Family & Friends · Marriage & Life Partners · Relationships & Dating

Letters to My Younger Self: You’re Fine, Just As You Are

And please, go ahead and settle into yourself.  Your personality is what it is.  Don’t waste another minute cringing about your social awkwardness.  Just be who you are.  You’re never really going to totally fix this, but it’s okay. You’re an introvert.  It’s the way you’re wired, so you can stop being embarrassed.  Everybody has got something, ya know?

I want you to prime yourself for all the fun you’re going to have—dating interesting men, traveling around the world, and changing jobs a few times because you’re a naturally restless person and that’s perfectly okay. In your late 30s, you’re going to experience something awesome through the gift of therapy. With the help of your amazing therapist, you’ll learn to accept who you are and stop worrying so much about not fitting in.  In fact, you’ll decide that you don’t need to fit in.  You’re fine just as you are. You’re also going to wish you’d done it much earlier, but that’s okay, too.

Following your heart and doing what feels right for you is always better than following everybody else’s rules. So. . . no husband and no kids will be fine. Honest. 

Most importantly, I want to remind you about learning what it means to be a good friend and to cultivate those skills early on. Everything you face in life is better when you’ve got a few good friends in your corner.  And to have good friends, you have to know how to be a good friend.  (You’re going to be really good at that). And, by the way, don’t spend energy on toxic people (men or women); you can’t fix them and they’ll just drag you down.

Learning to trust yourself will also be critical.  What you feel immediately in your gut is often the right thing to feel . . . it’s a tool to help you think things through, so DON’T talk yourself out of it.  Feel it.  Think about it.  Act.

 And, lastly, your life is not only going to be really good, it’s going to be way better than you have ever imagined it would be!

Lots o’ love,
You, in 35 years



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  • Judith A. Ross February 6, 2015 at 11:27 am

    First I have to say, I admire anyone who takes on this topic — it is a tough challenge to go back and rethink. So much of what happens to us in life is chance.

    I agree that asking for and accepting help is something I would coach my younger self to do. In the same vein, I’d also advise finding a mentor and making every effort to stay in touch with that person. It might have helped me make better decisions about work. And what about confidence? Still my Achilles Heel — perhaps the right mentor would have helped there.

    And then, to myself, “Don’t waste a lot of time worrying about appearances, your own and also about being judged. At 20, you have already lived through some of your life’s hardest challenges. Things will only get better as you age.”

  • anonymous February 5, 2015 at 12:01 pm

    Yeah,I truly wished I had asked for more help, too. Would have made problems more manageable, especially knowing that one’s situation wasn’t unique. How to ask for wisdom is the issue.

  • Arlene February 5, 2015 at 9:12 am

    I am a senior citizen, active, good health and involved with a man whose mother left when he was three yrs old. I have tried to understand him for more than four years and find that his distance and lack of companionship is troubling. I have asked him if he would like to end our relationship and he says NO! His reply is I’m doing the best I can. However, holidays come and go and nothing! No small gift or special dinner out
    Do you have any Advise for me and others about men who have not had a mother in their formative years?
    I love your column