25 things I’d tell my younger self.

  1. Enjoy Now – For some reason, you are always in such a rush to grow up. Enjoy the simpler times in life, because around 23, you will find yourself desperately trying to recreate the moments you rushed past.
  2. Try – The best things happen outside of your comfort zone.
  3. Save Early – Your parents weren’t wrong when they encouraged you to save every penny. The things you wanted to purchase when you were younger wouldn’t have served you now – unlike the experiences you gained traveling, which were only available because of your savings.
  4. Skip Foundation – Once you stop wearing foundation, you will stop getting spots. Plus, you love your freckles, so why hide them?
  5. Trust Your Gut – If something feels wrong, it likely is. Refuse to get in that car, say no to the offer, and walk on well lit streets. When someone enters your life and amazes you, follow that too.
  6. Ask – People want to help, but they need to know how, so make your ask clear.
  7. Form Good Habits – Take a look at the habits you are forming. You are a very routined person, but understand that you control your routine. Make doing the things you love part of your habits.
  8. Open Up Your Plans – The most memorable days – and often the best – are the spontaneous ones.
  9. Embrace Who You Are – You don’t have to (and shouldn’t) wear trends or act in ways that don’t reflect what you really believe. There is nothing like authenticity. But if you want to try something new, look first for a discounted way to do so – can you get that trend at Marshalls or that experience on Groupon?
  10. Sleep On It – Before making a big decision or a big purchase, think about all of your options. Things are not as time-sensitive as they seem.
  11. Share – FromBrownEyes is one of the best things you have ever built and will bring so many amazing people into your life.
  12. Say Yes – Be open to new experiences and to new people. Push yourself to say yes more. But also, know when to say yes to putting yourself and your needs first.
  13. Embrace CurveballsParkinson’s Disease will teach you more about life than anything else to date. Curveballs are a part of life, and there always is a silver lining.
  14. Do More Yoga – It makes you feel so good, and it is the only time you ever really slow down.
  15. Listen More – You are quite chatty, so take more time to listen. Especially if you are speaking only to prove what you know. Also, ask to hear stories, from your parents and grandparents, while you still can.
  16. Remember Names – A person’s favorite thing to hear is their name. Make a conscious effort to pay better attention to names.
  17. You Never Truly Say Goodbye – People always have the power to walk back into your life, and you never know when you will see someone again.
  18. Less is More – Embrace minimalism. Don’t hold onto things that no longer serve you.
  19. Don’t Fight Your Desires – Life opens up to something completely amazing once you stop fighting, denying, and stifling your desires.
  20. Show Up For the Ones You Care About – When people need you, be there. As Maya Angelou said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
  21. Why – Ask for the why when you are denied something, or when something happens. Explain the why when you are trying to exert influence. Be intentional.
  22. Write – It makes you so happy and fosters your sense of self.
  23. Speak Up – When you see something, say something. You will save your neighbor and her daughter’s life with this lesson. And when you don’t say something, make up for it twice.
  24. End on a High Note – When relationships – romantic or otherwise – come to an end, always wish them your best. As you learned in #18, you never truly say goodbye.
  25. Find A Mantra – Maya Angelou’s “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude” will serve you well.

And one more for good luck:

26. Laugh or Cry – In life, you have two choices: to laugh or to cry. I hope you always chose to laugh.


There you have it, Tess. 25 things that you know now. What a journey we have been on. I’ve loved every minute. And I love you.


4 thoughts on “Reflection

  1. jeanette

    What a great post from my very wise (and well-spoken!) 25-year-old! Wish I had had your wisdom and confidence when I was 25. I love you!

    Liked by 1 person

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