Dear 20-year old me

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Yup, that right there is me. 5-and-a-bit years younger. I was living in Australia at the time, and having a constant tan basically came with the package, even in their ‘winter’. Damn, I looked healthy and cheery. 20 years young and the world at my feet. Little did I know.

Now that I’ve slowly started to blog again, I’ve been going through nearly 6 years of photo’s. Mostly travels, highlights, but also some low lights. I love photo’s. I love the image, the visuality, the changes, the emotions it brings with, the memories. And so comes reflection.

I hasn’t always been easy, but my oh my, is life beautiful. It has been a couple of eventful years. I know my reader base is mostly early twenties (hi analytics!) and so, I thought you might find value in the things I would tell my 20-year old me. Through ups, through bumps, through lows:

  1. Beauty is all around you. You just have to see it. As rough and as dark as things will get, beauty is always there.
  2. Own your mistakes.
  3. Keep working out, even if it’s 10 minutes a day. Not for your looks, but the serotonin and adrenaline make you feel so alive (again), no matter what the circumstances.
  4. Learn to let go.
  5. Some chances only come once.
  6. You are far more capable than you think you are. Live up to it
  7. You are far more intelligent than you think you are. Live up to it.
  8. Leggings are for home wear only. They’re super comfy, but not really appropriate outside of yoga-class or airplanes, even if you wear skirts and dresses over them. Just don’t even go there.
  9. You’ll never be as young as you are right now. It’s ok to not know it all and admit that. You don’t need to always be on point with everything and you certainly don’t need to have your life figured out. You have 40 more years to do the whole grown up thing. Be young, be free!
  10. You are off to see amazing things and you’ll live in some of world’s most gorgeous countries. Venturing off to 40+ countries and hundreds of cities.  SOAK IT ALL IN. Bathe in in, bask in it, embrace it. Whenever you see that great plane ticket, buy it (see #5)! You might not have big chunks of money now, but you’ve got time. So book those 15euro tickets to Dublin, Malaga and Malta.
  11. Love the ones around you like there’s no tomorrow, ‘cause fact of the matter is, some tomorrows never come. Love deeply and carelessly.
  12. Those boys only interested in your looks tend to end up quite brainless and ambitionless, and you’ll end up with nothing to talk about. If you don’t crack up laughing on the first day you meet, move on.
  13. Words are extremely powerful, choose them wisely.
  14. So, learn to communicate. This will be a huge challenge, but the growth you’ll experience is unpaired.
  15. Every job will teach you far more things than the actually job itself.
  16. Those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind
  17. It doesn’t matter how hard you try to fight it, you need a minimum of 7,5 hours a night. Just accept it.
  18. People come and people go. Learn to savour the moments and memories.
  19. Never be afraid to show you like learning, even how ‘weird’ the subjects might be to others.
  20. You are enough.

Going through the list, I come to think I might have also written this to my 25 year old self, and my 30 year old self, and my (hopefully) 70 year old self.


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