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10 Things I'd Like To Say To My Last-Year Self

'You are going to laugh about this a year from now.'

If you could say anything to the person you were a year ago, what would it be? Though it probably didn’t seem like it at the time, we often realize later on when our wounds have healed that we are in fact our own greatest teachers. Yes, nostalgia can be a real bitch sometimes, but it is also because of these memories that we learn how awesome life can really be.

So, last-year self, let me begin by saying I am really sorry for being so hard on you. I promise it is for your own good. I know you’ve hit a rough patch in your life and you don’t think you will ever recover from it, but you will.

In fact, you're in a good place and you’re much happier now than you have ever been. Just hang in there and always keep these things in mind:

1. You deserve so much better than this.
Hey, you. You are amazing, okay? Don’t ever settle for anything less than you deserve.  If someone is treating you like crap, let that person know that you are not going to tolerate it anymore and walk away. Respect yourself enough to know when you’re being treated unfairly and actually do something about it. Life is too short to be wasted on haters, jerks, and bullies.

2. Are you really happy or are you just settling for what you think happiness should be like?
Life is not always like the movies, so stop using them as a basis for happiness. As much as you’d love to have your knight in shining armor whisk you away into the sunset, chances are he won’t even make it past the first year without letting you down one way or another. There is no such thing as a perfect relationship, but you should at least try to distinguish a love worth fighting for from a preconceived idea of love that is not attainable. Well, not with this guy, at least.

3. You don’t have to put up with all this.
You always have a choice.  You can either let people push you around and tell you how to live your life, or you can make a stand and do what you believe is right for you. Know when to say “enough” and choose your battles wisely. Walking away is not always a sign of defeat; it can also be a sign of maturity.

4. You are so stubborn.
Did it ever occur to you that perhaps the only thing getting in your way of finding peace is yourself? I know you have a tendency to hold on to things that are toxic and insignificant, but you have to force yourself to let them go. Memories have a way of tricking you into believing that things can go back to the way they used to be, but holding on to this kind of hope is exactly why you’re stuck in this rut in the first place.

5. You are strong, fearless, and brave.
This is just a little hiccup in the greater scheme of things. Trust me, it’s not the end of the world—you just don’t know it yet. You are much stronger and braver than you think, and you are capable of achieving things beyond this little bubble you’ve sheltered yourself in. The world is your oyster, my friend. Seize it.

6. Stop living in denial.
You know what the problem is and you know what needs to be done to snap out of your current state, but you refuse to accept and admit it. You are still convinced that things are okay and peachy, and if you wait long enough, things will magically fix themselves. That’s not how life works. You have to make a conscious effort to get on with your life.

7. The ball is in your court.
This is your story and you have the power to control the plot. Quit making yourself the underdog or the damsel in distress. Instead, be the heroine who beats all the odds and comes out on top.

8. You are going to laugh about this a year from now.
Yes, you are shaking your head with a goofy grin on your face as you write this, because all the horrible things that happened last year are nothing more than a fading memory at this point. You lived, you learned, and you let go.

9. I promise you will be more than okay again.
Never in a million years did you think you would be brave enough to chase your dreams a thousand miles away from home, but you did it. All the pain you endured to get to this point was definitely worth it. You’re exactly where you should be. It may have taken a while for you to get to this point, but you made it.

10. Learn to love yourself first.
You have no idea how important this is. Before you can truly love another, you have to love and accept yourself for who you are. Embrace your quirks and be proud of your scars. Take long walks alone, read books in parks, travel the world, and fall in love with yourself. It’s the greatest and most liberating kind of love of all.

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