Tuesday, 19 March 2019

TEN THINGS I WOULD TELL MY 20-YEAR OLD SELF


There's at least a five-year gap between these two pictures and besides stating the obvious that time flies so fast, I sometimes imagine myself teleporting to my younger self and telling her what future Kristine has to say. My guess is, my younger self would laugh and not believe her future version anyways. There are things that need to be experienced first hand and I think this is one of the reasons why we become a stronger, wiser person.

1. Don't be too hard on yourself. During my university days, more so when I took my accountancy license, I beat myself real hard, put on pressure even on the slightest things, that my health and mental well-being suffered... all of which are self-imposed and if I may add, totally unnecessary. There's a thin line between doing your best and punishing yourself in the hope that high grades equal being successful in life. I don't regret all the hard work I put in, I know that those played a big role on where I am today, but I'll take it easy and speak kindly to myself if I can relive those twenty-something years all over again.

2. You did good when you got out of your comfort zone. Never in my wildest dreams that I will decide to live on my own, let alone in another country and to make it more intense, in another continent. It was spring 2014 when I first moved to London but my first taste of living independently happened when I worked on a project in Prague. It was not a bed of roses but I truly enjoyed and learned tons of things from it. I won't have it any other way. Related post: WHAT LIVING IN LONDON HAS TAUGHT ME.

3. Never be afraid to communicate. There are people who are born to be an entrepreneur. I am not one of them. What that means is I work on a corporate setting. There are pros and cons between the two and it would take another blog post to explore both options but in a nutshell, being employed works well for me (for now). Going back, keep the communication line open younger Kristine. People can't read your mind and if you put across your compromise nicely, you'll be surprised by how much they are willing to accommodate you. Trust your future you.


4. Enjoy your season of singleness. Oh, I know, I know. You have so much to say about this. I'm aware full well because, uhm, I was you. I can't blame you if you've lost all hope and shunned all the possibilities. You even vowed not to attend a wedding after the last one that made you cry, nope, not out of joy but of frustration. Let me tell you something, you will get married one fine summer day. Related post: WHEN A GOOD GOD ASKS YOU TO WAIT.

5. Thank you for investing time with the family when you can. I mean it from deep within. From the time you were not sure if you'll get married or you'll stay forever with mum and dad, thanks for treating both of them well. From spa breaks, restaurant lunches and long evening talks - you are the reason why 30-something Kristine don't regret a single thing now that she's miles away from them.

6. Good job on investing early. In my early years of working for an accounting software company, I was on night shift. And that is NOT fun. I was at my fattest, my hormones are fluctuating, I always got sick. Then, I asked myself "all of these for what?" That's when I thought I need to start being financially literate early on. I started with saving then shifted to investing. I'm inherently drawn to it given my finance background but the real joy comes from a sense of fulfilment that I have a plan and not mindlessly going to work day in and out. 

7. Don't forget who you are. The world will try to dictate who you should be. Social media will put pictures and ideas in your head. They will do their best for you to associate with them. You will at some point think you are your weight, your fashion sense, your relationship status and so much more. Don't listen to all of those crap. You know who you are and if you always follow that inner compass, you will enjoy life.

8. You will lose some of your friends and that's okay, the genuine ones are here to stay. I am not a fan of dwelling on the negatives and this is not a dig on any particular person. It is a statement of fact. Some of the people you know will disappear - not to confuse it with those whom you lost contact with but the bond is still there. There are loads of those friends, I miss them all. However, there are people that you treated as friends and you'll wake up one day with a rude awakening that they are everything but. Not to fret, you have a million blessings to thank for and them being out of your life is one of those. I truly wish them well, which leads me to my next point...

9. Inner peace is expensive, so pick your battles. Life is too short to be stressed all the time, so let it go and let it be. A wise man once said "we are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world."

10. Take it easy on the chemicals. Probably the most practical of them all. I cringe that you dyed your hair, digi-permed it and took a slimming pill (it won't work, btw) during these years! Later down the line, you'll discover that health is such a rare gem and you'll eat kale & spinach, do exercise and drumrolls please, see slow but sure results of your hard work. Related post: 3 'NEW' THINGS I LEARNED FROM MY FITNESS JOURNEY. -CMK





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