Back to School Soul Search: 6 Things I’d Tell My 18-Year-Old Self

TINY-DEVOTIONS-LIFESTYLE-mala-beadsBack to school is one of my favorite times of year. The fall weather (warm days and cool nights), pumpkin spice lattes, flowy boho tops paired with crops and leg warmers and nice big mugs of love when meeting friends in the city on a beautiful afternoon. For over 20 years I was in school and loved every moment of it: from grade school to grad school and a stint of teaching in between, books & highlighters are my jam.

But somewhere in the last few years, I have been without traditional schooling and have been instead embarking upon the lessons of life. This year I’m taking a guitar lesson and saving money for my third yoga teacher training to get into the spirit. Seeing my friends children enjoy the first day and teacher friends arriving back in their classrooms this week has me thinking: what would I tell my 18-year-old self? There are quite a few things I wish I could go back and explain, but I’ll let you in on the top 6 secrets I would have told my younger self.

 1. Ignore the haters. Somewhere in your high school and college career a few people will tell you that you aren’t good enough. They will tell you to quit journalism and that your writing will never make it. They will encourage you to do other things in life and beg you to choose another path. Ignore them. Use those years of anger for writing instead of crying. Develop your skill because in a few years you will rock it! You are meant for big things, so learn to ignore the haters early on.

2. Your intuition is spot on. You are always asking WHY – Why am I here? What am I supposed to do? How can I help the world? This is because you KNOW that you are destined to bring love to the world. You’ll find it I promise. Just keep searching and listening to your intuition. Those tarot cards you friends pull out during slumber parties, the feathers the universe gifts you as you walk down the street and the hidden message box from your aunt that holds your intentions – they are your intuition screaming at you. Pay attention and hold on for the wild ride!

 3. You will make LOTS of mistakes. And that’s okay. Seriously. Life is a learning experience and a big lesson. Keep moving and keep trying because these mistakes are just tiny little blips on your path to success. You may not know what you want right now, but if you keep moving forward you’ll find them. And remember, a mistake is not a failure: “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas Edison.

4. Boys & the scale are NOT everything. I don’t know how else to say this but: get over it. Wow are you dramatic. You have a flare for it and in fact you majored in it! But let me tell you something, the amount of boyfriends you have and the number on the scale do not define who you are and they never will. Those silly magazines will get into your head and convince you otherwise but it isn’t true. You are beautiful, so beautiful it hurts and you have no idea. Look in the mirror and appreciate who you are. Put down the diet coke and the salad slathered with fat free dressing. Walk away and find a delicious, nutritious meal and love yourself and your girlfriends more than you know is possible. Boys are not meant to be fixed and when you are ready to accept that, the perfect man will arrive in your life. I promise.

5. Your parents will become your best friends. Your mom and dad are going to become your best friends. And it’s great! I know you “hate her” but your mom loves you beyond belief. Don’t worry you’ll apologize when you’re ready — but someday she will become your very best friend. It’s not stupid to end up like her in fact it’s a blessing. When you’re in the middle of a hurricane and you’re the only friend on Facebook with back-up candles (and board games), or you’re driving down the street and know all the back roads to avoid traffic or score an amazing deal at TJ Maxx in the clearance section, you’ll have her to thank. When you remember how to change light bulbs and remove doors to make room for new furniture in tiny places or make a killer business networking connection, you’ll have your dad to thank. Listen to their advice: the silly and the serious because it will take you pretty far in life.

6. You will become an amplified version of you! In ten years you will still be you, but you’ll be so much better. You’ll be happily married, rescue a puppy, own a yoga studio and write every day as your actual day job. You’ll read tarot cards and meditate and drink vegetables. I know some of this sounds so far out of your comfort zone right now, but all of it ends up being the biggest blessing of you life. Take life as it comes: one step at a time. Hold on for the wild ride and accept whatever comes your way. Your life is amazing and will get better as each day passes so keep on trucking and let go of all the things that are no longer serving you. I suggest starting with that diet coke!

1157699_383157768473367_247012539_n-199x300Jenny Ravikumar is the owner and a yoga instructor at Barefoot Yoga Shala.

Twitter: @Jennyravikumar
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