I am hoping I am only about half way through my life, if not a little bit shy of half way. I want to live a long full life, and be around to see my boys grow old, and to meet my grandbabies.

I know at my age, I seem so young to many; but so old to others. But to be honest, I love where I am in life. I am old enough to be taken seriously and not looked at as a kid any more; but not so old that when I talk and spout out my ideas, people think I am losing my mind.

We all say that if, “We knew then, what we know now…l ife would be so much easier.”

I couldn’t agree more with that statement. There is so much pettiness that drives teenage girls crazy, and bullying that can ruin a young boy’s life; or just the pressure to be the best athlete, the best student, the best EVERYTHING.

We need to learn to love and accept ourselves for who we are; not what others think of us. So I came up with a partially serious, partially funny list of things I wish my younger self had known, and if I did these things as a young adult, my life would still turn out pretty well.

1) Don’t be so hard on yourself;

2) Love yourself for who you are, not who you think others should love;

3) Find your guilty pleasure, and make it your own. Don’t worry what others think about it, because remember it’s YOUR guilty pleasure;

4) Indulge yourself. Find your Achille’s heel, and act upon it. You don’t have to do it often, but indulge … it makes life so much more fun;

5) Love hard, love true, and love deeply …  regardless of the outcome. Your heart may get broken … but true love is worth the pain;

6) If you’re heart gets broken, you won’t die … I promise. Just don’t put walls up, learn to love again … your true love is truly out there;

7) Smell your baby’s head every chance you get. The younger me would have thought this was nuts, but it is the best smell in the entire world;

8) Skinny dip somewhere at least once in your life;

9) Have a little wine with your whine time … always make time for your friends and get stuff off your chest;

10) Challenge yourself;

11) Pack a bag and just take off for a quick weekend away, at least once in your life … without planning it, without an itinerary, just on a whim.

12) Remember who your younger self once was, don’t lose sight of your dreams;

13) Stay strong, stay healthy, stay flexible, and start eating right in your 20s … because your family needs you to be healthy. Start good habits young;

14) Buy good bras, good shoes, and good underwear … the rest is just cosmetic;

15) Watch the sun set and the sun rise, preferably in the same cycle … while having a great conversation with someone you care about;

16) Have a pet … that unconditional love you come home to everyday is priceless;

17) Do what you want with your life, not what you think society expects of you;

18) Learn to change a tire, change your oil, and to shoot a gun;

19) Volunteer (anywhere), but in particular … at a hospital, children’s cancer ward, a VA hospital, or a food kitchen … you’ll be so appreciative of the gift you’ve been given … a wonderful, healthy life.

20) Don’t spread a rumor about someone unless you are a good enough friend to pick up the phone and ask them if it’s the truth.

You may agree, or completely disagree with any or all of the things I wrote on my list, but if you disagree; take the time to think about what you would have told your younger self if you had been given the opportunity to give a little guidance to that acne-covered, skinny, insecure blob of a teenager we all once were.

Samantha Stroube-Daviss is a local columnist based in Corsicana. You can also share with friends and family and read Samantha’s column at http://samantha-daviss.blogspot.com. Or follow her on Twitter @SamanthaDaviss1. Send feedback or leave comments on her blog, she always welcomes the viewpoints of her readers.