#2. The Pain of Perfection
Currently, you are unafraid of judgement and what others think of you. But soon, this is one of the main thoughts that will keep you preoccupied.
"Was that good enough?"
"Do they like me?"
"Did I stutter too much?"
These are questions you're probably going to ask yourself a million times. And that's just in a day. You probably think you know what I'm about to say. You think I'm going to tell you to stop these thoughts and believe in yourself and all those things you know but don't know how to do.
Don't worry, I won't. You're going to hear a lot of it in your lifetime, but I surely don't want you to be hearing it from me. I know how annoying it gets.
You see, I know you. I know how you think and how you justify your thoughts and actions to yourself, despite how destructive they may be. I'm incredibly familiar with how you rationalise your self-doubt by convincing yourself that it's better to be self-critical than conceited. However, there's a huge difference between a reality check and just being plain mean to yourself.
You are capable. You are hardworking. You are passionate. But you know what makes you less of all that? Your lack of confidence that you mask under the guise of perfectionism. You are all those things, but in your never-ending quest for perfection, you will always fall short of your expectations. And that's just fodder for an infinite cycle of disappointment. So please don't do that do yourself.
I'm not sure if I'm much wiser than you. In fact, I'm pretty sure I'm not much smarter at all (or maybe that's my self-doubt speaking on my behalf) but I do know this: you are going to do great things. And I know this because I've witnessed these things. You're going to make unforgettable memories with unforgettable people, and at the end of the day, that is so much more important than your proficiency at small talk or how long you took to take your money out of your wallet.
Everything ends up for the best. So I won't tell you to believe in yourself. Instead, I'm telling you to believe in the passage of time (and honey, you have a lot of it left).
You, just a little bit older.