Recently I was asked to take part in an unprecedented campaign for women called “Bridging the Gap,” where 100 millennial and 100 midlife influencers are coming together with the purpose of to blurring the boundaries of age. As part of this, I was paired with a talented Millenial Blogger named Sami Davis from An Unexpected Type.
I’ll be writing more about Sami and the campaign in a special post, but let me tell you about how the topic of this week’s post came about.
Sami and I wanted to do more than feature each other on our respective blogs. We wanted to point our readers to content that would be of interest to them on each other’s blogs.
Sami told me that her readers were particularly interested in personal growth and learning from other women. So she came up with a set of questions for me. Here are Six Things I Would Tell my 20-Something Self.
What 3 pieces of advice would you give to your 20-something self (and us growing girls now)?
Know Your Worth
Don’t know what your worth? I do. You were created by God, who is perfect, in His image. You have been given a beautiful heart, soul, and spirit. You have been given gifts and talents that are uniquely yours for the plan He has for you. You have a purpose for being here. The world would not be the same without you.
Your worth is not determined by your age, size, race, family of origin, education, health, intellectual ability, athletic ability, economic status or your past.
Own Your Worth
It’s one thing to know your worth. It’s quite another to own it. Owning your worth means requiring everyone around you to treat you like a person of great value deserving of respect on every level.It's one thing to know your worth. It's quite another to own it. Click To Tweet
- Your feelings
- Your time
- Your body
- Your possessions
- Your emotions
- Your health
It means getting paid what you’re worth. And unfortunately, you will probably always have to ask to be paid for what you are worth. Very few people will pay you what you’re worth on their own. You have to know your value as an employee and team member and ask for it.
- It means requiring everyone you come in contact with to treat you with dignity and respect.
- Not putting up with demeaning comments.
- Calling out people who get in your personal space or touch you inappropriately. Which may mean reporting them to people in authority in the workplace or law enforcement.
- Not allowing others to dehumanize you by calling you names (and no, – oh he was just mad that one time is not an excuse).
- Not standing you up.
- Or taking advantage of your financially.
- Or using you for personal gain.
Always Have Your Own Money
If you marry, you will likely pool all your money into one household account. And that’s not a bad thing. But always have a little set aside for yourself. Money is power. And if someone else has total control over all your finances, you have given away some of your power.
Hopefully, you will marry someone who loves you, is totally trustworthy and would never abandon you. Or get sick. Or die. But we don’t live in a perfect world, so having a little money set aside for you and your children is very empowering. If the worst happens, you’ll be prepared.
What was one of your biggest mistakes that you learned the most from?
I made lots of mistakes and I know I learned some hard lessons from them, but I just can’t seem to recall them all now. (We call this the selective memory loss that comes with age). But what I do know is that it was usually one or more of these things that led to those mistakes:
Caring too much about pleasing people and wanting to be liked led to not standing up for myself and demanding to be valued – by a man, an employer or group of “friends”. Or engaging in behavior that wasn’t good for me or went against my own moral compass to go along with the crowd.
Drinking too much
Yes, it’s fun and relaxing to have a drink or two. But whenever I drank past a little buzz, I opened myself up to a world of trouble. Best case scenario – I had a headache the next day. Worst case – I embarrassed myself and my judgment was impaired. I look back at those instances now and see how I was putting myself at risk for so many things. Nothing good ever happened when I drank too much.
Not nurturing my relationship with God
This goes along with that whole moral compass thing. When I neglected my faith by not being around people who shared those same values, it was way too easy to stray from the timeless principles I had been taught. And those moments never ended well.
What is your favorite memory from your 20’s?
I just remember my senior year in college. I was ready to graduate. Get a job. Be a grownup. But I cherish that last year with my college girlfriends. There is something special about the friends you make in college. The friends from those pivotal years where you are growing up and learning who you are. We had some fun times (that we can only remember bits and pieces of when we get together these days) and they were the best.
What was the most difficult “adulting” moment you had in your 20’s? For me, it was putting my big girl pants on and figuring out taxes for a freelance job. (Numbers + me… not great.)
When my Dad gave me new tires for my car for my birthday. A very generous and much-needed gift, but certainly not the fun gifts I was accustomed to receiving!
I feel like I’ve lost and gained SO many friends at this stage in my life– what’s your biggest piece of advice on friendship?
There are some friends that are lifelong friends. And there are some friends that are in your life for a season. Don’t be too bothered about those that come and go at different times in your life. It’s not personal. It’s not weird. It’s just what happens as you move, change & grow.
And as Oprah says, “When someone shows you who they are, believe them”.
Any advice on careers and trying to figure out where we belong in the workforce?
I graduated with a Bachelor of Music Education Degree. When I got my first job teaching elementary music, I liked it well enough. But I have a vivid memory of driving home from work one day thinking to myself, “I cannot do this for the rest of my life”. But the thing is, you don’t HAVE to stay in ANY job for the rest of your life.
I’ve done lots of different paid and non-paid jobs. Stay-at-home mom, volunteer, piano teacher, tutor, non-profit executive and now a blogger/influencer. The one common thread is that I have learned something at every job that prepared me for the next one.I learned something at every job that prepared me for the next one. Click To Tweet
What about you – the My Side of 50 tribe? What would you add? I’d love to hear your answers to these questions in the comments below!
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