"Life isn't about surviving the storm...it is about learning to dance in the rain." Anonymous

Friday, January 4, 2013

My 21 year old self

Yesterday, I was listening to a very thought-provoking segment on the radio.  The radio host asked listeners what advice they would give to their 21 year old selves.  Maybe it's nostalgia or maybe it is because I just celebrated my 40th birthday 3 weeks ago....but I really started thinking about this.

Someone asked me once if I would want to go back to my 20's and I said , very confidently, "no".  I have learned so much and experienced so many things that have really impacted my soul.  I can't imagine going backwards.  Now, there are certain days that I would love to relive, but I wouldn't want to stay there.

So, here is my list.  My advice to my twenty-something self:

  • Laugh more and don't sweat the small stuff.  The small stuff usually figures itself out.
  • Don't think twice about not making the Mercer dance troupe....deep down, you know you are not a dancer and rhythm is something you were not born with and that is ok.  You are going to have such a great time cheering during your last 2 years of college.
  • Take some time to visit Aunt Jinny and to sit in her wonderful, vintage kitchen and eat her fried chicken.  No one will ever in your life make chicken like that.  And she won't be around much longer and you will miss her.
  • Don't worry if you don't have a date or plans for the weekend.  Stay home and eat dinner with your parents and watch TV with them.  They aren't getting younger and they really can be quite entertaining.
  • Don't agonize over when he is going to propose to you.  Just enjoy him and being young.  He will ask you when the time is right and you will make a happy home together.
  • Don't second guess your nursing career because you have to start out working nights.  You will meet some of your dearest friends working these crazy hours and you will have fun, too.
  • Take guitar lessons--you really enjoyed playing in the Phi Mu washboard band.  Besides, you need to know how to play more than Our House and You've Got a Friend.
  • You are strong.  The bad grade you make on your grad school project or the fact that the contract on your first house falls through or the flooded basement in the house you finally buy--those things are just bumps in the road.  Believe me, there are worse things.  Much worse, but you will live through those, too.
  • In a few years, you will be pregnant with your second daughter, who will not survive her birth.  The week before she's born, you will have an ultrasound and the sonographer will be in a huge rush.  Ask her for one last look and tell her not to rush through your ultrasound.  Make her give you a picture.  It is the last time you will see your baby kicking and moving around.  This is one of those really bad things that I just mentioned.  Her death will hurt your heart and alter your path in life.  But remember, you are strong.  You will be ok.  You will not be taken down and will be stronger and better because of it.
  • Lastly, cherish every single minute of every single day.  Cliches are started for a reason--the time really does go so fast.  How you choose to spend it is entirely and completely up to you.

Well, I have always been long-winded and I don't look for that to change. What would you say to your twenty-something self??

1 comment:

  1. I'd say about the same thing.... but I've got a month and a half left in my twenties... so I'm interested in what you'd say to your thirty something self that I could use for my future self.