What I Would Tell My 17 Year Old Self

27 isn't a big age. Although sometimes I ponder about how the years have flown by and suddenly here I am in my late twenties, scarily edging closer to the big 30. I am a Mum of 2; an almost 5 year old and a 3 year old. I'm quite proud of that fact but sometimes I fear that it isn't enough. That I haven't achieved enough. Sometimes I sit and think about all of my regrets and sometimes I realise that all of the worrying I did when I was a bit younger didn't ever help. Things always wind up the way they are meant to.

So what would I tell myself 10 years ago? When I was at the beautiful hopeful age of 17? What advice would I give a teenager right now?

Don't rush.

Don't rush anything. Don't rush a relationship, a friendship, work or anything that will be worth something. There are a few things I've rushed in the past and I wish I hadn't. I rushed getting engaged with a previous relationship. I felt hurried. There really was no hurry. I realise that now. If we wanted the rest of our lives together we would have made that happen. Subsequently my marriage was a “quicky” too but instead of feeling rushed, the timing felt right. I've rushed many a things. My dissertation, my dinners. I realise now how important it is to slow life down and take it all in. To not make any rash decisions, to not post that passive aggressive status when I'm feeling angry and “just have to say that quickly”.

I'd not rush, I'd be calm and collected. I even rush certain things now only I know a little better now.

Don't worry.

That's a phrase that is churned out so much. It's always being said. I'm always doing it still! But with all of my worries, they never actually resolved anything. They just made everything worse, because either the inevitable bad thing would occur or it wouldn't. But I would have wasted time worrying. What will be will be. And most of the time, I dealt with things fine. Better than fine. Nothing is ever as bad as your mind makes out it to be. I sort of know that now but naturally the past is easier than the future. Because it's the fear of the unknown.

Cherish those baby days.

Everyone said it and this time I did listen. But I needed to have done it more. Because now I am grasping at the baby days. I am so excited by everything in the future with my boys but I am also so saddened by how quickly they grew. And now they are proper little boys that think farts and the word “boobies” is hilarious. To be fair, both those things are hilarious but my goodness did my little lads grow up.

Be mindful.

Don't stick your nose up the first few times you hear this phrase. It will improve your life. It will improve the way you see life and your mind. Get into it earlier, younger and see where it can take you.

Don't throw your Ant and Dec book away.

Sometimes we all obsess over things. And I have a strong obsession over them. They cheer me up anyday. But I squashed it, felt embarrassed and threw away a book I'd never even managed to read. Don't squash who you are. Embrace your quirks and embrace what you like. Embrace it and you will love it. We are all different, and we all love different things. Be yourself, be unique.

Don't give up and let fear take over.

I've done this far too many times now and it's just awful. I wish now that I could turn back time and every time I felt fear that I could squash that instead of myself. That I could face it. Because I have now shied away from too many things and now I wish that I'd faced them in the early scared days. Because if I'd faced more sooner perhaps the mountain of fear and anxiety over certain situations wouldn't have been formed and perhaps things would be very different right now.

This article was originally published on thethoughtsofayoungmindfulmum