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Amanda, Age 19: "It Doesn't Matter What People Think of You"

Panda at 19Before the new year started I talked about how I would give advice to my younger self at two different ages. I first talked about what I would tell 14-year old Amanda, and now I'm here to talk about what I would tell 19-year old Amanda. 

It doesn't matter what other people think about you. It's that simple. I know it's a concept that's foreign to you because you're a leo. If it's one thing that leo's are, it's that they are vain and they care about what other people think of them. Stop.  It will cause you nothing but stress and what I would say, lost time.

Right now you're going to school and have the glorious, GLORIOUS privilege of not having to work. Dad is giving you a monthly allowance and paying for school. He wants you to focus on the future. Take full advantage of that, but don't take advantage of dad. You're going to wish you hadn't squandared that opportunity in the future, because it's hard and stressful maintaining a job and school responsibilities, but it builds character nonetheless.

The thing is, even though you're going to school, he wants you to study a traditional field, teaching, while you've been interested in another field since high school. Something none of your friends have known about you is that you love magazines. Particularly fashion magazines. You started reading them when you were in 6th grade so at that age it was teen fashion magazines. Mom thought the other ones were still too mature for you. You had quite the collection of YM, Teen, Twist and the occasional Seventeen, when mom was feeling generous. 

You will remember the first one you ever bought. Sassy, with Nikki Taylor on the cover. Summer of '96. You took it to Mexico with you that summer and DEVOURED it from front to back practically every day. You loved every single picture in it: editorials, features, even the ad's. You've been hooked ever since, am I right? Fashion magazines are something that you love! In fact, you go back to school to study merchandising. It's a step in the direction that you've always wanted to go. 

Though, here's where the advice comes in, just because everyone at school knew you as a tomboy, because dad doesn't think you can make a living off of fashion, you want to do the right thing and follow the path they want you to follow, don't worry about what anyone thinks of you. Who cares that you were a tomboy? You'll grow out of it and embrace dresses, and heels, and make-up. This is something that you love and you've been ashamed to admit it because you cared about what other people would think of  you. It's coming out of the fashion closet. 

It's taken you time to admit it to yourself. After years of not going to school but working, and an additional two years practically finishing the graphic design program at school. You'll only need 3 classes to finish that program, but you'll have no inclination to go back and take them. Switching your major to fashion merchandising will be the best decision you'll have ever made and you couldn't be more happy because it's what you've wanted to do all along. Work for a magazine. You'll make your way closer to that dream, one small, slow step at a time later on. I only wish that you would have learned this lesson when your only job was to focus on school. 

You'll gain a tremendous wealth of knowledge that will eventually help with that dream, but you'll also lose time. You'll start your career late and people will underestimate and undermine you because you don't look your age. You'll wish that you would have heard this at this very time in your life. So I'm here to tell you, "It's none of your business what other people think of you." Tell dad that this is something that you want, something that you've wanted for a while and that even though you don't know if you'll make money doing it, you've got to try. Maybe you won't, but since it's your dream, you'll at least know that you'll be happy. That's something he's going to harp on about later on. "Do something that makes you happy" and fashion magazines do it for you. 

Amanda ❤
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