What if you could go back ten years and talk to yourself? What would you say? Would you tell yourself to enjoy the this time, or endure it? Would you tell yourself that life gets better? It wasn’t hard to come up with 5 things I would tell my past self.
1. Don’t worry so much about your future and the future of the ones you care about. God has everything under control.
I had a pretty severe case of the worry warts as a child. I would worry constantly about things I had no control over. I mean really, how much control does a ten year old have? If I didn’t have control over it, I would worry about it. It took some serious prayer, time in the Word, and guidance from those wiser than me to get over that.
2. I know you hate that eyepatch and those fantastic pink circle glasses, but just own that look. You won’t have it forever and then suddenly, those glasses will be back and you will be upset with yourself for throwing them out with such disdain.
I have a lazy eye, so as a child I had to wear an eyepatch during the day. I can distinctly remember being seven years old and telling my mom that I would NOT be going to McDonald’s wearing that eyepatch. I had these ugly pink glasses that I had to wear too. I remember the day I got to donate those glasses, that was the best day of my young life. But of course, now those glasses are “in”. Oh trends.
3. Don’t ever stop writing.
I wrote my first story at age seven. It was about a dog named Patches who gets lost and has to find his way back home. It is honestly pretty good for a seven year old. I stopped writing for a while around age eleven, when I moved across the country. I wish now that I hadn’t; I would love to see the journals from that awkward transition time.
4. Please, care less about what people think.
I honestly didn’t have that much of a self esteem problem. Looking back, I’m pretty amazed at it. I never really hid who I was to impress other people. I did, however, do this thing where I was rarely my entire self. I would only show the parts of me that it would take to fit in with the current cool crowd. I was never someone else, but I was never entirely me. We all know by now that it isn’t worth the time and energy and that we need to be our whole selves, but poor 13 year old me just wanted friends.
5. Don’t take your friends for granted.
When I was 9, my best friend moved away to a different state. I was absolutely devastated. I can remember still exactly where we were when she told me she was moving. We wrote letters, but eventually our friendship faded, as many friendships from that age do. Looking back, I wish I hadn’t let that friendship go so easily.
Honestly, I could probably write a book full of advice for my past self. Be more adventurous. Say yes to the scary things. Be where you are. Read more.
The funny thing about coming up with rules for your past self is the challenge it gives you today. Do I still care about what people think more than I should? Do I still worry? Do I take my relationships for granted? When was the last time I wrote?
Don’t let looking back and wishing keep you from looking forward and dreaming. Take the things you wished you knew ten years ago and put them into action now. Don’t waste time on remorse. Ten years from now you would never approve.