I recently saw a post on social media from a young lady in her 20s. “Women who are over 30,” it read, “if you could give one piece of advice to a young lady in their 20s, what would it be?”

Boy is that a loaded question!

I am approaching 42, and I realize so many things have changed in life. I honestly cannot believe that time has slipped away as fast as it has. Every day seems to get shorter and shorter.

Yet I have been extremely blessed with a wonderful family and great friends. My family keeps growing, and the true friendships in my life have grown stronger. I have been surrounded by wonderful people who have encouraged me and shared wisdom over the past few years that has truly made a difference.

With that in mind, I’ve thought about the many things I would want to share with this young lady and have produced quite a long list. To those of you who may care to listen, I will share some of the things that I wish I would have known at 20 in hopes of helping others learn from the wisdom that people have shared with me.

  • Put all your trust and faith in God

  • Remember that this too shall pass – and it will pass quickly

  • Laugh and laugh often – honestly, you can’t do it enough

  • Find older, wiser friends and watch them – learn from them

  • Take a nap – no one will miss you and you won’t miss anything

  • Life will never be perfect, so accept that and keep going

  • Spend as much time as you can with your family – in the end they will be your strongest friends, especially your parents

  • The hardest things to say will be the hardest things to hear – say them anyway and listen when you hear them

  • Lower your expectations for people – I promise this will save you so much stress

  • Last but not least, don’t take any time away from your day to worry about something that you can’t control – just let it be!

My prayer for this week is that if you're reading this, you will write it down and hold it close. I pray that it helps you get through the next 20 years a bit more easily than I did, and if not, remember you are not in control anyway, so just go with it. God bless!

Ashley Carter is a wife, mother, and grandmother living in Elmore County, where she and her husband run Farm to Table Living and Carter Farms. Ashley serves as Controller and Executive Assistant at 1819 News. She is currently working on an inspirational book of short stories. To connect with the author of this story or to comment, email [email protected].

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