Friday, February 24, 2012

Advice For My 20 Year-Old Self

Chellie at 20
I’ve been thinking through what I could write on this topic and realizing just how much I wish I had known!

It’s also pretty obvious that all of my “shoulda, woulda, couldas” fall under one umbrella: I wish my twenty year-old self knew that my passions could be my life and not just a sideshow to my responsibilities.

1. Just because it looks good on paper doesn’t mean it makes sense for you.

A double specialist degree in Biochemistry and Biotoxicology sounds really impressive, right?  Writer/author/entrepreneur doesn’t usually bring the same awed reaction as my previous endeavours, but I’ve also never been happier.

2. Don’t be afraid to share the aspects of yourself that don’t fit into the box everyone’s created for you.

The quiet girl in the engineering club that meets on Saturdays can also be the girl who sings her heart out at karaoke bars, shares her poetry at open mics and dyes her hair purple when the occasion calls for it. Labels are overrated. Just be you!

3. Energy is contagious.  

Surround yourself by people who push you forward, not hold you back with negativity. That includes so-called friends who are only around because of what you can do for them.  Discover the beauty of reciprocal relationships and demand the same level of loyalty and friendship that you provide to those around you. Above all, treasure the friends you do find.  They will give you strength when you’re at your weakest and will help you find clarity when you’re unsure of which way to go.

Chellie now
It’s so strange how the daily little choices we make create our overall experiences and contribute to our individual identities. So much of who we are is just a matter of chance.

What if I hadn’t wandered into a marketing agency, looking for a summer job? What if I hadn’t stumbled into an hour long convo with my parents’ realtor? What if I had never had that group of friends, or teachers and mentors? Would I be someone totally different?  Unrecognizable?

I could have had a safe, uneventful life. I could have made what everyone deemed to be the “smart” choices. But if it weren’t for me jumping head first into the deep end at almost every turn in my career, I wouldn’t have had so many opportunities to learn, to be challenged, and to be who I am today. I’ve taken every mistake, triumph and experience and transformed them into something useful and beautiful to me – MY LIFE.

Oh, one last piece of advice to twenty year old me: that tattoo is a bad, BAD idea.  Sigh.

Chellie Mejia is a Toronto businesswoman, author, speaker, culturite, and yoga baby. A fun, fresh, fearless Canadian business mogul and entrepreneur bringing her message of positivity, authenticity and balance within the 21st century female experience through her public speaking engagements, her books within the Vixen Lifestyle series, and her own lifestyle as a personal example.

Facebook: Twitter: @chelliemejia

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1 comment:

  1. " passions could be my life and not just a sideshow to my responsibilities."

    This is the new mantra to my life!