As a teenager, I never took life seriously. I was busy trying to manage my emotions and hormonal changes. I was angry, rebellious and I instantly yelled at the slightest irritation. Then I started working and later joined a club. I got lost with whatever everyone else was doing. For example, if a few of my friends went to play a sport I did not play or enjoy, I would hang around watching until it was time to go home. I would fight with my mom so I could stay out late and do nothing with my friends on the beach.
There are many things I wished I had done differently back then but back then there were no blogs to guide me at the time. And I was definitely NOT the listening-to-mom types. Online reading was not an option; and, all we had were the television and newspapers to lead us.
Therefore, this article is dedicated to my 18-year-old self as well as my daughter when she comes of age. It is something I wish someone had told me back then. It is something I wish I had experienced back then. And it is certainly something I wish I had done instead of wasting time back then. The biggest example: If I had followed the below points, I would have probably written a book during my first pregnancy instead of watching television shows from 5pm to 1am every single day! I mean peace and quiet time were mostly what I had while I was expecting.
So, I want to travel back in time and tell my 18-year-old self, and my daughter, this:
FOCUS NOT ON BOYS – As I mentioned in my Birthday Special blog, I started dating young. It was probably the attention that I got and the feelings that came along with it that pushed me to that phase. Talking on the phone for hours was exciting but, I would still go back there and tell myself to “do something more productive with your time instead. Perhaps, learn a new skill or just make artworks while you chat with friends?”
FIND YOUR PASSION – After my first born, I realized I wanted to write. But getting accustomed to being a mother did not help much. I had no time, no sleep and no peace. It was only when I found calmness while writing (at age 32) that I realized 3 things. a) I have always loved to write, b) but, I would only write in my diary since I was 7, c) my mother would always ask when I would publish those diaries, therefore, d) I was a born writer. So, I would like to tell my 18-year-old self to “find your passion, pursue it and never stop for any reason.”
FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS – I have always wanted to be a model or actress but was never confident about my looks. If I found an opportunity, I would never take it seriously. So, I would like to tell my 18-year-old self to “always make use of the opportunities that come your way. Don’t worry about your looks because make-up does wonders and hard work does pay off. So, whatever your dream is, follow it and work hard until you fulfil it.”
FAMILY LOVES YOU – My mother, brother and I used to hang out quite often until I began exploring life outside the family. One day I realized I hadn’t had a proper conversation with my brother for a long time. In the midst of growing up, we forgot to check on each other though we lived under the same roof. Also, because I thought I knew what life was all about, I never listened to my mom when she tried to correct my wrongdoings. So, I would like to tell my 18-year-old self that “your parents and siblings will always love you unconditionally. Do talk more about emotions with them and keep doing so forever. Sometimes, it’s also good to listen to their experiences of life.”
FINANCIALLY, BE INDEPENDENT – Though I began working at a young age, I was never aware of how to manage my finances. Right now, as I am not independent, there are many instances where I have to compromise or adjust. Therefore, I would like to tell my 18-year-old self to “be financially independent before making any huge life decisions. Yet, do not make money your main priority in life.”
Moreover, do not be afraid to make mistakes, instead, learn from them. Life is not a bed of roses, as it may seem while living with your parents so, be grateful for whatever you have. Sometimes, it’s better to keep the ego aside and listen. There may be plenty of heartaches and heartbreaks, but you have to stay strong, get over it and move on. Take life one day at a time. Be humble but learn to say no when you have to. You are going to come across many obstacles and people who will put you down in many ways than one, but you will one day become an inspiration to many, only if you learn to get around those hindrances and still smile bravely!
With lots of love and encouragement,
A 38-year-old Cindy, and your mom!
Is there anything you would like to tell your 18-year-old self? Do mention it in the comments below!
‘This blog post is part of SpeakEasy Blogging Challenge by Dipika and Ruchi.’
Cindy D'Silva, besides being a mother of two angels, is a belly dancer, writer and photographer. She loves partying, bowling and eating sushi. There is a detailed biography about her on the ABOUT ME page in case you would like to know more. :)
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