If I could go back and tell myself one thing
I turn 30 today. Tell me I’m not the only one who looks back and wishes I could tell my 20 year old self some things and live it again a little bit different.
It would be smart to tell my younger self to invest in apple stock or invent Facebook; Or possibly more important, for my 21 year old self to stay away from the boy who will betray me. But really if I could tell myself anything it wouldn’t be to change one specific incident in my life. It would be changing how I dealt with life as a whole.
I can look at my 30 years and put each day in two categories. The days I lived as a cynic and the days I lived in joy.
My cynical days were days I saw wrongful motives, let fear control my emotions, highlighted hidden agendas, and believed that trusting was ignorant. Cynicism loves the dark. It brings the worst parts of people into the light to make the light a little more dull. It says, I told you so. Cynicism ridicules happiness and mocks authenticity. Worst of all, the best cynic builds a wall of judgment to keep out vulnerability. Cynicism is a trap. Watch the news, look on facebook, talk to that person you know has all the latest gossip, you can’t stop listening. Cynicism is addictive.
Then there’s joy. Joy says, the world can be a really hard place and life isn’t always fair, but my gosh it’s still so beautiful. Joy finds the best part of the worst people and it doesn’t stop there… joy believes that really bad people can change. Living in joy creates a breeding ground for vulnerability. Living in Joy also harvests a very deep empathy because empathy is learned through vulnerability. It doesn’t mean life is only full of happiness. It means bringing some light into the darkness to make the dark a little lighter. Joy pushes away fear. Joy doesn’t ignore manipulation, pain, or danger, but it anticipates and fights for something better.
I just wish at 20 I known how to choose joy more often. Here’s to 30 and more benefit of the doubt, more risks, more positivity, more hope for change, more forgiveness, less doubt, less fear, less pointing the finger, less I told you so’s.