When Malcolm asked me what I wish I knew in my last decade, my mind immediately went to my disappointment in discovering that there is not, in fact, a period of time after acne and before wrinkles; they actually overlap.
Thank you thank you thank you to Malcolm Venable for inviting me to be a part of this article for Shondaland!!!
Not only was it an honor to be included but even if no one else ever saw it, the greatest gift was being prompted to reflect on this!
Here's the section I contributed, but click through to Shondaland.com to read the full article!
"Your 30s are different from your 20s! I’m surprised by that. I thought it was just: You are a kid, and then you are an adult. I never thought about how almost all of your life is spent as an adult, and there are so many stages. I look back on the last decade with rose-colored glasses. I kind of wish 30s me could give advice to 20s me. I look back and see myself as brave and generous and creative and kind.
I wish I’d known that my positive attitude was my greatest asset and that I should do everything I could to protect it. I wish I’d known how transient people’s roles in my life were and are. People change jobs, people break up, people grow and change. Someone might be your boss or client one day, and you feel so much pressure to impress them, but then you get in a situation where you’re positioned more as an equal and a friend, and you see them differently. They’re just a person like you and everyone else.
Maya Angelou said, “Each time a woman stands up for herself, without knowing it possibly, without claiming it, she stands up for all women.” Teaching a university class and starting a business in my 20s taught me that my voice has power and that speaking up for what’s right makes other women feel like they have permission to do the same.
I wish I’d known that laser hair removal (and really any beauty treatment that’s going to save me time) is worth it. I wish I’d known to have a default nail color. Just get a ballerina gown dip polish every time. I wish I’d known that I could just get the car I wanted instead of feeling unhappy and self-conscious about driving an old, messy car. I love my little black Buick SUV with beige leather seats. I wish I’d known to spend my money and time on facials and exercise instead of listening to the women at the makeup counters trying to sell me something.
I wish I’d known that I can be the person who goes to early morning exercise classes. I didn’t see the point in waking up early, but I now see those hours as a gift to myself. I wish I’d known that procrastination is not laziness. I needed to look deeper to find the issue instead of blaming it on myself. Was I missing resources? Did I need help from someone or more information? I wish I’d thought without judgment about what was keeping me from doing what I wanted or needed to do.
I wish I’d known that if I didn’t want to be around someone, it didn’t make me a bad person. There was probably a reason something felt off, and it’s fine to trust myself and my instincts.
I wish I’d known that when I can’t stop thinking about something, I should just take action. It’s totally fixable if I make a mistake or regret my decision, but it’s a waste of time to ruminate. I don’t need to feel guilty about really leaning into doing things I love and indulging because it gets harder and harder to get in touch with what you want at your core. It’s not selfish to do what you want; that’s actually what really should be guiding you through life. As generic and clichéd as it seems, being yourself really is the ultimate goal.
I wish I’d known to go see Britney Spears in concert. It doesn’t matter how much it would have cost. I could have figured that part out."