advice to my younger self

I can honestly say that I am incredibly thankful for every experience of my life. From the good times where I felt like I was on top of the world to the bad times where I was sobbing so hard my body shook and I couldn’t bring myself to eat, and every little feeling and emotion in between. I would not be the person I am today if I had not experienced those things, and I honestly love the person I have become.

With all that being said, I have spent a copious amount of time trying to glean everything I can from my past experiences to not make the same mistakes again. And while I can’t change my past, I can learn from it.

I hope that you take these bits of advice that my Pop’s would call pearls of wisdom to heart, and learn from my mistakes so you don’t have to make them for yourself.

My first pearl of wisdom, is to stop caring what other people think about you.

I have really struggled with this, it wasn’t until my friend opened my eyes with what was probably some of the best advice I have ever been given.

Ok, imagine you have a one inch by one inch piece of paper. And on this paper holds the names of all the people who’s opinion truly matters to you, the people who you trust more than anything. Now the size of the font can change to fit as few or as many of your people that you have in your life. But on my paper, I only have about four people.

This tool has helped me to let go of what other people think or say about me. I have learned that you can still listen to other people’s opinion but you don’t have to take it to heart, you can just let what they think go. It has helped me to get my priorities straight. I no longer hold on to the snide remarks, or the unwarranted mean DM’s, or nasty glares.

If I had been able to grasp this concept earlier in life I would have saved myself so much heartbreak and tears.

My second pearl of wisdom is to be kind to everyone, even if especially if they are not kind to you.

Now I know that this is much easier to say than it is to actually do, trust me I know. I vividly remember being bullied in junior high and high school. I remember wanting to make them feel as bad as they made me feel. I’m not going to lie, I turned just as petty and catty as they were. I sunk to their level.

Now when someone isn’t kind to me, I try to remember that I am most likely not the source of their hurt and anger. That they are probably struggling with something else, and because of that, I try to be kind to them. You never know what someone else is struggling with behind closed doors.

My third pearl of wisdom is that love is not supposed be unbearably hard. Love is not supposed to make you question everything about yourself.

Relationships most definitely take work, and compromise. There will be fights, and you will probably be fuming with anger, but there should be more good times than bad. Please listen to me when I say it is not a healthy thought process when you are only staying with someone because “you have been through so much pain together”.

I am not saying to run at the first sign of conflict, but watch for red flags. Emotional abuse is real, and hard to escape. Listen to your people on your one inch paper, and listen to yourself if you ever catch yourself not wanting to tell them about one of your fights because you are worried about what they will say.

I was trapped in a toxic cycle of emotional abuse with the same guy from the age of 15. It was not all bad, and at one point I was genuinely happy with him, but it was still toxic. If I had only listened to my friends, and realized that love wasn’t supposed to be this hard I would have saved myself from so much trauma, tears, and unbelievable heartbreak.

My fourth pearl of wisdom is know your worth, and add a tax.

Having high standards is not a bad thing, people who love you will rise to meet those standards, and the ones who don’t aren’t worth your time. Now remember, having high standards does not mean be unwilling to compromise.

As soon as I raised my standards of how I expect people to treat me, I initially lost a few friends, but then I found that I kept meeting new people who have the same expectations as myself.

Like is drawn to like, and by having a good sense of self worth you will soon find that the people who surround you also value and love you and themselves.

My fifth and last pearl of wisdom, is to not take life so seriously.

Have fun, and make all the memories you can with the people you love because at the end of the day that’s what matters most. I imagine that when I look back at life I won’t think of how hard I worked at my job, but think of the times I laughed with my best friend so hard I was gasping for air and crying. I won’t think of the times that I fought with my brother, but the time my mom hid in the pantry and scared him. I won’t think about the disagreements with my family, but remember the time we almost missed our flight to Disneyland and we ran frantically through the airport and got to the terminal as everyone was boarding.

I hope that you enjoyed my pearls of wisdom, and that maybe you learned something as well.

I’ll see you next time,

Joce

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