Advice to My Younger Self…

I had a lovely Easter. I hope you did too. Now…

Since arriving at a “certain” age, I can’t help but contemplate my life and the choices I’ve made and the ones I didn’t and how my life could have been, possibly, different — better — if only I had known this or known that, so I would’ve done this instead of that.

It is no easy thing to arrive at a point in your life somewhere between the beginning and a little too close to oblivion and stop and evaluate.

But since I believe the “unexamined life is not worth living,” I think the following question is a great one to ponder not only for the value it offers us, but also for the value others may derive from the hard-won experience wrought from our personal disappointments, heart breaks, and regrets.

So I ask myself: “Janine, what advice would you share from your heart with your younger self?”

And here’s what I think I would say to the girl I was whose heart was still open, hopeful and naïve:

  1. Sorry, sweetie, I know you wanted to avoid them, but you will have regrets. Lots. It seems that regrets are part and parcel of being a human being who isn’t omniscient.
  2. By choosing a job, a neighborhood, or a man, you choose a life. So, I suggest that you deliberate, deliberate, deliberate on each as if the quality of your life depends on it (it does), and then choose wisely.
  3. Beware of arseclowns who pretend to be harmless as sheep but are inwardly vile, heartless, extremely narcissistic wolves. They are everywhere. They will deceive you. They will break your heart. They will try to murder your soul. Afterwards, they will walk away casually as if nothing happened. You’ve been warned.
  4. You can depend on this: Other people will hurt you more than you deserve. Maybe it is personal; maybe it isn’t. Either way, for the sake of your sanity and your way to be, don’t take it personally. Don’t!
  5. True love and friendship stays, keeps their word, and proves themselves. You do not EVER have to make excuses for good, honest men — or women.
  6. Yes, love is the answer to every question. But, sadly, it will conquer nothing most of the time. But it is still the answer.
  7. Starting now, push, pull, squat, lunge, hinge, and carry every day. Every. Day. At 50, your body will thank me. Trust me.

Then, I would give me the kind of hug that is warm and snuggly and seems to go on forever, and thank my younger self for never smoking, doing drugs, or drinking alcohol and for giving up soft drinks and fast/processed foods. Those choices may have saved my life!

Call to action: In the comment section below, regardless of your current age, please give it some real thought and share ONE thing you would tell your younger self if you could?

4 thoughts on “Advice to My Younger Self…”

  1. Another great post! It was worth waiting for. One thing I would tell my younger self: Do not get married at the age of 16. At that age, I was a child who had not experience what life was all about. I learned the hard way. I often wish that I can go back and do it all over again. If I was given the opportunity to be my younger self again, I would surely do things differently. Then again, maybe I would not because I would be still me.

    • @CLH I too wish I could go back again. I guess the key to not reliving the same mistakes is to actually take hindsight back in time with us — that is, to have memory of the consequences of our previous choices. Only then, maybe, we wouldn’t be unwise again. If only…

  2. Thanks Janine, you are on point. I love the line from Dylan’s “My Back Pages.” I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now.


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