What advice would I give my younger self?
Someone asked this question today in one of the chat groups I am in and it got me thinking. What advice would I give my younger self? My birthday has just passed, and I have a bit of the post birthday blues, as well as being a bit introspective, so this question really got me thinking – if I found the DeLorean in my back yard (yeah yeah, I know I am dating myself) and I could give my younger self some advice what would it be? Ironically, I am not sure I would have listened to a 40 something year old me, I was a pretty stubborn young person, and in hindsight I needed to be that person at the time. And it is true - hindsight is 20/20. But there are still a few lessons I would tell my younger self (after going even further back and slapping a few school bullies!!)
1. Quit sooner – I know that this is probably a bit controversial, and I never saw myself as a quitter, and always wanted to see everything to the bitter end (and sometimes the ends were bitter). I am all for perseverance and there are some things that I don’t regret enduring, but sometimes it is ok to quit. Sometimes you have to let something go to make space for something much better.
2. You are beautiful – I wish I believed that then instead of being so concerned about my weight, my height, my hair, my clothes, my nails etc. I still struggle with this today, even though I am a lot more convinced. I would love to give my younger self the gift of believing that at that age, and hope that belief would become stronger as the years progressed.
3. There is no “everyone” – I often made decisions or worried about what “everyone” would think or say. But who exactly is everyone? The voices of one or two critical people from your past? Are their opinions more important than your wellbeing? Than conquering your fears and stepping out? And as for “everyone else”? People aren’t paying as much attention to you as you think! Just be bold and do it!
4. “He’s just not that into you” – to coin the name of a popular book and magazine, this is one message I would work hard to convey. As with all hormone filled teenagers, I was boy mad, and I had no idea how to read a situation, or see the signs especially when it came to males. I would definitely tell that younger me – they weren’t interested, save some of that agony for more important things!!
5. It’s never too late to start again – This is a lesson I wrote about in a post last year, and so I won’t rewrite it, but I would definitely tell this to my younger self. This piece of advice is actually related to the first point. Sometimes it felt like the decisions I made, or the projects I embarked on were so permanent, so final that I continued pressing on with them far longer than they actually served me, because it felt like it was the only option. I was afraid that if I let go something else might not come along. Realizing this made me more willing to take risks, and to admit defeat, learn my lesson and start again on something else, and some of those risks actually paid off!!
What would you say to your younger self? I would love to know – leave comments below. And if anyone knows where I can find a DeLorean, please send me a private message.
I send you big love from a small island!
PS that cutie patootie is my younger self!!! Much younger though. My first passport photo!!!