My grandmother gave me the best advice when I was young. She said one should live life with no regrets. If I should mess up, I should forgive myself, forgive the offender, and move on.
At the age of twenty-one, I had all these dreams: I was going to get my PhD in Languages, move away from my home town, and travel the world. There was no place for marriage or children. Family would only hold me down.
Then I got married two weeks before I turned twenty-three and my life took a totally different detour, several actually. I never got my PhD, never moved any further than an hour from where I grew up, and my travels have been limited to the contiguous United States, a couple of hours into the “interior” of Mexico, and a nineteen day trip into China to meet a handful of in-laws.
Not exactly worthy of one single “Yeeha,” but I have no regrets.
If I were to go back in time and be able to talk to my younger, twenty-one-year-old self, this is what I would say:
1. Dream big and don’t be afraid to adjust those dreams as circumstances prevail. What you sometimes think is important, isn’t. Alternatives and adjustments to your dreams are not measures of failure, but measures of resiliency and strength.
2. Trust in yourself. Wait before you rush into relationships. You deserve to love and be loved. You deserve to be respected and cherished. Let your suitor chase you. You will prove to be amazing, stronger than you ever thought, a better person than you were made to feel. (Remember this. It will save you two failed marriages.)
3. Life is messy. It is like a bowl of guacamole. Things will get squished together, diced and minced. It will be spicy and intriguing.
It will be worth it all. It will be delicious.