What I would tell the 19-year-old version of myself

Congrats on everyone graduating from a variety of schools this past weekend! You rock…and you’re in for an adventure called life!

I graduated in 2002 which is a few years ago... Saying that time goes by quickly makes me sound old, so I won’t say that but what I’ll say instead is that a whole lot has happened since :)

All this got me thinking… If I had the opportunity to talk to the 19-year-old Anna, what would I say?


Things in threes are great so here you go, Anna:


  1. Be confident, believe in yourself and become a lifelong learner!


Anna, you need to be working on yourself for the rest of your life! School might be over but the learning’s only about to start. 

But stay in good spirits about all of this. Have faith in yourself. Trust your ability to figure things out. Know that you can learn anything you want. Invest in your learning. Know that information is everywhere but it’s the smart ones who apply it (aka you!). A great title is cool, but you know what’s even better: ability to serve and bring value to others.

Forget the concept of perfect – there is no such thing. Doing something is better than waiting for the ‘right’ time or perfection to appear. Just get your hands dirty. You’ll figure it out along the way. Things being always linear is BS.

You have the world’s most powerful computer between your ears. Make sure you use it well and look after it’s health (and your body’s wellbeing, too!). It all starts from the brain so be very wary what you let in: negative self-talk, terrible news, gossip – it’s like poison. Hang out with the best people who make you feel great about yourself.


  1. Stay flexible on your way to your dreams!


It’s great to have goals but have flexibility how to get there. Remember, life is always happening for you so try your best to embrace everything, even when it’s a hot mess. Universe has a great sense of humour…

Annoyingly, you’ll learn the most when things get hard. And they will because life is ups and downs, like the beating of your heart. Growth is always uncomfortable. But you can change – you’re not a tree. Welcome contrast with open arms.

Follow your intuition, it always knows the best. Don’t know what intuition is? Meditate. It’s the world’s best sport. Common sense or cultural narratives mean zero – when you’re in your head, you’re dead. Worry less, most times you’ll be worrying for nothing anyways.

I can’t stress enough that enjoy the journey because once you get ‘there’ – you will have thought of new goals. Fall in love with the process, and love making progress.


  1. You have ‘it’ already!


I know now you’re like ‘I know this yada yada yada’ but trust me Anna, you don’t know anything before you’ve experienced it. Level 3 knowledge, baby!

You’re amazing already, and you’re so worthy. Don’t let anyone else tell otherwise – you have the power to define yourself. Stay authentic and true to yourself (and let Jane do whatever she does). Be the weirdo, be the extrovert, it’s all cool! Also, stay on your own lane and make your own craft so amazing that it will blow your own socks off.

Finally, let me tell you something – if you stay open and curious, you’re going to be surprised by how much potential you have within you. Keep looking under the hood, sister. Be willing to challenge yourself and your thinking. Change, evolve, grow, thrive, love and have passion. Push the envelope, you can really do whatever you want. I’m serious.


And god forbid, Anna, have some fun while you’re out there!


To your success

Your 36-year-old big sister


Ps. If you feel like there’s someone in your circle who must hear this, I’d love you to share this message with them!

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