If I Knew Then What I Know Now…

I love that expression. It’s the basis for such great movies.

A recent WordPress blog challenge was: What would you tell yourself 10 years ago? I wasn’t going to write on this topic. But then I read a post on Balance Overload and her writing inspired me to think about my own words of wisdom to myself.

Where was I ten years ago (February 2001)?

Bryan and I were engaged and planning a July wedding. We were looking to buy our first condo. And I just started a new job. How “simple” things seemed! So what would I tell my 25-year-old self?

1. Spend within your means and create a budget. I feel as if I’ve wasted years of my life financially. By this, I mean I wish I knew earlier to create a monthly budget. Track expenses. Save money each month. Only spend within my means. And don’t use credit cards. One thing I’ve learned is that money is freedom. With money and no debt comes choice. Ten years later, I do wish I had more choices.

2. Take the cash; forget the wedding. We had a beautiful wedding and I certainly don’t regret getting married. But getting married is very different than a wedding. I do wish we didn’t spend so much on the dress and all the traditional things, and concentrated more on the actual act of marriage.

3. Invest in Apple. NOW. Back in 2001, it really wasn’t that fashionable to own an Apple. This was before iPods, iPhones, and iPads. I would tell my 25-year-old self to take a little money and put it in Apple. You won’t be sorry!

4. Put yourself first and stick up for yourself! I feel like I’m just now realizing how much I have kept my thoughts to myself to avoid conflict and disappointment from others (better now than later). I would tell Young Leah to start putting herself and her feelings first. She’ll be a happier and healthier person down the line.

5. Life isn’t as innocent as you think. I think back to February 2001 and even late summer that year. Things just seemed easy and simple. But little did anyone know that in seven months, the world would change and we’d never be the same again. Enjoy the innocence and don’t take it for granted.

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