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I always think about what I would have done differently with my life if I could go back in time. I compiled a list of things I wish I had lived by as a kid, teen, even just a few years younger than I am now. Many I’m still working on! Maybe you can relate. Anything you wish you could go back and tell your younger self? Add it in the comments section below.
  1. You do not know everything. No matter how sure of yourself you think you are. Always be able to listen.
  2. Which means… listen to your parents. They know what they’re talking about. Just because it seemed like they were your age a million years ago, times change but people don’t.
  3. College isn’t the only way to success. My entire younger life I was encouraged that college was the way to the top. I’m doing well, but there are other avenues to success.
  4. Stand up for yourself and make it a habit early. If you spend your whole life appeasing other people, you’ll be miserable. Sometimes you’ve gotta be a jerk and that’s okay.
  5. There is absolutely nothing wrong with you. If you don’t feel accepted, it doesn’t mean you are lacking in any way. They just haven’t caught up to you yet.
  6. Don’t force yourself to like something just because everyone else seems to like it.
  7. Comparing yourself to others is dangerous. Unless you’re using it as motivation, stop the comparisons.
  8. Not everything that glitters is gold. People tend to show only the good going on in their lives. They could be miserable behind closed doors.
  9. Stop caring what people think. It isn’t a change that can happen overnight. It takes time. Once you start getting good at it, you will be MUCH happier. Let them think what they want. You know who you are.
  10. Drink more water.
  11. Enjoy the time you have as a kid. Being a grown up is not all it’s cracked up to be. Don’t take for granted nap times, recess, and getting toys for Christmas. The majority of your life will be spent dealing with adult things, so don’t say “I can’t wait until I’m older.”
  12. Take more advantage of your college experience. Do more than go to class, go to an event here and there and go home. Join more clubs, meet more people.
  13. You have time for serious relationships later. Learn more about yourself.
  14. Don’t be so frivolous with money. Save more. Learn about ways to make your money work for you and stick to it. Discipline!
  15. Exercise more.
  16. Be yourself. If people think you’re weird, so? You’re living for you. They don’t pay your bills.
  17. If you aren’t comfortable having to own up to it later, don’t do it.
  18. Don’t engage in social media drama.
  19. If you feel like you’re forcing it, leave it alone. Nothing forced is meant to work out.
  20. Choose friends who you can learn from and based off their character, not just who you can have a good time with. People only good for hanging out aren’t actually friends of yours.
  21. Learn what it actually means to “love yourself” then go love yourself.
  22. You don’t have to be strong all of the time. Asking for help doesn’t mean you’re weak. It means you’re smart enough to know when things will work out better if you seek assistance.
  23. Be kind to yourself. We have the tendency to beat ourselves up.
  24. Don’t waste people’s time asking for advice that you never intend to follow.
  25. Take accountability.
  26. Don’t allow shyness to get in the way of having fun. Work on becoming a little more outgoing each day.
  27. Nothing changes if nothing changes. Make an effort.
  28. We were not given a spirit of fear. Don’t let fear of failure cripple you.
  29. If you want to try something, don’t give up on it because someone thinks its a bad idea. If you’ve thought it through, go for it; if you fail, its not the end of the world.
  30. Get used to double standards. They aren’t fair but it is what it is.
  31. Remember you were made with a purpose and God didn’t design you to fail.
  32. Spend more time with your parents.
  33. Distance yourself from negativity as much as you can. You do not have to deal with that.
  34. Try new things more often. We all need hobbies and could have hidden talents.
  35. Volunteer more.
  36. Its better to have peace and be wrong than cause conflict just for the sake of being right.
  37. Be on time.
  38. Let things go. Holding grudges hurts you. Ever heard that old saying “Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die” ? Yeah, don’t do that.
  39. Don’t be afraid to say ‘No’ if you want to.
  40. Procrastination can be deadly.
  41. If someone doesn’t like you, it doesn’t mean you did something wrong. We’re not meant to all like each other.
  42. Ask a lot of questions. You’ll learn more and won’t have to assume. People won’t think you’re as annoying as you might feel.
  43. Don’t run marathons for people who wouldn’t walk a mile for you.
  44. You’re going to get talked about. Ignore it.
  45. The actions of others can rub off on you so watch the company you keep.
  46. Sometimes you have to accept that you won’t get closure or any apologies. Don’t worry, the world will keep spinning and you will be fine.
  47. People aren’t mind readers. Communicate what you want and what you are feeling.
  48. Don’t be passive aggressive.
  49. If something doesn’t feel right, it isn’t.
  50. Ignoring red flags means you haven’t really learned your lesson. If you are wondering why you keep going through the same circumstances with different people, this is why.
  51. Travel.
  52. Try to spend your money on experiences rather than things. Memories last longer.
  53. Never call yourself stupid.
  54. If the people you trust are telling you someone isn’t right for you, listen. Everybody can’t be wrong.
  55. Don’t believe all the “love hurts” hype. Love isn’t supposed to hurt. Suffering is found nowhere in the definition of love.
  56. Yes, you will find someone else like “him.”
  57. Words matter, but actions tell you everything. This will never not be the case. Believe what they show you.
  58. You can miss someone from afar. Don’t hold on to people who aren’t good for you. You’ll get over it.
  59. Don’t take anybody’s sh*t.
  60. Just because someone is nice doesn’t mean you have to give them a chance. There are plenty of nice people in the world who you will like better and/or be more compatible with.
  61. Listen to your instincts.
  62. Snooping through other people’s things is never a good idea.
  63. Don’t be surprised if you end up working in a field you never imagined.
  64. You will lose and gain friends as you get older.
  65. Worrying is pointless. Its like walking around with an umbrella everyday waiting on it to rain. No point in stressing over what you can’t control.
  66. Life is going to get monotonous and sometimes you will feel stagnant.
  67. You’ll want revenge when people wrong you but you can’t get back at someone who doesn’t care. Let it go.
  68. Tell people you love them more often.
  69. Sometimes none of the choices you have aren’t good ones. Make the best choice you can and let God handle the rest.
  70. Cliche sayings like “be the energy you wish to attract” are true. Positive energy will attract more positive energy. Negativity is a repellent.
  71. Saying ‘thank you’ can go a long way.
  72. You can’t expect people to treat you well because you would do the same for them. Still be kind though.
  73. It’s better to just rip the band-aid off a difficult situation instead of pulling it off slowly. That hurts way more in the long run.
  74. If someone keeps doing something that bothers you, let them know.
  75. Don’t feel bad if you’re a little selfish from time to time.
  76. Every now and then you’re gonna take an L. You’ll bounce back.
  77. Pay all of your bills on time if you can.
  78. Pick your battles. Know when you need to stand up for yourself and what you can let slide.
  79. Talk to yourself how you would talk to a friend or family member. The voice inside our own heads can be cruel at times.
  80. Use your imagination more.
  81. Don’t be afraid to disagree and share your opinions.
  82. You can make all the plans in the world and the majority of them aren’t going to work out. Keep trying.
  83. Don’t let being tired stop you from living life.
  84. Take your health seriously.
  85. Become a good listener. You can learn a lot by figuring out what people mean beneath the surface of what they say.
  86. Having the last word is overrated.
  87. You can’t help someone who doesn’t want to be helped.
  88. People can only see things from their level of perception. Don’t waste your time explaining yourself to them, hoping they will understand you.
  89. If you feel anything but indifference towards a situation, you’re not over it.
  90. Don’t apologize if you don’t mean it. What can someone do with a meaningless apology, anyway?
  91. Laugh more often.
  92. Giving yourself pep talks in the mirror actually does help your self-esteem over time.
  93. Your mom is always right.
  94. Be surprised when life IS fair, instead of when it isn’t.
  95. Practice being a leader.
  96. Don’t chase things. There is a difference between pursuing something worthwhile and not knowing when to give up on a lost cause.
  97. Don’t hold on to things you don’t need.
  98. Try not to be so self-conscious over your body and looks. Love your flaws and focus more on your character.
  99. Prayer works.
  100. Toot your own horn sometimes. Don’t wait on others to give you the props and recognition you deserve.

The Crazy Ex Who Won’t Let Go

“Do you really want this to be over?” he asked. “Yes, I really do,” I said. “You don’t mean that,” and he continued to eat his cereal and flip through the TV channels. This was the exact conversation I had some years back with my ex as we sat in my apartment one lovely summer afternoon. I had always thought he was crazy, but this really put some fear into my heart. I sat on my couch and was truly perplexed. How am I going to get this man out of my apartment? For the next couple of weeks he acted like nothing was wrong. Eventually I got him out, and it wasn’t pretty. After it all went down, I left for a few days and returned to my apartment to find out that he had been lying in my bed, smelling my underwear, writing notes to me, and had scattered photos of us across the apartment. There were roses on the table and tension in the air. I ended up moving out of there, and the weeks that followed were filled with calls upon calls, 1,000 word Facebook messages and protection orders. This was an extreme case, but many of us have a story about the ex boyfriend/girlfriend that turned obsessive and would not leave you alone. Life seems to be pretty peaceful. You’re in a new relationship or happily doing your own thing, and then the Ghost of Boyfriends Past somehow finds a way to poke his head through the fence and starts haunting your life. Rarely do these people come back in over time. They come back full force, like they had never left. I have noticed that most people who won’t seem to let you live in peace are never too far away. These days there are too many ways to contact someone for them to truly disappear. Your family and friends have suggestions. “tumblr_nz285roxcy1qc5i9so1_500Block their number!” Tried that. “Delete them from your Facebook!” Tried that. In my experience, these are short term solutions. They always pop up with new numbers and social media pages just to get on your nerves. At times I feel like I am destined to be haunted by these couple of people who just won’t let go. If you have ever gone through anything like this, you know exactly what Destiny’s Child was singing about in “Bug-A-Boo.” Nothing is worse than running into this crazy person and having nowhere to hide. Seeing you face to face must trigger some strong feelings of nostalgia and will be all it takes for them to start trying to railroad you with texts and calls. I have noticed that old flames seem to be quite arrogant. They expect you to say that you have missed them too or that you think of them every now and then. Say that you don’t and they act like they don’t believe you. I don’t want to reminisce about how much my mom used to like you, I don’t want to remember the time you bought me that necklace, and no, I do not want you back. Just recently my sister group texted me, our mom and other sister because her ex (who is in Korea, mind you) called three different locations of her job looking for her. His logic? He missed her and that he knows she still has a little love left for him somewhere in her heart. They’ve been broken up for almost a year. I think that love ship has sailed.

So Why Can’t Some People Let Go?

While I am in the midst of being annoyed by someone, the main thing that I want to know is ‘why won’t you leave me alone?!’ These are people who have been out of my life for awhile, but if you are fresh out of a breakup and someone can’t seem to let go, try not to be so hard on them. Being broken up with is a grieving process and people handle grief differently. This isn’t to say that you have to hold their hand in getting over you, that’s counterproductive. Just establish boundaries. I don’t have the blueprint for how to do it, just make sure you aren’t giving them false hope. The best thing you can do for both parties is to make it clear that just because you can be amicable does not mean you are interested in working things out. I was never interested in being amicable with people after I had kicked them to the curb, and I made that known. Sadly, some people have no respect for your personal boundaries. They are doing whatever will make them feel better with no regard for your peace of mind. They could be fueled by sadness, regret, or spite. If they aren’t going to be happy, then neither are you. If they are feeling despair, they want you to know how deep their sadness lies. No one is going to take you back out of pity. Why would you want that anyway? Talk about damaged pride. Now if someone has been out of your life for a reasonable amount of time and suddenly here they come, they are bored. Many women have that “they always come back” attitude like they’ve got the juice other women don’t have. That really has nothing to do with it. An old flame or ex boyfriend 9c88c84d42861ae52b5c840e7d47991fthat decides he wants to shoot the breeze with you out of nowhere is not looking to sweep you off of your feet again. More than likely he has become newly single or his roster has hit a dry spell. Men like to come back to what is familiar. This isn’t a case of the struggling ex who cannot seem to let you go. I notice that many women get an ego boost out of the amount of men who attempt to come back into their lives. Don’t be flattered. He has probably contacted five other women he used to be involved with in the same week he was liking your Instagram picture. Women do it too. I see guys complain all the time about various women texting them “hey stranger” when they haven’t heard from these women in months. What do you want now all of a sudden? Our own arrogance likes to allow us to flatter ourselves into thinking we are these irresistible creatures that no one can stay away from for too long. Whether it is the ex calling you crying to Marvin’s Room or the old friend with benefits who is popping up, you’ve got to ask yourself, do you like the attention? Many people fake complain about being irritated by the constant stream of texts and calls they get but they fail to mention that they are the ones adding fuel to the fire.

Let’s Face It, You Like The Attention

It is okay to admit you like to feel wanted. The ego stroke feels nice. You’re not fooling anyone though. Most people give up on contacting you after awhile if they do not get a response. Unless you’re dealing with Glenn Close from Fatal Attraction, your hotline is not going to keep blinging with your suitors begging for an ounce of your attention. If you want peace, stop feeding into these people. Lovers from the past are like stray cats. Give them a bowl of milk one night because you feel bad for them and they will be scratching at your door every night. How are you going to call the cat thirsty just because every time it asks, you give it what it wants? You are an enabler. I have another ex who actually just sent me a friend request on Facebook while I was working on this post. This guy was after underwear sniffing ex (I had a pattern of attracting crazy people for awhile) and for the past four years, he has been texting/calling me from different numbers, running up on me at the club, trying to add me on social media, etc. For awhile, I used to respond to his texts. I thought he just couldn’t let me go. Now I know he is just an irrational human being. I haven’t responded to his messages for a very, very long time yet he won’t go away completely. That type of attention gets old very fast. Even though I still hgiphyear from him every now and then, once I stopped replying, the communication decreased significantly. Sometimes, people will pop back into your life and will genuinely just want to know how you’re doing. Should you respond and risk your phone getting blown up from that point into the near future? You can take the risk, but not everyone is in stalker mode. I think our egos can have us thinking that just because you get a text that says “hey, you crossed my mind when this song came on, just wanted to say hello,” that they want you back. Not always the case. People are capable of maturing and being genuine in their interactions. Don’t go text your best friend complaining to her about why you can’t figure out why these guys just won’t leave you alone. We have extreme cases like the ones I have mentioned and we have basic cases of if you keep giving a dog a bone, the dog will keep coming back for more bones. My sisters and I joke all the time about how “they” always end up coming back in some shape or form, but we are sensible enough to know the logic behind it. It really isn’t all that personal. Everyone gets a kick out of nostalgia, and sometimes we just want those old feelings back.