by Yvonne DiVita
The meme going around social media these days asks people to share what they would tell their 22 year old self. For some of us, that's a hard task. I was not a happy person when I was 22... but, as I look back, I do remember the good times and I finally figured out what I would like my 22 year old self to know.
Dear Me, at 22,
You look too much inward. You feel small among others because important people in your life have made you feel that way, but you are not small. You are a giant.
It is not your height or weight - goodness gracious, you're of average height and a little underweight, after all. It's not your good looks. Oh, you don't think you're good looking? Those around you would disagree. But, that's not important. Good looks are reflected in a person's additude, and you have a good additude...about other people. Your giantness comes from your ability to connect to other people, when you allow yourself to do so.
If you would worry less about how smart you are (or aren't; so you didn't pass chemistry... it's no big deal, you won't suffer for it down the road); and how long your hair is (you should have cut it long before you did); and whether or not your make-up is on right, you'd be able to shed the fear you carry on your shoulders, wrappped about you like a wool coat; hot, itchy, unbearable at times, but there... always there. You'd be able to stand tall and be the giant you were meant to be.
You always felt drawn to the underdog. Animals and people alike. I wish you had cultivated that more, when you were 22. I wish you had figured out that the ability to feel great empathy is a positive part of your life - one you should pay more attention to.
Listen to the people who compliment you and realize they are sincere. You are smart and talented and if you use your brain and your talent to their fullest potential, you will accomplish great things! You are destined to be a voice for others - start now!
Shed that wool coat of fear and crippling shyness! Stop trying to be someone else because being someone else is easier than being yourself! Ah, if only I'd heard this quote from Judy Garland, "“Always be a first rate version of yourself and not a second rate version of someone else.”
― Judy Garland"
And that's what I would tell myself at twenty-two. I wonder, if I had been able to throw off the wool coat of 'suffering' that I wore - if I could have been stronger and figured out that I was the one who made that hot coat and I was the one who continued to add weight to it by refusing to shed the past - would I have become the me I am today, sooner?
I wonder. And then, I wonder if it matters. Because I am, today, who I am...and proud of it. All that worry years ago contributed to this, the person I am now. At some point, I threw that horrid coat off and trampled it... until it broke into a million pieces and ceased to exist. Because I woke up and decided TODAY is a GREAT DAY to be...ME. ME, ME, ME... a person I exhault in these days.
What would YOU tell your twenty two year old self?