At twenty I was like many kids at that age: A youthful mixture of bravado and immaturity. Every thing seemed SO important. EVERY decision was larger than life. Yet honestly, I didn’t have a clue who I was. In reality, I was just a girl who would struggle with frizzy hair for almost forty years before figuring out how to tame it, amongst other things. Yeah, I was that girl.
Here is my best advice for twenty-year-olds. The six things I know now, but wish I would have known then.(Though, according to my mother, I wouldn’t have listened anyway.)
1. Learn to be patient, uncomfortable and alone, because, as your mom likes to say, this too shall pass. Time will heal the loss and pain of a broken heart, so don’t be in such a rush to replace a person or a boyfriend. Sometimes the uncomfortable transition period is necessary for learning and growth; and rebound relationships usually aren’t built to last, though you’ll have your fun trying this anyway. However some losses, like the death of your father when you were young, will last a lifetime. The pain diminishes, but the wound never fully heals.
2. Don’t base your self-worth on a man and don’t make men your first priority. Very hard to do when growing up to be a wife and mom are deeply ingrained in your head. Try to really know yourself before you get in a serious relationship or marriage, though the romantic in you won’t listen. Remember, if you’re not with someone who makes you feel like the most beautiful, loveable and special person in the world, walk away. (And if it makes you feel any better, just know karma’s a bitch. One of your ex’s never got married and regrets not marrying you. I heard this from a reliable source, I swear. And the other was recently indicted. You didn’t really need that headache. You’re welcome.)
3. Finish college and/or grad school before you get married and have children. After a full day with the kids, being a wife, tackling homework until the wee hours of the morning, only to do it again the next day, is exhausting and won’t do your dewy complexion any favors, either.
Wolff shares her adventures from carpool to empty nest on her parenting/lifestyle blog CarpoolGoddess. Her work has been featured on Huffington Post, Scary Mommy, Erma Bombeck’s Writer’s Workshop, and many more. She is co-author of Not Your Mothers Book On Being A Mom.