Friday, September 4, 2009

A list for my younger self

As I turn 45, I think back to the girl and woman I once was and am amazed at how some things change and some stay the same. There was a middle period there, a destructive and hateful time, where no one who knows me now would recognize me; but, those who knew me as a child would recognize me now.

What would you tell your younger self if you had a chance?

Here is my list to my younger self:
  1. Quit smoking, it’ll only get harder the longer you keep the habit.
  2. Study Art History, you’ll enjoy it more than English. And maybe you will set a course toward art right away rather than waiting 20+ years. You can always read.
  3. There will be no reward for working 70-80 hours a week. The minute you get pregnant you will be expendable. Work less, enjoy more.
  4. Algebra is useless, but life is a word problem.
  5. Credit cards are evil.
  6. Psoriasis sucks. Don't step into the burn booth. You'll regret it.
  7. Frozen shoulder sucks more. One word: trigenics.
  8. Talk is cheap: actions are the real deal.
  9. Dream. Have dreams. Surviving is not a dream.
  10. If he doesn't stay until morning, he's probably married or something else that is not yours to deal with or fix.
  11. On that note, no man can fix you; first you have to fix yourself. Oh, and by the way, there’s not much wrong with you, you just believe the wrong people.
  12. There is no such thing as fate or destiny. Life really is what you make it.
  13. Tragedy happens. Mistakes happen. Accidents happen. Yes, everything happens for a reason, but life can be as cruel and wrenching as it is lovely and inspiring. Embrace it and roll with it.
  14. Black and white is a pretty good way to see right from wrong. Remember that the world is in colour.
  15. People will come and go, but your friends will be friends forever.
  16. Diplomacy is overrated. It is a pretty mask for some really despicable behaviour.
  17. If your boss (who works for your dad) demands sexual favours, it’s not your fault, you didn’t ask for it, tell your dad and get the jerk fired. It’ll save you a year of working in the warehouse. Ick.
  18. People will believe what they want to believe. If something is attributed to you - and you didn't say it - know that if it fits the agenda of the teller or listener there is no way to correct it. Don't bother trying.
  19. Only lend books if you don't want them back.
  20. Learn to say “no” and don’t be made to feel guilty by the timetable of someone else.
  21. Take every minute of your vacation time.
  22. And, travel more.
  23. Pick the sailboat, not the dog. Then, sell the boat.
  24. You are a writer, write.
  25. Kindness is a natural resource: infinitely renewable. Don’t be afraid to show you are kind.
  26. Trust your instincts. Acknowledge your fear. Acknowledge your joy.
  27. You are not responsible for the bad behaviour of other people.
  28. Your children will be the greatest joy and challenge of your life. You will be overwhelmed and terrified of the love you feel for those little beings (even when they become bigger beings).
  29. You are not meant to be a size 22, make better food and activity choices.
  30. Invest in Microsoft, Google and Amazon the minute you hear the names! Harley Davidson is a good choice, too.
When you turn 45, you shall be rocking like never before, comfortable in your own skin, grateful for absolutely everything.


Sandra Collins said...

fantastic post!!! what a wonderful list

ArlaMo said...

Happy Birthday!!

Kyla said...

Great post Lee! Hope you have a fabulous birthday.

Travelin'Oma said...

You have collected a lot of wisdom in your 45 years. Happy Birthday!

Heather said...

Lee this post brought tears to my eyes. Wonderful! I love your honesty. Happy Birthday! I hope you have a terrific day and that this next year is the most fabulous yet!

Anonymous said...

Awesome list...I see a mini book in this. If your younger you was anything like my younger me, the advice probably would have fallen on deaf ears. Hope you're having a wonderful birthday. Brenda

Lee said...

Thanks for all of the lovely comments ladies. I can only hope I continue to collect - and honour - the wisdom of my days!

Brenda, as always you're right on the money. The mini book will open with a quote - from the 14-year-old me (sometime right before I was shipped off to boarding school) saying to my father "I want to experience every experience there is to experience. What do you know? You were never even a girl." Ah yes, I was a handful :) Deaf ears, indeed.

I'm holding my breath - my eldest is 13.5. Please let me have raised her to challenge within reason!

Jayne said...

Excellent list! Great way to look back and would make a great page too :) Maybe have to give this a try! :)