Note to my Younger Self: Kathryn Budig
Here are a few things to keep in mind, but truth be told — do whatever you have to do, because you need to in order to become me.
You’ll be offered so many opportunities — some coming from your hard work and hustle, some because you are lucky and in the right place at the right time. No matter how alluring the offer is, only say yes to the ones that you absolutely believe in, because you will get criticized no matter what you do and say, so make it worth your time and 100% in line with your belief system. Remember your core values and don’t sacrifice them to achieve the approval of others. What others think is the greatest illusionary act of all time. The sooner you can let that go, the happier you will be.
Even when you do this, you’ll end up doing wrong things for the right reasons, and this is when you absolutely must open yourself up to constructive criticism and be the bigger person. This will absolutely suck (there’s no getting around it), but trust me, you’ll become a better person and a smarter teacher.
You’re going to feel the intoxicating high (and pressure) of being on top, and the defeating despair of scraping the bottom. Embrace both, because your happiness doesn’t lie in either one of those places. The journey will be long, but you’ll find happiness in the balance.
I know how badly you want to be loved, and this need will get you into trouble. Your heart will endure many beatings, and you’ll reach a point where you dismiss magic, but it will all come pouring back if you can remember that love comes from the most unlikely of places. Happily ever after is real, but it isn’t what you think it looks like.
Stop judging yourself. Your body is bangin’. Seriously. Besides, it’s just a meat suit that encases your soul, so ease up on the ticker tape of self-deprecating thought. Embrace your physical abilities, and kick your feet up when you need to rest. And girl — you need to take time to rest.
Eat amazing food. Never turn down a good meal. Eat something green every day, but indulge in fine wines and pizza. Pizza is always a good idea. Be compassionate to animals. Try to sweat as often as you can, but enjoy the hell out of your sweatpants when you take time off.
Now throw this letter away and go live your life. You’ll remember what you need to and learn the rest on the way.
Your Older Self