May 29, 2019

“Girl, just because you Can doesn’t mean you Should” & 53 other Pieces of Life Advice (straight from Elephant Readers).


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As Elephant Journal editors, we spend a lot of time on Facebook.

We’re the ones who post the articles readers love to love (and sometimes, love to hate).

But spending hours reading through articles and moderating Facebook posts can get a little lonely, so every now and then we reach out to our readers for some one-on-one connection.

This past weekend, on a lazy Sunday morning, I posted a question on our main Facebook page:

“Hey friends! What advice would you give your younger self?”

I assumed I’d get a few responses, but wasn’t expecting the 300-plus nuggets of wisdom that popped up over a three-hour period. Some of the responses made me laugh out loud, some had me in tears, others made me feel brave, while others left me with a twinge of regret and a wish that I could do a few things over.

Here are 54 of the best, most honest, most inspiring pieces of advice, straight from our readers to our readers. May they be of benefit:

1. “Try not to let little things upset you. Love your partner and enjoy life. Don’t worry what other people have. I wish I was as content and happy with myself when I was younger. Life’s about love.” ~ Rebecca S.

2. “Focus on what you want not what others think you should want. Your inner strength will get you through anything. Spend more time with your family. Be patient, kind, and tolerant of others—they’re finding their way just like you.” ~ Laura W.

3. “Invest early…even a little bit. Choose courage over comfort. Protect your skin. Travel more. You make your own happiness.” ~ Lori L.

4. “Love boldly, knowing that giving love is its own reward. Realize that you are enough. Only you can give you what you need. That’s not what relationships are for. Live boldly. Know that everything that lives changes. If it’s not changing, it’s dead. Don’t waste time on dead things. Happiness is how you are. Joy is who you are. Cultivate joy.” ~ Joe F.

5. “Don’t get married until you know your value. Cultivate a deep relationship with yourself.” ~ Owen N.

6. “Stop waiting for someone to save you; save yourself. Stop waiting for someone to love you; love yourself. Stop waiting for the right time; the time is always now. Stop waiting for a sign; make the sign. Stop dreaming. Start doing.” ~ Collette W.

7. “I honestly wouldn’t. I’m happy right where I am and if I’d have changed anything from my past, I might not be here. Was it difficult? Yes. Was it all worth it? Every single thing was.” ~ Samantha R.

8. “Take more pictures of yourself with your friends!” ~ GS R.

9. “Don’t accept others’ value systems—be yourself. Experiment, mess up—don’t try to be perfect. You can’t be, and that’s okay. But you can be yourself and be happy.” ~ Lisa M.

10. “Do it! Anything your heart wants! Forget about what anyone else thinks…especially your mother!” ~ Keely H.

11. “Yoga! Meditate! Being ‘good at thinking’ doesn’t mean you need to do it all the time.” ~ Matt B.

12. “Every decade gets better. Also, don’t get married until your 40s.” ~ Mara R.

13. “Go to college right out of high school (I didn’t, and I didn’t get my B.A. until my 50s and my Master’s at 61). Pursue your dreams without fear.” ~ Ann A.

14. “Don’t go to college. There’s no point.” ~ Stephanie G.

15. “Things don’t just ‘get better’ or change. You have to make your own luck. If you’re not happy with your current situation only YOU can change it. And sometimes you have to go through sh*t to feel bliss. (Modest Mouse)” ~ Kim H.

16. “Travel and live beneath your means. Don’t be a slave to your possessions.” ~ Kimberly C.

17. “Don’t grow up!” ~ Bobbie M.

18. “Don’t settle.” ~ Amanda G.

19. “Don’t worry.” ~ Derrick I.

20. “Those musical instruments you decide to put down after seventh grade because ‘it’s not cool to play in the band?’ You’ll regret it later. Don’t worry about what others think so much. It takes all the joy out of life.” ~ Denise C.

21. “Don’t let your family bully you.” ~ Kathy B.

22. “Do more things alone.” ~ Ashley W.

23. “You know that European trip you’ve always dreamed about? Go For It!!!” ~ James M.

24. “I would tell that cocky, scared, little girl to SLOW DOWN! Do not be so quick to grow up!!” ~ Adrienne K.

25. “Trust yourself. And slow down.” ~ Melissa S.

26. “Shut thy mouth and listen.” ~ Leanne V.

27. “Be careful who you marry. Don’t rush into that. Life is short but not that short. It costs more when you make mistakes.” ~ Julia M.

28. “Don’t throw away love.” ~ Christina J.

29. “Earn it before you spend it!” ~ John C.

30. “Enjoy the moment and chill TF out.” ~ Rachael G.

31. “Stop bailing when it gets hard.” ~ Yssa D.

32. “Be a little more selfish with your time.” ~ Michael R.

33. “When you learn how much you’re worth, you’ll stop giving people discounts.” ~ Henna G.

34. “Say no. Their rejection won’t kill you.” ~ Isabelle H.

35. “Listen to your mom!” ~ Josette T.

36. “Dance more!” ~ Amanda M.

37. “Buy Those Shoes!” ~ Kate K.

38. “You deserve better.” ~ Marci M.

39. “All people want to be seen, heard, acknowledged, and soothed…do that for yourself and do not expect others to see you, hear you, acknowledge you, or sooth you…that is your job.” ~ Jamie M.

40. “Stop giving your heart away so easily. Be single until it’s worth it to not be. The scars of a broken heart run deep and you don’t need to keep creating new ones.” ~ Jen R.

41. “You’re so strong! Be thankful for closed doors. Trust that things will work out for your best, even if you don’t understand at first. Instead of trying to be right, try to understand. Know your boundaries. Enforce them, and walk away when you have to. You are loved for exactly who you are, even the things you think are unlovable are loved.” ~ Shawna G.

42. “Healthy boundaries will bring far more happiness than you can imagine. Develop them now, and keep them throughout your life, with everyone.” ~ Myken A.

43. “Have the courage of your convictions! Your 1960s attitude is Right On. Finish college NOW and always be politically active.” ~ Letty D.

44. “It gets better. OMG it gets so much better. Don’t stress so much, everything can be done again. Exams, friends, first loves. All of it. Stop thinking so much and just do things. Do things now before you settle down. Jump if you want to jump and fly if you want to fly! You are enough!” ~ Jade L.

45. “Always add yourself to the list. Remember to make decisions instead of just letting life happen. Follow your gut; if it seems off it usually is. It’s not your job to be less to make others comfortable. Being single can be a gift, not a curse. Be proud to be a curvy woman.” ~ Bryana P.

46. “It is a strength to ask for help, not a weakness.” ~ Lisa M.

47. “Girl, just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.” ~ Sabrina J.

48. “Don’t get married the first time…or the second. Travel…even when it’s your last dime. Appreciate your firm boobs, ass, and neck; they don’t last. Be kind to your knees. Take risks and be adventurous. Love yourself. Remember, this is the only life you get, do it your way!!” ~ Angelique O.

49. “Count to ten before you answer…and take a deep breath.” ~ Leslie B.

50. “Sh*t’s going to get rough. Hold on.” ~ Megan P.

51. “Just come out as a lesbian as a kid instead of going through all of the bullsh*t off and on for almost 30 years out of the fear of losing your family. Trust me they eventually get over it. Come out sooner rather than later and once you’re out please, please stay out and don’t go back IN the closet! Also, don’t let your family members’ opinions or insults on your life or career path stop you from doing whatever you want.” ~ Megan G.

52. “Stop the self-criticism. Apologize right away if you feel you’ve wronged someone so you don’t live in the past. Learn to cultivate true friends, and stop hermitting.” ~ Hannah L.

53. “No words, just a hug.” ~ Anna M.

54. “Be kind to yourself.” ~ Jenn F.


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