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  • Writer's pictureTracy Bottiglieri

Advice To My Younger Self

Part of the "Create the Life You Want" Series

You do not need to know all the answers!

Do not feel that you should have all the answers. No one does! You are just learning, as is everyone else. If someone asks you to do something or asks a question that you don't understand, do not panic! Ask clarifying questions. If you still don't quite follow, ask some more questions. Once you have gained a better understanding, then give your response. It is better to get it wrong than to not try due to the fear of being wrong.

Accept the common phrase "Life Is A Journey" as a challenge!

Understand what it means when someone says that life is a journey. Explore! Discovering what you enjoy is part of your story. It’s OK to try basketball and realize you are really bad at it. But maybe you still kind of like it. It’s also OK to not try something today and maybe try it another day. Encourage yourself. Don’t put yourself down for not doing everything perfectly. It is good to reach out of your comfort zone. Be open to new possibilities. Read. Travel. Try foods you consider to be "exotic"! You might not like it, and that is okay, but you might just love it!

Life is a journey not only of experiences but of personal growth.

Figure out who you are, what you stand for, and what you believe is right. And stand by that code. Don't let others influence you to change unless it is to change for a better version of yourself. Because we are always learning and improving ourselves.

In addition to staying true to yourself, learn from your mistakes. We all make them. Be resilient and stay the course. Apologize if needed. Don't make that mistake again - there will be other mistakes yet from which to learn.

Learn not only from your own mistakes, but learn from the errors of those around you. For instance, if you work for a boss that you believe to be arrogant or shows poor leadership or is a poor role model or doesn't work hard or whatever you feel to be a negative trait, learn from their mistakes. When it is your turn to be in their role, show what you've learned! Be humble, a strong leader, an excellent mentor/role model, and a hard worker!

Make time for and learn from your family.

Always make time for family. Spend time with them and ask questions. Get to know them! And let them know you. It also helps you to know yourself even better. Ask your parents questions about their childhood. How were they punished? What did they do to receive this punishment?! Ask your grandparents questions about what jobs they have had. Did they like them? Hate them? Why? Ask your nieces and nephews about their favorite birthday celebrations? What did they recall the easiest: the people they were with for the celebration, the birthday gifts they received, or the activity that they did at the celebration? Ask your siblings what they wish you would do more of for them or with them? And make sure to LISTEN, respond, and change if necessary.

While I tried to do a good job throughout my life of making time for family, when speaking to my younger self, I would emphasize to simply ask even more questions! (And to write down the answers.) Because there are questions that I have now which I will never be able to have answered.

As important as developing deeper familial relationships, if not even more important, is to make sure you tell your family that you love them. Even if they don't feel comfortable saying it back, let them know they are loved. ❤️

Make new friends but keep the old!

One is silver and the other gold. Truer words have never been sung by a Girl Scout!

Be true to yourself. People who are attracted to some part of your true self will naturally become a friend. Do not change to attract a certain person to be your friend. How will you ever keep up the facade with this new friend? Why would you do that to them? Not to mention to yourself? It would be exhausting!

Friends literally come in all shapes and sizes. They also come at all times in your life, if you are open to them. Keep in touch with old friends while you are meeting new friends. Introduce your friends to each other...everyone likes to make a new friend! Figure out who your friends are and show your support and love through your deeds and words.

One of the hardest lessons to understand and perform well: It is okay to distance yourself from people who are not good for you.

Not everyone gets along. It is a hard truth that someone who wants to like everyone (that is you, Younger Self) has to face. You will realize pretty quickly with some people that you are simply not compatible with each other. The people that you will like and befriend, then something changes in your relationship (you? them? some other factor?), and suddenly you do not enjoy being around them any longer...that will be the harder lesson to learn. You can care for someone and still not be involved in their life. It does not make you a bad person. It is about self-care. When you find you are beginning to resent someone in your life or have an aversion to spending time with them, it might be time first to take a closer look at yourself (is it you?) or simply to take a break from spending time with that person. And truthfully, they might feel the same way about you.

Younger Self: You have now read my advice to you about how to better your INNER self. Next, I have one piece of advice for your OUTER self:

Take good care of your skin.

Just as you work to improve and care for your inner self, so must you care for your outer self.

First and foremost: Do not put baby oil on your skin and sit in the sun! You are simply burning your skin. And - you are wrong! Your bright red skin does NOT make you look more attractive! And it definitely does not look good in a pink prom gown.

Second: Drink plenty of water!

Third: Find a skincare routine that works for you. And stick to it.

Starting at some point in my late 20s, I became committed to a skincare routine. While there were still too many nights of going out and then not washing my face or moisturizing before I went to bed, most nights I was good. And it made me feel so much better when I took care of my skin. Yet isn't it amazing how we can rationalize that we are too tired to spend an extra couple of minutes doing something (wash your face!) that in the long run will benefit us THROUGHOUT OUR ENTIRE LIFE! And yet - we do!

For many decades I used Dermalogica products. I remember first buying them after receiving a facial where the esthetician used Dermalogica products. Once I got the routine down, it was so easy! When I felt like I was spending too much on their products, I would go to the drugstore and buy something more affordable. And on a rare occasion, I would splurge for something extravagant, like the time I bought La Prarie products after visiting a La Prairie spa in Grand Cayman. (remember when we used to travel?!) But I always returned to my tried-and-true Dermalogica products.

Then one day about a year and a half ago, one of my best friends invited me to a Mary Kay party. Yes! The same Mary Kay that our moms (and grandmas?) used to buy. My mom was a Mary Kay hostess quite a few times, and I still remember the adorable little pink plastic trays designed like paint palettes with a matching mirror each guest would receive. The Mary Kay representative would custom-select the lip, eye, and cheek colors for each attendee and add them to their pink plastic palette. With small disposable brushes, the ladies would create their most beautiful, glamorous selves...while sitting at the card tables in our dining area. I loved to hear them laughing and enjoying themselves. And how gorgeous was that blue eyeshadow back then!?! But that was back in the 1970s. I thought that Mary Kay was simply "over"!

But I was wrong! At first, I tried a couple of Mary Kay skincare products, simply to help out my friend's sister (who I also consider a friend). And I really liked them. In fact, the cleanser did a better job than the one I had been using for many years! And so I tried a couple of other products. And I liked them too. I especially liked how well the products worked together and how easy the "system" (or routine) was to follow. There are so many articles about skincare in magazines, online, even on TV! To me, too much information simply makes it more confusing! I just want a simple answer as to how to best take care of my skin.

So, I asked my Mary Kay rep friend, Robin O'Brien, to give us an easy breakdown for skincare. Here is what she said:

"Skincare is important at every age. The earlier the better, because it is all about developing good habits. As we age, daily skincare habits/products can take years off the appearance of our skin. Only 20% of visible aging comes from the natural aging process."

As anyone who has read my blog knows, I am not a product pusher. I am not receiving any compensation from Mary Kay. What I hope anyone reading this blog post gets is that:

  1. You need a skincare routine.

  2. It is not too late to start a skincare routine if you do not yet have one.

  3. If you are unsure where to begin, or are looking for a change to your current routine, you can start by contacting my friend, Robin O'Brien, at Mary Kay.

I hope my Younger Self received my messages

and has a FABULOUS life filled with good friends,

wonderful family relationships,

and simply beautiful, healthy skin!

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