7 Pieces Of Advice I Wish I'd Known When I Was Younger

Several years ago, I was stuck in a quarter-life crisis. For over a decade, I lived this delusional nightmare of co-dependency and was on an endless search for security, without success. My romantic relationships were carefully chosen to escape the painful reality of my anxieties. I consistently picked partners who were addicted to numbing their pain like me, and we’d escape life by doing drugs together and drinking to drown our fear. When I would finally get up enough courage to recognize that a relationship was unhealthy, I would end it, only to find myself back in the arms of different addiction — overeating, over-exercising, overworking, overspending, more men and more drugs. I lived in a constant state of denial, consumed by my fear-based mind.

I was always waiting for the next thing to happen: the next promotion, the next boyfriend, the next anything, always hoping it would drag me out of my depression. It never occurred to me that “pushing” was the problem. My inner drive and constant need to force things to happen was really just a cry for help, an outburst and a desperate need for love.

Today my life looks much different. I'm happy, healthy, addiction free, and living a life I love. Suffering through the depression and addictions sparked a deep desire for me to stop holding back and to start living a life that had real meaning.

Along the way, I discovered the source of my unhappiness. It was the fact that I was ignoring my inner voice and refusing to ask myself, “What do I really want?” If I could have seen my future-self back then, well, I can’t help but wonder if things would have been different.

Here's what I wish I would have known.

1. Every ending is the beginning of something much better.

Let go of the situation, the pain and your expectations. That person who broke your heart is a blessing, as well as a lesson. You've grown, and this ending is preparing you for something much grander. Be open to the unknown; it's filled with magic and miracles. Everything is in its right order, and something much better is on its way to you.

2. You can love what you do for a living.

You don't ever have to stay in a situation that hurts your spirit. If you don't like your job, you CAN walk away. As soon as you do, the universe will swoop in and show you a new opportunity. Trust the unknown. Allow yourself to dream and to imagine a life beyond even your wildest dreams. You can love what you do for a living!

3. The journey is the reward — there is no destination.

Let go of the “there.” Your focus on the future is keeping you out of the moment, and you're not really living your life. The journey is where the magic happens. The destination is right here, right now.

4. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.

Stop being a victim, and thinking that life happens to you. You have the power to change anything in your life. If you don't like something, then get up your courage and change it. You're more powerful than you ever give yourself credit for. You, my younger self, can move mountains and change your fate when you're truly ready and willing.

5. You are beautiful.

My dear one, you spend far too much time thinking about your weight, the number on the scale, and food. The number on the scale does not define who you are.

Food is not the enemy, and your body will one day be your best friend. Don't be so hard on yourself! You’re much more beautiful than you will ever give yourself credit for, and your weight is not who you are, nor will it ever define or limit your greatness.

6. What people say is a reflection of them, not you.

You spend far too much time asking what other people think, and listening to them. You allow their opinions to become your own. Know that what they say and do has nothing to do with you.

7. This too shall pass.

Change is the only constant in life; clinging to anything is what causes suffering and unhappiness. What ails you at the moment does not need to define you. You are not your problems. What seems traumatic and life changing today will be a fond memory tomorrow. This too shall pass!

And remember, no matter what you're going through right now, tomorrow is a new day and it always works out in the end.

Cucumber Salad + Peanut Citrus Dressing

2 1/2 cups English cucumbers, sliced and quartered
1 cup carrots, sliced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1/4 head of purple cabbage, sliced
handful cilantro, roughly chopped
handful cashews, for garnish
red pepper flakes, for garnish (optional)

Peanut Citrus Dressing
3 tablespoons orange juice, lime juice or lemon juice, + more as needed
3 tablespoons raw or natural peanut butter (almond or cashew butter is great too)
1 tablespoon tamari, bragg's liquid aminos or soy sauce
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
1/2 garlic clove, grated
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
pinch of red pepper flakes or 1/2 teaspoon sriracha hot sauce (optional)

In a small bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the peanut citrus dressing, set aside allowing the flavors to come together. Then before adding the dressing to the salad, taste for flavor adding anything extra you might like. For a thinner dressing add 1 or 2 tablespoons citrus juice or water. 

To make it thicker add a tad bit more nut butter.
Prepare your salad ingredients. Check your dressing for flavor. In a large bowl combine the salad mix with the dressing, toss well and serve. Top with cashews and red pepper flakes. Serves two.
Notes for the dressing: Use the orange juice for a less tangy dressing. I used orange for this recipe and have also used lemon as well. Both were great, and I know the lime will be wonderful too! You can also lessen the amount of juice replacing it with water. Add in some citrus zest of choice if desired. And if your a vinegar lover, try adding a splash or two of rice vinegar!
Try tossing in a cup of cooked quinoa after mixing for a more nutritionally balanced profile.


The future is completely open and we are writing it moment to moment.

~ Prema Chodron

Change is not a process for the impatient.

~Barbara Reinhold