Ten Things I Would Tell My Younger Self

woodland path by a river

1. This is not as good as it gets.  Your teenage years are not the best years of your life. Neither are your twenties.  Or your thirties.  See, the thing is, the best years of your life?  They are scattered throughout your life.  Some years are good, some are bad.  This moment, this year, this good or bad, is not all you get.  I hear tell that some of your best years can even be in your forties or above.  I know, the shock and horror!

2.  Be yourself.  It sounds like a trite self-help book but for once the self-help books are correct.  You can spend a lot of time trying to fit in but that is just a guarantee of feeling like an outsider.  Be who you are, do what you like, talk about what you like.  Authentic is good.  You will find the people you need in your life and they will like you for who you are.

3.  Enjoy that long hair and young body.  I am not saying it gets bad, just it will never be that good again.  Actually, just appreciate your body at any age.  You will always look at pictures from the past and wish you could have that body again.  Why not just appreciate it now?

4.  You will always be shy.  You will always be anxious.  You will learn to manage it.  Take a deep breath and try that new thing.  You won't die.

5.  Buy the books, all the books.  You know all those books you see at books sales and you don't buy because they are readily available at the library?  One of these days the libraries are going to do a huge cull and you won't be able to check them out anymore.  Buy them now.  It will save you time and money because you won't have to spend exorbitant amounts on books you have spent ages stalking online.  Just buy the books.  You're welcome.

6.  Marriage is work.  Babies are work.  Teenagers are even more work.  You will work on all three.  Again, you won't die.  Marriage, babies, and teenagers are also a lot of fun.  It just depends on the day.

7.  Life is not an episode of "Friends."  I am sure there is a more up-to-date TV reference but I don't have it so we will go with "Friends."  Not everyone lives their lives in a circle of best friends all the time.  Not everyone wants to.  You are one of the people who doesn't want to.  That is fine, reference number 2 above.

8.  You will never be able to dance, or sing, or do crafty things.  But one day you will start a blog and find a place for all those words swirling around in your head.  And your blog will make you pick up a camera and that will be kind of fun too.  You will decide dancing and singing and crafty things are over-rated.

9.  People are flawed.  Their flaws will hurt you.  Try not to be too judgmental.  It will be hard but it will make you a better person and then maybe your flaws won't hurt them.

10.  Stop worrying.  Worry is like one of those roundabout things at the playground.  You know what I mean, you start it spinning and then hop on and the centrifugal force keeps you on.  Once you start worrying it is hard to stop.  The force of it just keeps you on the same spinning cycle.  It isn't good.  Don't do it.  I know, easier said than done.  Do your best.

And now, go buy the books.  Your future self thanks you.


  1. great post! yes, the best years are scattered throughout one's life and marriage is work.and children later, I guess:)

    1. Thanks, I suppose a lot of the best things in life require effort.

  2. LOVE IT! I identify with a lot of these :-)

    1. I'm glad you liked it. It is too bad I didn't necessarily believe all these things when I was younger! It would have saved me a lot of stress and anxiety.

  3. I think #3 I would have struggled with a lot -- I still do struggle with it. I'm still working on self-acceptance and not having to be perfect, the best, etc. (Even now, my instinct was, "No, I should be better at not being great at everything! I should be the best there is at not having to be the best at everything!")

    1. Self-acceptance is hard. I struggle with criticizing things about myself that I would never dream of criticizing in someone else.

      "I should be better at not being great at everything." Oh yes, been there, thought that.