Wednesday, May 27, 2015

What Would You Tell Your Younger Self?

Pretty sure there's not a person alive who hasn't considered how different their life might be if they just didn't do that one thing, few things, or series of things. I think we've all got regrets, myself included. If I could write a letter to my younger self and assure that it would be delivered, read, and taken seriously? Hmmmm...

I doubt it. In fact, I probably would've read it, laughed, written it off and continued to do what I wanted. Because that's just me. One of my favorite quotes comes from the musical Rent... "Forget regret, or life is yours to miss." I could sit here all day and wax philosophically about the changes I would make in my life. But the thing is, you really never know exactly the effect it would have.

Do I have the best life in the world? Oh, I'm sure as far as some people are concerned... not at all. But to me? I'm pretty damn happy with the way things are going at the moment. The only thing I could ask for, is that Mr. Sparkle would come home likerightnow. And that's happening soon enough, so I'm pretty sure I'll be able to hold on.

I could go back to middle school with the knowledge of high school or college and change around events so I would never have to face adversity and I could master every test. I'd know exactly who to talk to at the right time. I'd have a wealth of future knowledge of how to style my hair and dress just right. But the fact that I did have to face times with classmates who were less than nice taught me how important it is to be kind. Having difficulty with Algebra made me try harder, and keep trying. And what fun would looking back on middle school be without the ridiculous perms I insisted on getting, the glasses that were stylish at the time, and allllll of those leggings?

Traveling back to high school would allow essentially all the same things. I could make sure to date the right guy, avoid certain events, rehearse all the right songs and dance moves so I'd get all the best solos in choir and parts in musical. I could, again, dress the part a little better and fit in to make my life easier. But really, what would be the fun in that? Not getting the part I wanted only made me learn not to quit, to double down and try harder. And really, what does avoidance get anyone? Dealing with problems head-on is really the way to go. Cuts down on the stress headaches and stomach aches. Oh, and the whole boy thing? That was just a lot of experience in learning what I did and didn't want in my husband!

Then there's college. I could go back and make sure that I stay at one school, graduating in four years, rather than six. I could not worry about boys at all, much less party and have any fun. But who knows where I would be now? Leaving that first school and coming home to community college for a year was insanely humbling. It wasn't long before I found a school to transfer to. One with a Professional Writing program, something the first two didn't offer. And all that partying and fun? I had a great time, but it taught me that I really need balance in my life. They don't say Work Hard, Play Hard for no reason! While attending that community college, I met and began dating Mr. Sparkle, so leaving the first school was pretty much the best thing I ever did.

Looking back can be a lot of fun, don't get me wrong. But you really don't want to look back to long, because you're not going that way. If you spend all your time looking back, even if it's not always with regret, you'll never be able to move forward and fully enjoy life.

But that doesn't mean I wouldn't tell my younger self anything. What would be the fun in that? But rather than huge suggestions or life-altering changes, I'd just offer a little positivity and love. My letter would probably go something like this...

Dearest S,

Stop worrying so much. Just be yourself, keep following your heart, even if it is on a slightly crazy whim. I promise, everything will turn out okay! You've totally got this!!!

P.S. Oh, and don't throw away any of your nail polish or makeup. Ever. As weird as it sounds, you'll want to document it on your blog someday! 

-S


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