What three “gifts” would you give a 20-something if you were a “Forty-Godmother”? Here 40-somethings share three wishes to help a 20-something get a head start on the confidence to make decisions that are right for themselves. No more woulda, coulda, shoulda.
1. I think the biggest mistake that we make — not just younger people but that we all make as human beings — is that we tend to see what we want to see in other people. Don’t try to see something that is not there. This is who they are, end of story. They’re never going to change and you just have to love them for worse and all.
2. You will recover and come back even stronger. You know what? I never thought that I would get divorced. I went into marriage thinking that I would always be married. I’m very upset that it didn’t work out. For a long time, my confidence was annihilated but you rebuild. I am ever hopeful that I’ll be married again and that it will be the right person. It took me a long time to realize that it was just the wrong person. You can spend a long time blaming yourself and thinking, “I could’ve done this. I could’ve done that.” You know what? Stop. Move on. Take some time to do that because that’s how you can rebuild but then move on.
3. Don’t kid yourself that we’re in control. You can try to do things to be a little bit more in control, but you’re not really in control. Life is not programmable. People die. Some days your boss comes in and she’s got upset about something else and she throws things at you. That’s life. That’s why you do want balance in your relationships – that is is a good thing.
-40-something NYC, marketing exec (now remarried)