Looking Back: What I Wish I Could Tell Myself At 5 Milestone Ages

by Tori Lyn

We grow, we change, and we learn lessons at each age of our existence.

And as we look back on the things we wish we knew at our past ages, we notice some of them are small, insignificant things.

We realize glitter should only be used in small doses, or peanut butter is really hard to get out of corduroy pants.

Other lessons, however, are much larger and more impactful. We understand we should cherish our long-lasting friendships, and be grateful for our parents' help.

As we move through life, we always seem to look back; we feel nostalgic for the good old days.

But, there are also things we wish we could do differently, paths we wish we could change and wrongdoings we wish we could make right.

Though it's been advised to leave the past in the past, it's hard not to wish we could go back in time and tell ourselves what was truly important and what wasn't.

We want to make ourselves realize that no matter how difficult our problems seemed, they would get better.

Though we can never truly go back, there are definitely things I wish I could tell my younger self.

5 Years Old

First of all, stop rebelling at naptime. You have no idea how glorious this time is, and you will desperately want it back in your life in another 10 to 15 years.

Also, stop fighting mom when she tries to give you a bath; you will come to find this is a relaxing and soothing time to reflect on your life.

You're just learning how to write, and your stories are brilliant.

They don't make much sense now, but keep writing and keep reading. Eventually, you will find these are two of the most important things in your life.

Make sure you keep that free spirit of yours, even if the other kids think you're weird. You are weird and eccentric, but you're you. You should never wish to be anyone else but yourself.

Don't be upset that the boys picked you last for soccer. Your skills will get better, and eventually, you'll be the one picking them.

Finally, don't be embarrassed that you peed your pants and had to wear trousers from lost-and-found until Mom picked you up. She only had to bring you new underwear, and she won't be mad forever.

10 Years Old

Welcome to puberty! Feminine hygiene products are the worst, and yes, as the books say, you are "becoming a woman." However, that doesn't mean you know everything.

When you get yelled at for talking back to your parents, just remember they're learning every day, just like you are. Your personality is rapidly changing.

It's okay if you think that new boy in class is cute, but don't forget to still be yourself. When he's mean to you, and someone tells you it's "because he likes you," run in the other direction. That is not true.

Furthermore, being the class clown is one thing, but interrupting the teacher is not cool, no matter how funny your friends may think it is. Don't be their court jester; make your own path.

Finally, writing isn't for losers. Sam has no idea what he's talking about, and he will end up dropping out of school in two years. Don't take his opinion to heart.

Oh, and that Giga Pet you have? Hold onto it forever! You will yearn for it desperately later in life — trust me.

15 Years Old

Yes, boys are confusing, but you need to stop crying. Your pillow is literally stained from the heavy mascara you use because of silly boys doing silly things. They will all grow up soon.

Do not let your insecurities win when you find out they're all in love with your best friend and see you as one of the guys.

You're athletic and funny, and those two traits will take you far in life.

Stop looking at Seventeen Magazine and wishing you were someone else. You will eventually grow into your looks.

Your diary is wonderful, damaged and brave, and your poetry is powerful. So even if you hate everyone, just keep writing. And yes, girls are terrible at this age, and some of them will never grow out of it. You will.

Please, just try to love yourself.

Also, though it teaches you how to type really fast (which will later help you in job interviews), AOL Instant Messenger is not your life.

When Dad tells you to log off so he can make a phone call, don't freak out because you're having a very serious IM convo with Dylan.

Just remember: What he's typing to you, he's also typing to three of your friends. You'll find it is very easy to misinterpret feelings over the Internet.

And please stop with the bright blue eye-shadow; it's just not your thing, girl.

20 Years Old

See? I told you your parents would eventually be cool. Sure, you still have your arguments, but you're learning to appreciate them like I knew you would.

College is really fun, but don't forget to study. The "real world" is coming faster than you can imagine.

And if you have nothing to show for it but Facebook videos of you doing drunken karaoke at Bombers, you're gonna be really sorry.

The stuff you're learning is cool, and your teachers are eccentric and exciting. Just try to stay off your phone long enough to listen.

Also, why are you dating assh*les who treat you poorly? Where did your confidence go? Let these guys pass you by; they are not here for you, and they never will be.

The first step toward doing so is to stop dressing like the video vixens you see on TV. You will look back and cringe at the fact you wore shirts as dresses.

Don't be afraid to graduate from college, and please take your math classes seriously. I know it's hard, but it will serve you later in life. (I think. I don't know; the jury is still out on that one.)

25 Years Old

Stop crying because you're a quarter-century old; it's not cute.

But, hey, I'm proud of you. You're working full-time, living on your own in a little shoebox apartment and paying bills like a real-life grownup.

It's not easy, but you're doing it. Remember this time, and soak it all in because you are learning so much.

The best is still yet to come. Don't be afraid for what the future holds, and don't be too stubborn to ask for help.

You are your own worst critic, and you don't have to prove anything to anyone besides yourself.

Also, the world is getting a little scary, but don't let that deter you from any of your dreams. Just remember you have the support of your family and your friends.

The guy you are dating? Two years later, he's as great as you think he is. I'd hold onto him.

My only question is why aren't you writing anymore? Sure, it's hard, and it can be frustrating. But you'll learn to love the feeling of accomplishment, and it will become a big part of your life.

So, start writing that novel.

Oh, and no matter how great they look, heels will always be uncomfortable.