how little you knew when you were 28 a year from now, so don’t be so hard on yourself.