“What advice would you give your 20-year-old self?”
I’ve heard several responses to this recently popularised question, varying of course, by the differing years that have lapsed between the answer and one’s own youth.
In the short decade that has passed in my own, I’ve learned that this is my life. You may not be able to control everything that happens in it and to it, but what you can control is how you accept things as they come, and what you do next. At the end of the road, you have nobody but yourself to blame if you’re unhappy in life.
The most unhappy people I’ve met thus far are the ones who blame everyone and everything else around them for things that go wrong, without having ever paused to see the change they can bring within themselves. People can be bitter. And some will make it their mission to spread that brand of bitterness to anyone who would allow it. So guard against that, and stay focused on who you are, and what you can do.
This has always been a favourite prayer of mine, and one I’ve held close in times bad and uncertain:
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.