My parents are celebrating their 45th wedding anniversary on Saturday and it got me thinking about all of the things I have learned over the years, specifically during my twenties. One of my sorority sisters recently argued with me about how this is our last year in our twenties. HOLD UP. I’m 28. Then she reminded me that we have not had our birthday in 2015 yet. Fast forward to me running panicked back to my desk and booking a flight to Paris for November. I have had a few months to let this revelation sink in and I am actually looking forward to it. I continue to be more and more comfortable with myself as I get older and the opportunities I have and the people in my life continue to be a blessing every day. So, here it goes, 28 things I wish I could tell my 20 year old self. I wrote this list in the time it takes to make snickerdoodle cupcakes, so I am sure I could add to this list over and over. This is a good compilation of Libby lessons, so I hope you find something you can relate to!
The cupcakes are for our birthday celebration we have every month to celebrate birthdays in the office. I decided to make snickerdoodle cupcakes, which I have not made in a few years and they were delicious! I love anything cinnamon and these made my kitchen smell amazing!
28 THINGS I WISH I COULD TELL MY 20 YEAR OLD SELF
- Never miss an opportunity to dance like nobody’s business. Have you ever heard anyone say, ‘I really wish I hadn’t danced like a fool last night?’ Ok, maybe you have, but most people won’t remember your unique dance moves anyway.
- Learn to say no. You don’t have to please everyone.
- Pay attention to the friends that are genuinely happy for you during your highs and stay with you during your lows.
- There’s no love quite like a puppy’s love. Get a dog. They will never judge you and will be there for countless 3am life chats and spontaneous dance parties in the kitchen.
- Your college major does not matter. Trust me, it doesn’t. I learned far more outside of the classroom.
- Treat the intern well. Not only do I still keep up with interns that I have worked with, but as a professional intern (I hit double digits), I can say I remember fondly who treated me with respect and took the time to mentor me. These are the close friends and colleagues I remain in contact with and will help in anyway I can.
- Don’t ever let someone say you can’t do something. My dad made me play every sport when I was little. The theory was that how would I know I didn’t like it if I didn’t try it? Good logic, dad! This applies to everything – I ended up being a swimmer, but if someone tells me I can’t do something, you can bet I am going to try!
- Don’t worry so much about today. Tomorrow is a new day and what lies ahead is far better than what is behind us. And yes, I stole a little inspiration from CS Lewis for this one.
- It’s okay to cry. I always worried about appearing weak, but sometimes the best thing to do is let it out. Everyone has his or her own personal struggles.
- Do what you love even if you don’t make a lot of money. This is easier to say than do, but at the end of the day, you will be content and full of purpose.
- When in doubt, pray. It may sound silly, but no matter what, I remind myself that I am never alone on this adventure.
- People will let you down. BIG TIME. Learn from it and move on.
- No matter how bad you think it is, remember to count your blessings. Some people would pray to have your worst days.
- Wear sunscreen. If you don’t believe me, google ‘truck driver sun damage on left side.’
- Work is important and high on my priorities, but remember to make time for the people that matter most. You’ll never get that time back.
- If it makes you happy, wear it. Large headbands, funky patterns, pink shoes, pants with lemons or anchors or critters. If it makes you happy, it will probably make someone else happy too. When I am truly comfortable with what I am wearing and it expresses my personality, I am most at ease and those are the days I get the most compliments on my outfit.
- Hardly anything is worth full price. Get that used car, go to the library, wait for it to go on sale, and make friends with salespeople.
- Your mom actually knows what she is talking about. Get as much wisdom from her as you can.
- Don’t spend more than you have. This is so obvious, yet so many young people don’t understand this concept. I plan to live debt free my entire life and I have my bank statement emailed to me every morning. You don’t have to be this Type A, but keep a running tally. Your older self will thank you!
- There’s no ‘right’ age to do anything. Stop comparing yourself to the twenty-somethings with kids, a house with a yard in the suburbs, and new appliances. Someday I will experience the joy of new appliance shopping, but right now I am pretty darn happy with my pup in the city and a job that keeps me busy.
- Never stop enjoying and noticing the little things. This can be the kids at Starbucks playing chess on a Sunday morning, beautiful flowers at the farmer’s market, or a stranger holding the door open for you. Little things are everywhere – remember to appreciate them. It makes life so much more enjoyable.
- Know your worth. Here’s a tip: You’re FABULOUS because you are you! Don’t settle for anything less than you deserve.
- Sometimes doing the right thing is embarrassing. Get over that.
- Move to a new city at least once in your life (this does not include college). It will make you appreciate and LOVE your city even more when you move back a year later.
- Whatever you’re insecure about is probably not rational. I was nervous about sharing my Cleveland Clinic experience with my work colleagues until it came up and became awkward to not own up to it. Later, I received an email from someone I really respect saying that it is these experiences and hard times that make us who we are. He did not think I am weak or less capable. It was the opposite – take pride in your story.
- Let go of bitterness and any contempt you hold for someone. I always think of that saying that they are staying in your head ‘rent free.’ Never let those feelings have a hold on you. Make peace with the past and embrace the amazing people in your life.
- Usually the smartest people are also the best listeners.
- Cookies make everything better.
Recipe via Martha Stewart
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 3/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups milk (I used 2 percent)
Preheat the oven to 350. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Sift together both flours, baking powder, salt, and 1 tablespoon cinnamon.
With an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated. Beat in vanilla. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of milk, and beating until combined after each.
Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes.
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 to 2 tablespoons whipping cream
In a standing mixer fitted with a whisk, mix together sugar and butter. Mix on low speed until well blended and then increase speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes.
Add vanilla and cream and continue to beat on medium speed for 1 minute more, adding more cream if needed for spreading consistency. Frost cupcakes and dust with a little cinnamon sugar (one tablespoon sugar + 1/2 tsp cinnamon).