Five Things I Wouldn’t Do If I Was Twenty Again

 I have this thing with age. This hang-up with the reality that I am pushing fifty and my life really didn’t amount to much.

Courtesy of Creative Commons – Matt Bilton

I’m not saying I don’t appreciate the life God has blessed me with.

What I am saying is I pretty much wasted precious years of my life on stuff that really didn’t matter.

Here are five things I wouldn’t do if I was twenty again:

1) I wouldn’t have wasted my time with boyfriends.

Since I was a teenager, I was boy crazy. I always needed to have a guy by my side. Even if they were absolute jerks and yes, I’m being kind.

2) I wouldn’t have allowed fear, insecurity or other people from stopping me in pursuing my dream.

My father grew up in poverty, so he basically brainwashed me into having a job and earning money.

I remember when I was in professional acting school and pursuing my dream as an actress and singer, my father told me to stop playing and get a real job. He said acting and singing weren’t going to pay the bills.

So, instead of pursuing my dream, I stopped and got a part time job as a receptionist in corporate America.

3) I wouldn’t have lived someone else’s dream.

My father’s dream was for me to take over his restaurant. Well, that’s what he said, but that’s not what he meant. He would use “taking over his business” as leverage to manipulate me. He had no interest in giving up his little kingdom for my sake.

4) I wouldn’t have dropped out of college.

One of my biggest regrets ever.  

Instead of focusing on finishing college, I dropped out and eloped with my ex-husband at the age of nineteen.

Ladies, no guy is worth giving up a college education and basically, your future.  

5) I wouldn’t have been concerned about what people thought of me.

Unfortunately, this is something I still struggle with today. I wish I could say I’m at a better place. But I’m not.

I do see the futility in obsessing over what people say or think about me. I mean, why does someone else’s opinion of me have to matter so much? I don’t know. But, it’s completely annoying. I really don’t want to care about what other people say or think of me.

This was an obstacle in my earlier years and continues to be today.

I think about what I would do differently if I wasn’t so concerned about what other people thought of me.

I probably would take more risks.

I would try new things and do what I believed in, even at the risk of what others thought about it.

When you live a life focused on what other people think of you, you’re not really living.

You are trapped in a prison of people’s opinions.  You forfeit who you are and your one short life on what other people think or say. What a robbery.

It’s not worth it.

Do you struggle with any of these five things? If so, which one?

  • Kim

    I have struggled with four of the five. The one I didn’t struggle with was dropping out of college. I did finish my associate’s degree but it took me another 6 years to get back to school and work on finishing my bachelor’s. With any luck I’ll graduate in 2015.

    I do realize that at 32 it’s not too late to make up for the mistakes and regrets made while in my 20s but the anger, resentment, and bitterness at times makes it hard to do so. That is one of the biggest struggles of them all.

    Despite those struggles and worries though I do think things will get better. Insecurities and fear persist but I feel that as long we’re self-aware and know what needs to be fixed or made better I’m sure good things are ahead.

    • I’m so glad you are pressing through and achieving your goals. Awesome!

  • So good to see your comment. You have so much wisdom and are such an encourager. You are so right. I suffer from anxiety and hate making mistakes too. I would love for you to come to NYC, that would be fun!! Thanks again for your continued support. You are the best!

    • i’ve only ever been to nyc once and that was 9 years ago. probably overdue. i seriously want to do a blogging road trip and meet up with all my amazing blogging/writing friends.

      • Oh yeah, that would be so fun. Last September, I got to meet Andi, Tammy, Jim, Jamie, Christine and a host of others at the Quitter Conference. It was by far the best experience ever.

  • Scott Berry

    I think #2 has always been my biggest problem. My wife’s father was a horrible self-employed printer who had no business acumen whatsoever. So my wife equated self-employment to poverty. It wasn’t until the past couple of years that I’ve been able to convince her otherwise. It ain’t always wine and roses, but there is a future and it looks good. As others have been touting . . . find your dream and chase after it!

    • Thank you for sharing this with me. I appreciate the encouragement. Glad you are chasing after your dream.

  • While I still care to some extent what others think of me, to a large extent, these days I really do not. Most consider that aloof, snarky, and conceited. I assure you that it is not. I am just tired of everyone’s BS, and self-serving agendas. Most people talk a good game, but when it comes down to it, they are full of it. I am comfortable with who I am, where I have come from, and where I’m going. For the most part, I like who I have become.

    But the bottom line is, no one is gonna steal my dream from me again. I am living my dream. It doesn’t pay much, but it will as I get better and more folks see the quality of my work.

    Nobody lives rent free in my head anymore.

    • I admire that. I keep trying to push forward. I am encouraged by your words. Good for you!

  • I hope this statement comes oof with the right heart — one of kindness not judgment. You are older than you want to be, but not dead. I think it’s good to take stock of how you wish you had made different choices. Don’t hang out there though, or you past becomes chains holding you back from your future. Trust me, I am just now breaking the shackles off of my own life. Freedom tastes great though, so keep pushing for change in your life, Pilar

    • Thank you, Chris. I am trying. Thank you for your kind words. I appreciate you and your friendship.

  • Christa Sterken

    I struggled with most of these, and unless you are 49 you aren’t pushing 50. I’ve been told by many that the 50’s are the funnest years of their lives. These are great life lessons, #5 is especially important to me. Important WE don’t get caught up into caring about the stuff we struggle to appreciate about ourselves too. You are priceless

    • You are kind, Christa. Thank you. So are you friend. 🙂