From Our Readers
April 23, 2015 6:00 am

We all know the old saying: Hindsight is 20/20. When I was 15 years old, I probably never would have guessed that ten years later I would be thinking about all the things I wish I’d done, said, or changed about myself. There’s nothing like mentally trying to go back in time and telling yourself you really shouldn’t be dating him or you probably shouldn’t be going to that party. Thankfully, we live and we learn, and it only took me ten years to figure out all the things I wish I could tell myself if I could go back to 2005. So what would I say?

1. You’re dating the wrong guy, but that’s OK

That guy that’s taking up all your time? He’s not going to be the one. But that’s OK. You need time to grow up and figure out what you want in relationships. (And in three short years, you’ll meet the man you’re going to marry anyway.) Really, you’ll still be growing up ten years later, and that’s a good thing.

2. Even great relationships take work

Right now, you think that you meet the perfect guy and presto, instant happy relationship forever. But relationships don’t all come naturally. Work means growth, and growth in your relationship means it’s getting stronger. Embrace it.

3. Forget about the haters, they’re not worth your time

It doesn’t matter what they think of you; it only matters what you think of you. And truthfully, it won’t make a difference how much money you spend at Abercrombie & Fitch or if you make it to that party on Friday night; their minds are made up about you. But guess what? Your true friends have already made up their minds about you, too, and they like you just the way you are.

4. Don’t spend ALL your money, cool?

Having a coffee out or getting a nice new top now and then is totally fine. But you should sock away some of those pretty pennies. They’ll come in handy later.

5. It’s OK if you’re not besties with everyone

Girl, quit worrying about those pointless friendships. It’s probably time to stop being friends with those who pine after your boyfriend or who make snarky comments towards your best friend. You’re better off without them. Your self-worth comes from what you think of you, not what they think of you.

6. Always, always, always be kind to yourself

Don’t say anything about yourself that you wouldn’t say to your best friend. Would you tell her them they look awful in that swimsuit or they should probably hit the gym ASAP? Embrace your body—one day it will look totally different, and you should embrace it then, too. All bodies are beautiful, especially your own.

7. Relish your family-time

One day, your little sister will be your best friend, and you’ll be so pumped for the next time you get to spend time with your mom and dad. That time when you’re all nearby is a lot more precious than you think.

8. Give some love to your besties

Foster your favorite friendships and don’t take them for granted. Remind Emma that you love how unique and kind-hearted she is. Tell Jaimie you don’t know where you’d be without her.

9. Enjoy ALL of your many phases

Enjoy every stage you go through: the social one, the partying one, the studious one, the antisocial one, the relationship-oriented one, the working one, and the family one. They are all different, but they are all special for so many reasons you can’t even recognize yet.

10. There’s no reason to judge anyone. We’re all in this life together. 

Be kind. Or rather, be kinder. The world needs more smiles, warm hearts, and helpful hands. It needs less cattiness and mean-spiritedness.

11. Make yourself a priority

Be your own best friend. People come and go. That boy who is your whole world right now won’t be around in a year. You’ll move a lot and you’ll meet new people, but you’ll also have to leave some behind. If you love yourself, the losses won’t feel so strong.

12. Don’t get caught up in the drama. I know it’s hard. 

Let it go. It’s not worth it. The girl you can’t stop feuding with? Move past it. That boy you miss and can’t forget about? Let him go, too.

13. Those little mistakes you’ve made? Yeah, they won’t matter in the long term.  

Don’t beat yourself up for that mean thing you said when you broke up or the AIM away message you wish you could take back. You’ll move on, and so will they.

14. Take your time. Really.

Ten years later, at the still-young age of 25, that reason will be a sweet little girl giggling in your arms and the best guy who made all prior breakups seem like nothing. It was all worth it.

15. I’ve got your back.

Know that when you arrive here, in 2015, I’ll be in the future yet again, writing another one of these posts. Life is funny that way.

Taylor Basilio is a 20-something freelance writer and editor. She’s also the blogger/owner of comfort + chaos, an Army wife, and mom to Isla. She’s a diehard Taylor Swift fan, will do anything for cheesecake, and is attempting to change the world, one piece of writing at a time. You can find her on Twitter @taylorbasilio and Instagram @tabasilio

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