An email came across my desk this morning with letters written by some of the leading ladies of Netflix’s original series.
The letters ranged from the funny (from Chelsea Handler) to the inspiring (Queen Elizabeth II, The Crown), to the poignant (Sophia, Orange is the New Black). They touch on truths that women everywhere, regardless of time and place, can resonate with.
It got me thinking … what would I say? I turned 45 not long ago, and over those years I learned a few things. Here’s what I’d tell my 20-year-old self.
Tell the truth, even if it hurts.
You are enough, just as you are.
You do NOT need to lose five pounds.
Not everyone will behave like you would. Some people are just broken.
Put the hairspray down and back away slowly.
Tell your Dad you love him, because someday he’ll be gone.
You’ll be OK.
Don’t hide your light to make other people feel better.
Don’t drink more than two paralyzers in one evening.
Put yourself first. It’s OK to say no to things that suck your time and spirit.
Don’t buy those M C Hammer pants. They are not cool.
Say what you want. No one can read your mind.
People will show you who they are. Listen. (Thanks, Maya Angelou).
Someone can have a college degree and still be a dumba**.
Normal is way over-rated.
Every second you worry about your weight, or your clothes, or your hair, you can never get back.
You are not alone.
You need to do the right thing for your soul, not the thing that’s right on paper.
But be tough when you need to be.
People will like you, or not like you, for reasons you really don’t have any control over.
Y2K is really no big deal.
Crimped hair really isn’t all that flattering.
Be brave. Playing safe serves no one.
Don’t take yourself too seriously.
You’ll mess up. A lot. It’s OK.
Life throws you curve balls. Just roll with it.
Give your Mom a hug. When you have kids, you’ll understand how much she needs it.
Spend more time in the water.
Don’t invest in Nortel.
Go with the flow. It all turns out OK.
You think you know everything, but you know nothing. But that’s OK.
Always take an opportunity for adventure.
Keep a journal. You’ll regret it later if you don’t.
Life is far to short to work just for money. Find something you like. Or better yet, love.
Buy a plane ticket.
Dump anyone who’s toxic or a hater right now. Don’t waste single second on them.
There’s always time for chocolate.
Things don’t matter. People matter.
Send Christmas and birthday gifts to your nieces and nephews.
It will pass. This goes for both the good and the bad.
Always trust your intuition. Always.
The only constant is change. It may be a cliche, but it’s oh so true.
Life is now. It’s not in the past, or some unforeseeable future. It’s NOW.