What I Wish I Knew at 16

happy birthday

So, today is my 26th birthday!!! I’ve survived 10 years past when they gave me a driver’s license. Big. Deal. Seriously.

I actually moved from Kentucky to South Carolina a few days before my 16th birthday. Talk about devastating. If you have kids, please don’t move them during the middle of high school. Total nightmare. My mom even took me to register for my new high school ON MY BIRTHDAY. I was starting to think that she was systematically trying to destroy me, but then she did the coolest thing that she’s ever done. Ever. When the guidance counselor asked if I was ready to go to my first class, my mom said that it was my birthday, so we were going out to lunch and that I would start the next day. The next day started the worst 2 and a half years of my life, but at least it was delayed by a day!

Now that I’m 26, there are quite a few things that I wish I knew at 16–wisdom that I wish that I could impart to myself. I probably wouldn’t have listened, but it’s nice to think that I’ve grown and learned. Especially learned from mistakes.

10 Things I Wish I Knew 10 Years Ago

  • Like your grandmother once said, “Men are like trolley cars. As soon as one leaves, another one comes along.” So calm down.
  • Without your health, you don’t have much. I’m not saying that life isn’t worth living if you are chronically ill, but PLEASE enjoy the time that you aren’t sick. Don’t abuse it by abusing your liver. Instead, push your body and mind to be as healthy as possible.
  • Family is actually important. Jobs will take you all over the country. Your little brother will get married and move away. Enjoy your family.
  • C0llege is the best thing ever. It makes high school worth it.
  • Take time to develop your own hobbies and be an interesting person. Talking to people at parties about reality TV shows is lame. Read a book. Learn to paint. Be knowledgeable about something.
  • Learn how to cook. This will totally come back to bite you. Learn how to cook in big batches to save time. Invest in a freezer after college. You’ll stay healthy and save money.
  • Be grateful. You still aren’t, everyday at least. But you should be. Work on it.
  • Travel. You didn’t, but you should have. Make sacrifices to save and go see the world.
  • Getting a puppy will be one of the best things you ever do. While she might “tie you down,” a little, the joy of knowing her and loving her will make you a better person.
  • You will get married to the best man you’ve ever met. Quit trying to force relationships with guys who aren’t worth your time or make it clear that you aren’t worth their time. You’ll meet him, and you will know. So take that single time to make some good friends. You still need them everyday–even once you’re married.

Well, that was easy to write, yet hard to write. I could list 20 more things, but I limited myself to 10. It was hard from the standpoint that some days, I still need to hear those things.

I want to leave this page with my prayer for the next year:

love never fails smaller 2


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