I always find it interesting, when I see myself in younger girls. When they tell me their fears, their concerns and their hangups, I see that I was and in some ways still am the same as they are. The only thing that’s changed as I’ve gotten older, is this great thing called perspective. It allows me to see how silly it was when I was 22, that I was so concerned with having my life all the way together. So when today, an intelligent and beautiful 22-year-old (let’s call her ‘C’) looked at me with a deep sense of indecision about the direction of her life, I wanted so badly for her to see things from my point of view. I wanted for her to see herself from where I was standing, and to see all the possibilities that I did.
Because I remember that same inner-dialogue that she’s currently experiencing, and how I worried that I was falling short in some way compared to the people I was surrounded by. I knew what I wanted to do, which was travel, but felt the sensible thing to do was to stay in Brisbane and just get on with things. And I did end up doing the whole solo-travel thing that I always dreamt of, but I wasted so much time in the process thinking that I could be making better choices.
What bothers me most, is that as females, we have this critical way of looking at our overall situation that doesn’t mirror the reality of what everyone around us sees . So when C is being hard on herself, or letting her sensitivity get the best of her (as it does me) I want to remind her of this:
You can never make the wrong decision. If you do what you feel in that moment, then you know you have never settled, or fallen short of what you envisioned for your life. The easiest way for your future regrets to cement their place, is when you allow your fears in the present to take hold and make you feel like you aren’t capable of getting what it is that you want.
I know that when she is my age C will look back and laugh at the conversation we had today. She will have travelled to Europe alone, done things she never thought she could do, and realised that she wasn’t the person she thought she was (she was stronger). Because it really doesn’t take a particular age to gain a sense of wisdom about life, it just takes the act of making a simple decision.
Don’t hesitate, don’t look around to see what everyone else is doing, just decide for yourself. The rest relies on fate, a little bit of luck and a hell-of-alot of believing in your damn self.l