In my most recent post, Aha!, you’ll remember, my 22-year-old self woke-up from a very long nap. Given the vibrant, driven young lady I was more than a decade ago, I wondered, what would she say to me now? Following is one side of an imagined conversation with this newly graduated woman who was once/still is me.
Dear 33-year-old Me,
First, thanks for finally waking me up. Not that I don’t appreciate the Rip VanWinkle-style snooze after 17 straight years of school, but it’s good to be back. So, what’s life like in… 2012? Gosh, that’s so weird to say! Are you an editor at some fancy magazine? Are you married with kids? Gotta admit, I’m kinda curious.
Wow, okay, advice for the future. Before I hit the hay, I remember fielding a lot of questions about what I was going to do, where I was going to go. Truthfully, I have, or had, no idea how to answer them. All I ever really wanted to do was write… well, and travel… and fall madly in love. But I digress.
Because you’re, well, me 11 years in the future, I’m going to shoot it to you straight. No frills, no fuss, no sugar coating. So, here goes.
Travel light – I love the fact that a majority of my possessions fit into the back of my Honda hatchback. There’s something to be said for not having a lot of baggage. So if you’re feeling at all weighed down, cast something off and make sure you only have what you need.
Travel – And for that matter, travel. We were bitten by the bug early, don’t ever let the excitement of being someplace new fade away. Whether you have the money or not, go!
Move towns/cities/states – Are you seeing a theme? Don’t stick. If you stick, you’re stuck. Changing your scene changes your whole attitude. It keeps you from getting set in your ways.
Laugh until you snort – If you’re laughing, laughing hard, then the trying stuff doesn’t seem all that bad. Find a way to laugh so uncontrollably that you actually embarrass yourself.
You’re strong and strong-willed, that’s a very good thing – There’s a reason your friends lean on you when times get tough. It may not look like it, but inside, you’re made of granite and you have a will of steel. Don’t ever let anyone tell you different.
When you don’t know how to say it for yourself, let someone else – You’re a natural-born student. You’re curious and love learning from those who’ve gone before you. If you ever find yourself speechless, let someone else who has lived it, articulated it and say it for you.
Stuff isn’t important, people are – Remember where to invest your time and resources. Friendships can last forever, clothes/jewelry/things won’t.
Honor a good story, no matter how it’s told – Everyone’s got their opinions about format, word choice, tense, you name it. But if it’s a good story, honor it, no matter how the author deems to present it.
Go with your gut – You know your gut has never steered you wrong. That little twinge or prickle that tells you something’s not right or take a leap, listen to it. Regardless of the outcome, it will be an adventure.
Change is a good thing – Many fear change. They don’t want to step out of their comfort zone, but that’s never been you. Change has been a part of your life since you can remember. Stepping out in faith is part of who you are. Rest assured that it will all work out in the end.
And remember, you’ve got this. If you don’t know what to do, you’ll figure it out. You’re resourceful, you always have been. Add stubborn to that and you’ve got a lethal combination.
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