What Would You Tell Your Younger Self? A Women’s Day Special [Guest Post]
Here at Bobux, we like to think of every
day as Women’s Day. But the actual ‘International Women’s Day’ is March 8th. It's a wonderful chance to celebrate all the female achievements around the world, the progress
and success spanning social, economic, cultural and political realms.
Women have certainly made long (and graceful) strides towards equality, yet there still remains much work to be done. The median earnings gap remains divided. Segregation and marginalisation continue to play a part in the workforce. Stereotypes and sexism wreak havoc the world over.
However, this article looks at the glass half full. We want to savour the day, to amplify the successes of women everywhere (and the men who support them, of course). We’re not dismissing the work needed to achieve pure equality; we support #pledgeforparity. But International Women’s Day is also about reflection and triumph.
As such, we asked our favourite women bloggers and influencers for advice they’d give to their younger self. Some responses were funny, others sombre, but the one constant throughout was inspiration. As you read these, take a moment to reflect on what advice you’d give your younger self. The answers may just inspire you to change, and what greater gift is there than that?
"Advice I would give to my younger self: worry less about the small things, about what others think of you and what you don't have. Later in life, those things will be forgotten and perhaps opportunities were missed. Take advantage of every moment and enjoy it! What matters most in life, is health and family. Simple!"
"This is tough. Probably don't sweat the small stuff. Be authentic and be selective about what advice you take on board. I love gathering information, mentors and education - and while this is valid (and worthwhile) I would suggest that even if you're not sure what it is you want to do or achieve (maybe it's still a hunch) just start - there is a point where you have too much information and you can't see the forest for the trees. My current motto is 'good enough is good enough' and this is to remind myself that everything doesn't need to be perfect before I do something, perfection can be the ultimate procrastination and enable inaction. Or something. Just do it!"
"Nothing lasts forever... whether it’s a bad haircut, having no money, a job that’s going nowhere or an annoying flatmate... it won’t last forever. But if you can’t live with it, take assertive action and make the change happen.
You shape the direction of your future. Choose to get a higher education, travel the world, have a family at a young age, have children later in life, move to the country, quit your job. The universe might have a plan for you but YOU are in the driver’s seat and have control over your own destiny.
And finally: have fun. It’s true what they say: youth really is wasted on the young. You’re only young once and it goes so fast, so enjoy it while you have few responsibilities and a (mostly) disposable income!"
"I would tell my younger self to wear sunscreen on my face everyday! I would also insist I learn my grandmother's recipes and write them down before it's too late. Some of my fondest childhood memories are baking with Nana Nina in her kitchen. Her recipes were done from memory and by feel and it would have been amazing if I measured the ingredients out while we baked together."
"Life begins as a blank canvas. Parents help paint a pathway that may be black and white, or colourful and patterned. There are friends, teachers and strangers that influence our creating along the way. And of course there is you, the one that imagines, dreams and creates the end results. Be like an artist; imagine and create your own colourful journey. Know that every picture you create can be filled with many changes and bursts of new creations. Remember that a mistake is not a mistake at all, but a change waiting to happen. Keep creating a bold and beautiful life, and keep dreaming BIG, because all dreams, no matter how big or little, are worth catching."
"I would assure my younger self that there is in fact a HUGE world out there beyond school. A world full of exciting people, cute boys, fabulous future best friends, places to see, fun to be had. A lifetime of such different daily experiences than mundane school days... Not only that, but also the opportunity to really find out what it is you love to do and then go and make it happen! That and to NEVER, EVER pose in a photo with a clear camel toe... It may come back to haunt you...(Darn that 2 sizes too small swimsuit...)!"
"I was incredibly blessed to grow up on a stunning thousand acre farm in NZ. We lived the most incredible life, eating almost all our produce from the land, making a trip into 'town' once a week.
As part of this I was required to do many 'chores' around the house/farm (to collect the eggs, bring the billy full of fresh warm milk with a layer of cream on top after Dad milked the cows, pick the dinner vegetables from the garden, help Dad move stock, feed out the hay & ensure our animals were nourished) ...things I bemoaned every day as a child!!
Now when I bring my children to NZ for a holiday, those simple & beautiful things bring so much joy to my kids (& me!!). I miss the organic life we led & my idyllic childhood. Living in Melbourne we simply don't have the space to recreate this for our family as I dream of it! So the advice I would give my younger self is would be to appreciate that way of life more than I did, breathe in the fresh country air, enjoy the quiet & safety of those times & relish the chores that I so wish I could do everyday in my adulthood."
"I’d give myself five simple pieces of advice:
Motherhood doesn’t always come naturally, and that’s alright.
You can have it all, just not all at once.
Sunscreen is the best anti-aging cream you can invest in."
"Just let go and live. Have faith and remember that everything happens for a reason. As Golda Meir once said, "Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement." Know you're worth it and remember that being different is beautiful. Our uniqueness makes us who we are so don't try to change. Love yourself. Love others. Respect and love your parents. Always.
Ask - Eat that humble pie and be forgiving. Life's too short to hold onto grudges. That anger will eat you away. Kindness is everything. We all have the power to make a difference for the better.
Give - Give wholeheartedly and expect nothing in return. What goes around comes around and you'll get it back tenfold. Even if you don't, nothing beats giving so others may grow, be happy and feel loved.
Love - Love is not a feeling. It's an action. Don't forget to build and deepen relationships with others. "No one stays in love by chance, it is by work. And no one falls out of love by chance, it is by choice."
Live - We are each given our own talents. Find yours. Nurture it and share it with the world. A smile is priceless. Take the time to enjoy the simple things. Take the time to dance. To quote Michael Jackson: 'if you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and then make a change'."
We hope these quotes have inspired you in some way. Thanks to all the contributors for their great quotes. If you're keen to find out more about International Women's Day and ways to take action, visit their website. Or if you have a few minutes to kill, read some other Bobux blog posts, like some kid-friendly dinner recipe ideas or our recap of the great launch event we held in February 2016