There’s a thin line between stupidity and perseverance

This is the best advice I can give to my 25 year-old self. I realized this week it was almost 20 years ago that I moved from Athens, GA to the Orlando area. It felt like I went full circle since its the place I graduated from high school. My parents had moved on to another state so I was alone with just the few friends I had stayed in touch with during college.

The city had changed during those years I was in school. I had come back when I realized my first real job after graduation would lead me no where but locked in the small town of Athens. Even back then I knew I was destined for something greater then a sales job at the local radio station. Orlando had changed and so had I.

Since its been almost 20 years since I’ve come back, I thought I’d write a letter to my 25 year-old self. If I knew then what I know now, would things be different?

Dear Penney,

This is your 45 year-old self writing to you to let you know what to expect in the next 20 years. There will be good (and LOADS of it) as well as the bad. Just don’t give up. It will all come together and even better then you could have ever imagined.

You’ll work quite a few jobs over the next 20 years before you start your own business. At first the jobs may not make sense but the skills you’ll learn, the people you’ll meet … it’ll all come together later in your life. They were all part of a plan to get you where you are today. All of these things happened for a reason so soak up all the knowledge and experience you can.

You’re going to meet a few men over the next 20 years. They’ll challenge your strength. They’ll make you question your judgement and doubt your ability to trust. But stay on the path. These men and others will be brought into your life to teach you lessons. And if you don’t learn these life lessons, you will continue to repeat these patterns until you figure out what you were put here on this planet to learn.

Know that you’ll meet a man before you turn 30 and you two will get married. Even though there will be many many times when you question your relationship, go through the tunnel with your eyes wide open. You’ll come out better, stronger, faster … you’ll be like the Bionic Woman once you’ve healed the wounds of your failed marriage. They can rebuild you – they have the technology.

And best of all – you’ll be a mom. I know it doesn’t sound like something you want right now. You’re 25 and living in a world with beer, beach and Buffett on your brain (and yes, we STILL have Buffett in our lives!). But don’t worry, you’re going to be a great mom. If you think the long drawn-out divorce  battle is going to make you a better person, you’re only half right. Being a mom to your son Jake will turn you into the person you always knew you had the potential to be. He will love you so much it will make his heart hurt.

You’re going to make mistakes. I mean big stupid mistakes and LOTS of them. But that’s OK. Just know that you need to learn to listen to the inner voices in your head. Trust that funny feeling in your stomach when something feels out of place. Don’t doubt yourself and what you believe to be the truth. You can do more then you ever imagined you were capable of doing.

And when you think you just can’t go on anymore – don’t give up. Take a deep breath, pull yourself back up and get back out there. Because there is a thin line between stupidity and perseverance. There will many lessons you’ll learn along the way and one day, it will happen. You’ll wake up and find that everything you’ve been working so hard to accomplish, everything you’ve been struggling with, it will all make sense and become your truth from within. Love, peace and joy are truly yours for the taking.

Sincerely,

Your older but wiser self

Photo credit: Don’t Give Up

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