Things I Wish I Had Done Sooner

I’m not someone who spends her time lamenting things done in the past, because if you focus on the past, then you live in it. But now that I’m—ahem, middle age—I kind of wish I could send a letter back to my younger self so I’d know NOT to wait so long to do these things next time!

what you fear, you create

1. Change my hair color.
I spent most of my 30s wearing my hair long and dark (which it is, naturally, grey aside). While it suits, change is good! And hair can be changed back. Why was I such a chicken about it? I’m loving my new cinnamon-colored streaks and get compliments on my hair all the time. 

2. Leave that toxic relationship.
I am a serial monogamist, and the type of person who gives way too many “second” chances to people who don’t deserve them. I wish I had left relationships and friendships that sucked me dry years before I actually did. But then again, I found my wonderful hubby right when I was supposed to, so all is not lost.

3. Invest only in investment bags.
Why did I wait until 41 to suddenly acquire a taste for Louis Vuitton? I could have amassed a killer collection in the last 20 years of buying, at a fraction of the cost. Investment bags aren’t just gorgeous and well-made…handbags from brands like Chanel and Louis Vuitton hold their value like nobody’s business.

4. Read labels. On everything.
It’s shocking to think about all the chemicals I’ve put in or on my body, assuming just because it’s on a grocery store shelf or is touted as “natural,” it’s safe. WRONG!

5. Get completely outside of my comfort zone.
Back in 2007 or so, as part of my Power Vinyasa yoga practice, I signed up to become certified as a yoga teacher, to deepen my practice. The curriculum shocked the stage-fright right out of this girl! Well, not permanently (and I have not practiced yoga since 2008), but forcing myself to do things I was not comfortable doing was the catalyst for great, positive, sweeping change in my life.

6. Let go of fear.
Fear of failing, fear of looking stupid, fear of making a fool of myself, fear of being alone, all of it. What you fear, you create; it’s energy you put into the universe, so make sure it’s positive. As soon as I let it all go (due to #5 above), things happened. I achieved, mentally and physically. I rid myself of stagnation. And in the process I found confidence, discipline, and the love of my life.

What about you? Is there anything you wish now that you had done sooner? Why?

15 comments

  1. I wish I studied what I wanted to study in school which was art history, but I was focused on a make money degree and so I ended up with no degree because I didn’t follow my passion. Oh, well .. at least I can tell the younger generation to follow their passion.

    All is not lost though .. I do take classes that interests me. I’m almost done with a certificate in nutrition. It’s not a degree, but at least it’s something I’m passionate about.

    Monica.

    1. I’m with you on wishing I could change what I did in terms of education…but it did work out for me, I suppose in the way it should have.

      Good for you for going after something you have a passion for and that you find interesting! Sometimes I think we just can’t make lifetime decisions at age 18 when we’re first entering college. Even I switched majors.

  2. I think for me it was get into fashion, as in I spent a long time not really knowing what I wanted to do and kind of fell into fashion. I’d even possibly say I spent too long in education and looking back university wasn’t really necessary. But then again the Internet wasn’t as prolific as it is now in terms of blogs and content on how to do EVERYTHING being only a few seconds away. In this day and age I think in certain instances degrees are no longer worth it, particularly as you have the capacity to do things yourself so easily now. Unless you wanted to become a doctor or a lawyer of course.

  3. I wished I pursued the writing career I wanted instead of going after what my family thought I should be doing. I spent a lot of time doing what they wanted while ignoring what made me happy.

    Now at 32 I’m finally going after that dream full time and I couldn’t be happier. But I’m always firm believer that everything happens for a reason. 🙂

    1. Good for you, MJ! I do wish I had gone to Parsons instead of sticking to my local university…because I had a (worthless) boyfriend. Oh well! I’m glad to read that you are going for it. You can do it!

  4. It’s the whole, “if I knew then what I know now” scenario, I’d go to a different high school, finish high school, got to TAFE and do fashion and accessory design (I lived around the corner from it) and go forth and make money and live the life I wanted.

    Alas, my life is crap thanks to being the one stuck caring for my mother for the last 20 years, and I’m 40 this year.

    1. Aw, this is kind of sad: “Alas, my life is crap thanks to being the one stuck caring for my mother for the last 20 years, and I’m 40 this year.” I know caregiving is enormously challenging…I’m sure your mother appreciates it. I hope so.

  5. Being 27, I feel I only have so much to reflect back on. I’m sure in 14 years from now, I’ll feel that I should’ve/could’ve/would’ve done something differently. The truth is, however, that one of the things that I love most about myself is that I live pretty much without regret. My husband tells me this is because I underestimate how hard things will really be, and I tend to agree with him.

    I only recently TRULY stopped caring what people think about me. And that took about a year of therapy to get to. I wish I had stopped caring sooner, but I feel 27 is probably pretty early to realize that.

    1. 27 IS early to get to that point, Courtney, so you should be glad about that. When you finally decide to live your life on your terms, not caring what others think, it is so liberating.

      It’s an old adage but it is true: The only person who can make you feel bad about you is YOU.

  6. I guess for me it would be telling my younger self that you will NOT please everyone, including your parents. To be honest, I probably would have not went straight to university. I would have continued as a classically trained violinist, since I did it for almost nine years, but academics is important in my strict family and everyone went to excellent universities. Although, I did defy tradition initially, and went to design school, because I had always wanted to be a fashion designer. Even with doing that, multiple degrees later I am simply using business/global trade skills mostly in my current occupation so … yes could have save loads of money … loads! But, things did turn around wonderfully in other ways, so I’ve not much to complain about. 🙂

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