Dear a-little-bit-lost, a-little-bit-heartbroken, 27-year-old-self,
Happy birthday! I wrote this letter to remember what it felt like to be 27. The wise old age of what you thought was the year where you knew a lot more, while in reality you didn’t know much at all. Here are things that you wish you knew a year ago when you started this year off, but are fairly happy you did not know them, because it is just that much more fun to figure it out along the way.
Not everyone is your friend, and that’s okay. Removing friends become parts of your life now. Friends you grew up with but somehow no longer fit you. No matter how long you have known them, a life time or a year ago. You passed the time assuming that they will always be there, but they just no longer are. You feel no longer in middle school phase where you need everyone to love you. You now learn that you do not need to be everyone’s best friend. You start not to worry about birthday parties, or social calendars. You now realizes people will talk behind your back anyway no matter how hard you try to please them, because simply they are in their own messes. Just be you and be kind to everyone. Because even sometimes, being good and doing right thing is hard and creates enemies.
Moving to a new place where there is more opportunity for you professionally, but where you are an absolute stranger and have to start building your new comfort zone. A huge risk that you are willing to take simply because you think it is time for you to start working on your dream. It is not easy, for sure. But it makes you realize how far you can really go and push yourself to. Start shaping the dream that you thought you would have achieved before you reach 30, but instead you just start working on it.
Accepting that you cannot party in the way you used to. You start turning down some nights which people will tease you about because your sleep has become your most precious commodity. That you cannot go out for two parties in a row without feeling sick the next morning (or maybe for some days afterwards).
Realizing that you ever loved someone so greatly and it might take you the rest of your life trying to tell yourself that you will be okay. That one day the scar will go away and you can tell yourself proudly how much you have loved them in your life. Because loosing is no longer about having to say goodbye to your ducks or dogs, but also the people you love so dearly, who give you such great memories that when they went away, they left a big hole in your heart.
Falling for someone who is never going to feel the same way about you. Regardless the fact that you do not see him as the man who you just want to get laid with, or someone to pass the night with, you keep it going. You tried so hard to go away from him, but you cannot. Simply because you cannot help yourself from loving. You are 27, but you still love foolishly. In the mean time, do not stop to focus on building a business with good intention, you should focus in finding the time to be with yourself from time to time, focus on your family, your health, giving back to the people around you. Stop making excuses that romance does not exist anymore, that guys do not want to take girls on dates anymore. Do not stop believing that he is out there. The right one who will treat you the way you want to be treated, who will see your value and love you for who you are, inspire you to be your biggest self, the one who you want to go home to, and to grow old with.
Still dream. Do not be so jaded about the day-to-day work details. Do not be too fearful to remember why you are doing what you are doing. Do not be too taken down by the adulthood. Remember this life is yours, and you are the one who creates it. Do not stop exploring the world, go to new places, meet new people. Do not stop in a place where you can no more dream big or helping others seeing their dreams.
Understanding that sometimes, when people tell you that it is not the right time, they really mean it. Their lives are simply changing in a way that may mean you will not be able to be as close. Nothing you can really do about it, because they also need to change and you take no part in their phase of life.
Be humble. Always remember that you did not get to where you are alone. You got there because of hard work. Ridiculously hard work. But also, people took chances on you. People trained you. People accepted your mistakes. People believed in you. People saw through your rushing around, faster than lightning, and they wanted to see more of you. You are lucky to have so many people in your life who care about you and want you to succeed. So remember that you also have to be that person for the other people. Be the one who provides them chances, who accepts their mistakes, and believes in them.
Be grateful. In your heart, thank those who have wronged you as much as you thank those who did something good to you. Not because what they have done to you, but for yourself. They have opened up things inside you which have helped you grow into someone stronger and wiser. Be grateful for all the things you have always hated about yourself and recognized they are now things you have learned as well, to love and appreciate. Be grateful for the rough life experiences that have paved the way for you to know who you are and who you are not.
Be kind. To your family, to your friends. Spend 80% of your time with 20% of the people that matter most to you. But do not forget to learn how to forgive yourself as well. Be kind to yourself.
Take your time, to work on yourself harder than you work on your business. Do not forget to look back once in while, the path that you have left behind. No, you will never be able to change the wrong direction you took, but it will help you to appreciate and shape yourself better. Remember the destination you want to go to, and you probably will be reminding yourself how little you knew once you were 28, a year from now. Try to live and love the person you have decided to become, even if that means having to start from square one at 28 years old. Even if that means you are going to be a little bit behind for a long time. Even if none of us really know what it means to be “behind”. So, do not be so hard on yourself.