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Happy Birthday ? 19 things to tell 19 yr old me

Today I turn 29. It’s been 10 years since I graduated high school. 10 years since I was a freshman in college. 10 years since I got my tattoo. 10 years since I blew most of my graduation money on Betsey Johnson jewelry. 10 years since the one and only time I lied to my parents about my whereabouts. 1 0 y e a r s.

In the last 10 years, I’ve learned some things that I wish 19-year-old me would have known. That SOMEONE, anyone would have told me way back then. Maybe they wouldn’t have made a huge difference in my life, but maybe I wouldn’t have had to make things so hard for myself. So here we go, all 19 things I wish I would have known in 2009 (and beyond).

  1. DO NOT WASTE ALL YOUR MONEY ON MAKEUP. Seriously. Did you know makeup expires? It does. most of it in 6-12 months. You literally spend so much money on makeup that you could have gone on a road trip every month and visited so many cool places. But what did you do? You spend it all on makeup that 29 yr old you just threw in the trash.
  2. Wash. Your. Face. You would have fantastic glowing skin that doesn’t need layers upon layers of expensive, crappy makeup if you would just get off your lazy butt and wash it. Speaking of lazy butts….
  3. When your friends ask you to go for a run or go to Zumba class, do it. It will suck for a while but 29-year-old you ( heck 25-year-old you) really wishes you learned how to enjoy it when you could have been doing it with friends. Don’t pretend to be sleeping when they come knocking on your dorm door to make you go with them. ( Sorry Alex.)
  4. There will come a time when you realize that you truly suck at college. And you’ll have this whole plan figured out to get a job and work full time until you figure out what to do with yourself. Do it. Don’t be scared of what Dad will think. He will actually thank you eventually for not wasting all of his money on school that you suck at. You learn by best by doing things, not sitting in a lecture hall.
  5. Oh, biggest miserable choice alert – DUMP HIM. We need to talk about this for real. If a guy won’t take you out on a real date, dump him. If you have the slightest suspicion that he is two-timing you with the girl down the hall, dump him. If he makes you feel less than special and worthy, dump him. If you have a big event in your life and to celebrate he makes you pay all the bills, dump him. And for the love of all things, when he calls you horrible names, isolates you from your friends, and makes you feel worthless, DUMP HIM. Stop worrying about HIS feelings. You don’t owe him anything – not an explanation, not an apology, not a second /third/ fourth chance. Just DUMP HIM.
  6. You still love your tattoo. You still want more. Maybe if you hadn’t spent so much money on makeup you would have more. (Yup, went there.)
  7. Do not live with your friend from high school. To this day, I don’t know what went wrong or what you did to upset her, but she is not worth the amount of time you have spent wondering what happened to her.
  8. Stop avoiding people from high school that you see at college. They will become important to you when you are an adult but it will be hard to bridge those years apart. ( Also, go to your class reunions – donโ€™t be scared. Youโ€™ll have a good time, promise ๐Ÿ˜‰ )
  9. YOU ARE NOT AN ADULT YET. Just stop and listen to me. You literally have no major responsibilities and you have no idea how easy you have it.
  10. You have anxiety and depression. Do not cope with this by sleeping through classes and drinking and making other miserable choices. Go get some help.
  11. Stop being so scared of doing things by yourself. By the time you realize its okay to go to lunch or a movie alone, you’ll never be alone again.
  12. Go home and visit your family. Your little sisters and brother are going to grow up without you being there. You are going to miss a lot of stuff and it’s your own fault for not being available. I promise you that hanging out with these “Friends” you are making is not as important as all the memories you aren’t making with your family. You will feel like you blinked and they grew up and you barely know who they are.
  13. Stop being afraid of making mistakes, disappointing people and getting in trouble. You are so scared all the time and you don’t even realize it. You are holding yourself back from amazing opprotunities.
  14. Go on the long term mission trip. It’s in the back of your mind right now, but in 10 years, it will be in the front as your biggest missed opportunity of all time.
  15. You will have a chance to meet Lady Gaga. Call in sick to work and go. Be irresponsible for once. GO MEET HER. Oh, and you’ll also meet Eric Church, don’t let him sign your guitar – he’s a jerk and you don’t need that negativity in your life.
  16. That guitar you had to have, how about you actually learn to play it. Don’t give up when your fingers start to bleed. Just do it. I really wish you had not quit trying. Actually, there are a lot of things you shouldn’t have given up on.
  17. Things you should not give up on: Youtube ( it becomes a legitimate career choice; you could have done it) Freelance Journalism (that too, you would have been good) Painting (you had FULL RIDE ART SCHOLARSHIP! Shoulda used it) Writing (- eh, this needs its own bullet point.)
  18. Your words have value. Things you say are important to someone. I know that you think that nothing you say or write matters, but it does. Don’t stop writing. Journal, blog, write a book. But do not stop. Your heart feels heavy and lost when you aren’t writing and it takes you YEARS to figure that out. DO NOT STOP. God created you for this.
  19. God is real. He has an amazing plan for you and you should listen to him NOW instead of waiting for him to make you listen. Because I promise you, it will make your life so much better if you start living your life for HIM instead of you. You could save yourself so much pain if you would choose him now instead of later.

Happy Birthday, Self .

My 28th Birthday.

Until Next Time,

Emily B

2 replies on “Happy Birthday ? 19 things to tell 19 yr old me”

I’m crying reading this right now. 19 year-old me could have used this and heck, 21 year-old is gonna use this. You have a knack for this writing-from-your-soul thing. I’m gonna go wash my face, go on a run, and probably call my sister <3

Awe you are so sweet. I promise your sister always has time or will make time for you.

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