Happy birthday to me! A letter to my younger self

Memorial Day means many things — remembering the service of those in the Armed Forces, the start of summer fashion rules, the beginning of driving season and big, big sales at various department stores. It also happens to be my birthday weekend, which is cause for rejoicing and celebration.

There was a time when I wasn’t keen on celebrating my birthday. I based this negativity on negative thinking, and hence one big old negative energy cycle emerged. But there is something to be said for wisdom and here is mine: I freaking love my birthday. It’s like a second New Year’s Eve — a chance to look at all I’ve done and dream of all the things I want to do. It’s about cake and ice cream and balloons and flowers. It’s about celebrating life — my life, as I choose to live it and embrace it.

In all honesty, it took me a while to get to his place. So I’d like to write a letter to my younger self, sharing some of the valuable life lessons I have learned over the years:

Dear Amy,

Welcome to the planet! You should be enjoying your life so far and have so much great stuff to look forward to. Allow me to offer some insight into this thing called life which may help ease your journey and maximize your joy along the way.

1. Forget the idea of “sacrifice.” You do not have to sacrifice anything. Instead, you get to make choices. And the wonderful thing is that you always get to choose again. Ignore the people who tell you there are no do-overs in life. There are plenty.

2. You will never win a goldfish at the Fair or Farm and Home Days. Save your money for ice cream instead.

3. When people launch the phrase “you’ve changed” at you as if it were an accusation, let it fly by. It’s really a compliment.

4. Do not drink cosmos at the same rate as you would a light beer.

5. Stupid boys will make you cry. It’s difficult to avoid. But there is good news: All boys are not stupid.

6. Feel free to read the fashion magazines, just know they have practically no resemblance to reality.

7. Life is pretty obvious and yet full of contradictions. Don’t waste energy trying to make it all make sense.

8. Rethink how often you wear high-heeled shoes. Your plantar fascia will thank you during marathon training.

9. There is an important difference between “waiting” and “patience.” The former puts life on hold. The later allows life to happen as even greater opportunities unfold.

10. Never forget that you are awesome, smart, talented, beautiful and strong. People will try to accuse you of not being “humble” enough when you embrace your awesomeness. Screw them. You serve no one by playing small in your own life, and that includes celebrating yourself on a daily basis.

Love you girl!

Amy

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