Letter To Younger Me
As I turn 34 today, I thought of sharing some nuggets of wisdom to my young readers, things that I have picked up along the way that I wish someone had hammered in my head. If you’ve ever wondered why I always have so much on my plate and how I juggle it all, it’s mostly because I feel like I wasted my twenties and I am trying to make up for that time. Here’s some advice to my younger self, and all you young-ins out there.
Set clear goals early and have a solid plan towards meeting them. For instance, don’t just intend to do your Masters at some point, but be clear that you want to be done with your Masters before you turn a certain age, and work towards the financing aspect. Or perhaps if you dream of owning a home someday, don’t just think about it and hope that the stars will someday align. Get yourself a job in a bank where mortgages are cheap, or work hard and ensure your salary grows fast enough to be able to afford a construction loan or a mortgage. You see all those high achievers out there? They didn’t get there by flux. They planned, they worked hard, they pushed the envelope. You cannot just exist and expect great things to happen to you.
Speaking of goals, your twenties are great for so many things but most importantly, for advancing your education. Take all those professional certifications that will add value to your career. Do your masters. Do your PHD if you are those eternal scholars. Your absorption rate will never be this high, that I can promise you. In your thirties, you will struggle to read text messages, let alone do your thesis.
That said, do not be too serious about life. Have fun, lots of it. Take random classes like Salsa or Kick Boxing. Learn Mandarin or Italian. Heck you can even take pole dancing classes. The point is, you have so much time on your hands and you don’t need to seek anyone’s opinion or approval to venture into anything you wish. Use this time wisely.
You know what else is great about being young and free? You can travel the world. Your budget might be a constraint, but who says you can’t start small? You can hop into a 2NK mat on a Saturday to Nanyuki and take a hike through Ngare Ndare Forest or visit the conservancy at Ol Pejeta. You could get into a Mololine mat, pitch tent at one of those camps in Naivasha and have breakfast with the Hippos. Or you could even just head to Ngong with your friends and have a picnic at Ngong Hills overlooking the windmills. There are endless opportunities, so please, kill that pity party and make use of the little resources you have.
Save! Save! Save! It doesn’t matter how many responsibilities you have, trust me, they keep getting bigger and more burdensome. You know how your pension is deducted and you can’t access it, or how the taxman is first to get his dues no matter what obligations you have? Same logic. Have that one savings account where you push a certain percentage of your income and forget about it. It will come in handy in future.
Have a mentor. Preferably an older person who you look up to, whose achievements give you the conviction that it is possible to achieve greatness. Because no matter how disciplined or focussed you are, sometimes you may be unsure of some decisions in life. Like whether to pursue accounting or fashion styling. By the way, will accountants be relevant in the next 20 years? Your mentor has been there and probably seen some jobs go extinct. Your mentor will provide the clarity that you may sometimes miss.
You will fail severally, at many things. You will fail to hit your target weight because you of your struggles to keep you portions small and clean. You will fail to get the perfect grades. You will fail at making a great speech on your first attempt, even your tenth maybe. You will fail at being the perfect partner. Fail all you can, just don’t wallow in your misery after failing. Pick yourself up, try again and make sure you fail less at your next attempt. Stars are made, they are never born.
And now that we are on the partner storo, please don’t stress about that person you crush so hard on who has zero regards for your feelings. He is not worth it!! You may not hear me now, because you are entirely consumed by your emotions, and you will probably want to make excuses for that horrible person. But trust me on this, somewhere along the way, you will in deed learn that there are genuinely amazing human beings in this world. People who mean and want nothing but the best for you. You know how to attract such? Stop taking bullshit. You attract what you project.
Life is what you make it. It can be exhilarating or dispiriting, fast paced or bleak. Do not for one minute allow yourself to sink into complacency. YOU are in charge of your own destiny. Map it out and seek greatness while at it.
Cheers to a mind-blowing life!
P.S. This time I don’t have a list of gifts that I am hoping for. I only ask that you drop a comment with the one piece of advice that you would give your younger self or one you would share with an older person. I want to read the comments and feel wiser today.
Also, from next Tuesday I will be taking a break from the blog but I have great content lined up for you. I have inspiring and informative stories that will run, as shared by the protagonists themselves. Don’t worry, I will ensure the stories are interesting and well written, and once in a while I might make an appearance. I am taking a break to focus on my exams and will officially be back on 22nd June.
Be kind to my guest writers 🙂
nice content in there , inspiration , encouraging ,its lit ? everything
Here I was,stressing about someone that doesn’t care about me. Then I read this now that we are on the partner storo, please don’t stress about that person you crush so hard on who has zero regards for your feelings. He is not worth it!! You may not hear me now, because you are entirely consumed by your emotions, and you will probably want to make excuses for that horrible person. But trust me on this, somewhere along the way, you will in deed learn that there are genuinely amazing human beings in this world. People who mean and want… Read more »
Reading this post a month later and its soo relevant in my life. Best advice i can give…Life happens at the pace of life. Run your own race…
Wow ! wow..mind blowing &concise.
I needed the guide.
Glad you loved it, Mercy.
I would tell her to slow down, to soak in every experience and to feel all her emotions as they come.
This is great advice Beryl. I feel like we are always in a rush and in competition.
Hey….this just came at the right time,when I felt like giving up…and the encouragement just came!
Don’t give up Wangari, the struggle continues.
Happy birthday girl.great pointers up there.I turn 37 in September though I feel forever 23??.
I must emphasize the aspect of a mentor, either an all round one or have a professional and spiritual one.
Thank you Colleen and great to see that the same points will resonate even in later years!
Hey Joy,I’m 21 and for a moment I was lost in my thoughts thinking,”is she talk to me,does she know me?”…I LOVED it!
Happy Birthday Joy and all the best in your exams.
Thank you for the insights! My message to younger me? Reduce the time dedicated to series and movies. Its a scam that takes too much time away from other constructive things you can do and grow yourself as a person:).
Isn’t that the truth? Unless you are training to be a movie producer or a script writer ?
Great insights.as a 32 year old I agree and relate to all. In addition, To my younger self… At the end of all the struggles, its gonna be you against the world. So.do you and the world will adjust.
I love that Winnie!
To a younger me,this would be my message;
You won’t have everything figured out from the start.Sometimes you will have to step on the cliff’s edge,close your eyes and jump.
You may develop wings on the way down or fall with a splash.It won’t matter because whether you fly or swim with the dolphins will be pure bliss.
Always great reading from my male readers! Thanks for your advice Edwin!
Happy birthday Joy! You will ace those exams!
Not to be cliche but what I’d tell my younger self is love yourself first and always do you, I’d have saved myself from ALOT.
Happy Birthday! My first time to read your blog; your wisdom is unmatched. Twenties is the age of toiling and vicious struggle. It’s the age that changes our perspective of life. Most spoil their entire life during this time while others lay a foundation that precedes perpetual joy and satisfaction decades later. Watch your twenties!
Happy Birthday Joy! First, I say Thank you for Inspiring me. I learnt about you from a friend in 2017 after he shared a link to your blog, since then have never looked back, have never even ask him if he stills reads or you inspire him but this was my gain in our friendship. My advice to my older motivator is that you are doing enough already but that is to the world, to you its never enough. Keep setting those goals you want to achieve and focus on achieving them. I am about breaking old habits to create… Read more »
happy birthday to you…
I wish i started investing earlier..
Though alittle late i now realise that time is of the essence in every single plan nomatter how big or small
Happy Birthday Joy.
I am turning 25 in August and the one advice i would give to my 18 year old self is ‘Buckle up honey, It,s gonna be a tough hell of a ride.
Happy birthday! I am still in my twenties and currently actively looking for a school to pursue my masters because the right time is now. I did put off school for a while because I had no idea what I wanted but now I have a clear mind or so I think and I am ready. Advise to all people does not matter the age. A friend told me this and it was an awakening wake up call “we should stop exaggerating our importance in people’s lives”. I realized I have too much and received nothing not even the bare… Read more »
No one says how hard the professional (especially the UK) papers are, how hard it is to get the job without them. What I’ve learned though so far is that as you said I should enjoy my younger self and keep kicking life’s ass no matter how hard it gets Happy birthday Joy. You are an inspiration to me even though we’ve never met. Keep doing you
This spoke to my heart as someone still wasting my 20s.
Happy Birthday Joy.May God continuously expand your territories.May you always find favour with God and with mankind.
Happy Birthday Joy. Thanks for the insights. Thank you for shairing your lessons with us young-ins… So real and workable. I wish you success, good health and God’s Favours as you tackle your exams.
Happy birthday and all the best in your exams.
My one advice to my younger self would be bold speak up.
Happy birthday Joy!
I feel like we’ve grow with this blog.
When I started reading it, I was in 2nd year thinking the stuff people do were so unattainable.
Now, 5 months after graduating, with people like you encouraging us to live our dreams, we are doing exactly that. So thankyou. Thankyou so much for always being true and real with and not filtering because of the “need to appear perfect”.
Happy birthday, more love more life.
Lots of love.
Happiest birthday Joy!
Keep going no matter the pace………..and if something is worth doing,do it excellently.
It’s amazing how much I resonate with this post….a lot of it still holds true even in my thirties.
One piece of advise id give to my younger self is to enjoy the frivolity of youth while you still can because it will be gone sooner than you think. Actually, I’ll add one more – never forget that stuff that made you feel alive, you’ll need it in your thirties when it feels like you’re carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders. When you just want to escape from it all!
Happy birthday Hun.
You can never fill from an empty cup .You need to love you -work on you -before expecting someone to do it for you .
Respect your time and other people’s time -it’s the one thing you can’t regain .
Lastly while investing -find a balance to creating memories .
Stuck at ‘Fail all you can,just don’t wallow in your misery after failing’.
Happy birthday Joy! I am very new on this 3rd floor but forever grateful to my 20’s.I worked my ass out and glad i made it out alive and with no regrets.I have always lived by the mantra ‘You are always confined by the walls you build around yourself’.Piece of advice i have carried with me to my 30’s.
Happy birthday Joy!
Advice to my younger self? Keep going. You’re not moving too fast. You dont need the extra breaks that everyone is taking. Your ‘too fast’ pace is getting you miles ahead in the game. And that will give you the freedom to retire earlier, while you still have energy to enjoy all that life has to offer! And one very important thing: Continue to find time to be alone and just revel in your own company!
Happiest of Birthday’s Joy!!
The advice i would give myself … is simply, Do You! Don’t look around too much at what others are doing but simply run your own race. Secondly i would advice myself to watch out for friends for they can either make you or break you. That includes boyfriends!!
Happy Birthday Joy!!!!
A quick advise to the younger me, God’s timing is perfect!!! its never too early nor too late. Just because most of your friends have the best life, the best jobs doesn’t means that you are a failure. When your time comes it will blow you like the wind
Amazing, good luck in your exams
Happy birthday Joy…This is by far one of the most insightful posts. I wish I had come across some of the advice you shared when I was in my twenties.
The advice I would give to my younger self is to take internship opportunities instead of waiting for a full time job with a salary.
Happy birthday Joy. Cheers to many more.
Am in my twenties, I lost so much time because I was afraid to fail little did I know I was failing spectacularly for not trying.
I should have taken more risk, I should have taken that job abroad, now I just wish I had tried.
Now I just want to live life to the fullest without worry.
Happy Birthday Joy! Another year of awesomeness 🙂
Happy Birthday Joy!
Happy Birthday sis!!
What I needed to hear in my younger days is that it’s never that serious. Sometimes si lazima. *let it goooo…..*
Looking forward to your guest writers
Happy birthday Joy!! Keep spreading joy everywhere your feet land!
My biggest learning as I get older is I wish I took more risks when I was younger. Risks with investing, risks with adventure, risks with travel. I held back on doing a lot of these things.
Like you have pointed out, with more responsibilities you are wary of any risky ventures. Responsibilities do not recognise risks.
Happy Birthday, Joy!
What I’d tell my younger self and I keep telling all the youngin’ I interact with is; don’t be too consumed trying to have everything figured out- no one ever has it all- even the 50-year-old. Just keep it going, count and celebrate the ‘little’ joys, milestones and successes as they open room for the ‘bigger’ wins.
All the best as you prepare for your exams.
Indeed!!! I hope many of the young-ins will read this and hopefully make some adjustments to their lives now, no time like the present. My nuggets: Friends: We are the friends we keep!! Keep good ones, the friends one makes at this age up being the forever friends, have a good mix of them and actively seek out the ones who push you to get out of your comfort zone, the ones you look up to and challenge you each day. Invest: Learn about investing and learn how to make wise investments. The power of compounding is amazing!! Learn about… Read more »
Happy Birthday Joy, to many more!