Looking back over my years, there are so many things that become clearer with age. Granted, I probably wouldn’t have listened to my mother’s advice at that age, but maybe…if I could speak to myself…here’s what I might tell my teenage self.
1. Dreams become more relevant with age. I really wanted stardom as a child. I wanted to be famous and have a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame. Looking back, I see how that dream would have possibly led me down a destructive path filled with heartbreak and lost dignity. Now I realize God had so much better in store for me. I’d tell my teenage self not to lose sight of my dreams, but to see they are only part of the bigger picture.
2. Mean girls aren’t worth impressing; real friends last. I remember sitting at a new school when one of the popular girls told me I had to move because that table “wasn’t mine.” At the time, it was pretty soul-crushing, but looking back, I see that it just helped me weed out destructive forces in my life. My real friend stuck with me (and is still with me today!).
3. Listen to that inner whisper! Even before I was a Christian, I had an inner conscience that steered me in the right direction. I didn’t always choose to listen to it, and some of my biggest regrets come from ignoring that voice.
4. Accomplishment feels better later! When I switched high schools, I went where all the rich kids lived. They had fancy cars, designer clothes and lived in the lap of luxury. If I hadn’t gone through many of my struggles, I don’t think I could appreciate everything that God has allowed in my life. There are so many precious gifts around me and I realize every one.
5. Depression is a spiritual state—reach out! Depression is a very real place, and the darkness can feel all-encompassing. I wish I knew then that God was with me the whole time and that there was help out there. Never feel ashamed of being in a depression. Reach out for help! My first instinct was to isolate myself and that only made things worse.
6. It’s okay to want to feel beautiful! I have always loved fashion and beauty. As a Christian, I see that even in Biblical times, God used Queen Esther’s beauty to save His people. She went through a year of beauty treatments before she was allowed to see the King. I see now that this is a very natural state for a woman and wish I’d known God created me that way for a reason.
7. Maintain good posture and walk tall! This really does help with your confidence as well as your long-term care. Feeling good about yourself is a state of being. Having always been tall, I keep my head up and walk tall. It really does help bring a sense of strength.
8. Always wash your makeup off at night! ALWAYS remove your makeup before you go to sleep. Even if you’re tired, please wash it off! If your makeup stays on your skin while you sleep, it’s clogging your pores and trapping oil. Makeup residue that hasn’t been washed off your skin is one of the leading causes of breakouts—and later, you’ll regret that!
Want to read more helpful tips like these? Well, Nicole’s BRAND-NEW book is up for pre-order and it contains so much more of this. Pre-order today and receive some fun FREE gifts!