You know how hindsight is 20/20? Here’s what I’d tell my 22-year-old self:
Dear 22-Year-Old Hilary,
Congratulations on finishing up your last few months of college! Enjoy the time with your friends while you can!
I know you’re praying about a job right now. And I know you’re scouring for possibilities at Christian magazines. Keep up the hard work! All of your perseverance will pay off. You’ll face a lot of tough decisions and end up being stretched more than you think is possible over the next year, but it’s not a bad thing. You’ll grow and mature a LOT.
I know you want to know the details about where you end up – what state you’ll live in, what job you’ll have, and what happens with that super cute guy you’ve fallen in love with. I don’t want to ruin the surprises for you, though. Just don’t worry! Relax and enjoy this season of your life.
I know you want to put your major and education to good use. I know you want a job you’ll love. I know you want a man to love and marry you. As much as possible, guard your heart, girly girl. Prepare yourself for heartbreak, but know that you won’t be single forever, so just slow down and relish your singleness. Don’t be desperate when it comes to dating … wait on the Lord’s timing. And keep trusting in Him. As always, He will prove Himself faithful.
One thing I do want to talk to you about is your health. I know … you’re not giving much thought to it. You’re still worried about your acne. And you probably should be. Instead of only turning to medicine and doctors, would you please start rethinking what you eat? Lay off the carbs, milk and sugar for a while. I know they’re comfort food. I know they’re what you crave. But just try eating some fresh veggies for a while and see what happens to your face. And be sure to drink plenty of water, OK?
For your own sake, can you do something about all the makeup? I know you think that you’ll be able to cover up all your acne problems with that foundation, blush and powder. But stop it. The kind you’re using right now is made with all kinds of toxic ingredients, and it’s only making your situation worse. Try to find something a little more natural. I know it’s difficult, since it’s 1998 and all, but try to find something. That burning sensation when you wash your face with your acne soap is not a good thing.
Start finding some way to add a little exercise to your day, too. I know you don’t want to. To be honest, you’re going to have to fight against this apathy and lack of motivation for the rest of your life. But just get moving. You will be happier when you’re active and fit.
(I know all of this talk about health is probably weirding you out, but don’t worry. Someday you’ll actually be interested in it.)
While we’re talking about healthy changes to make, I want you to go out on a limb this fall and don’t buy all of the cleaning products you’ve been raised with. Skip the air freshening plug-ins. Since most of the cleaning products sold in stores are toxic (I know! What a shock!!) try to make your own out of vinegar, baking soda, lemons, and salt. Search the Internet and magazines for recipe ideas. In a couple years, a cool search engine will come along that will make all of that research much easier for you. (You’ll love learning how to Google things! Isn’t that name just fun?)
You are going to rock when it comes to creating your own home, in whatever apartment you choose. And you’re going to be fine with life after college. I promise. Keep being confident as yourself!
Lots of love,
Your 39-Year-Old Self
P.S. Good job picking that journalism major! You are going to love working as a full-time writer.
What would YOU tell your 22-year-old self?
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Melody Maynard @ Joyfully Ever After says
I love this so much! I am nineteen years old now and I can only imagine what I will want to look back and tell myself someday! I love that you wanted to keep some things a surprise, and focus on your everyday health. This is so insightful!
Hilary Kimes Bernstein says
I am so glad you loved this, Melody! It’s funny how you can see a different perspective once you’re removed by a few years … I can only imagine the things I’ll realize about the day-to-day life I’m living right now!
Sasha Begley says
Hi I would like to comment on why you call God him. As we know there are no specifications to the deities sex. So if possible just use God. I have been studying and believing Christianity since I was young. You could call me devoted. Not trying to step on any toes or cause any argument but just a friendly pointer. Anyways love your website and look forward to more of your knowledge!
The Bible actually refers to God as him. If you are studying Christianity, it won’t take you long to see that, so keep on with your studies. Jesus, who was God incarnate, was a man… Just something to chew on as you continue your studies! God bless!
I am 22 now and have SO many questions. I’m in the military, pursuing a nursing degree, and am married to a perfect, God fearing man whom I love. I have found it difficult to have faith that God will guide me, but He surprises me every day!
In all, thank you for sharing, I appreciate he advice!
Much love and blessings your way!
Hilary Kimes Bernstein says
So grateful for your comment … the Lord will continue to guide you! I’m excited for you and how you’ll be able to watch Him work in your life and marriage. Love and blessings to you!