Earlier in the month, marked the date of TimeToTalk, a day to recognise mental health problems and talk to those around you about it. I unintentionally took part in this day by having a conversation with my best friend about both of our individual issues which helped understand each other and the differences between us both. This post today isn’t centred around TimeToTalk or mental health problems but it got me thinking about my life, the past, the present and if given the chance, what I would have told my younger self to help her prepare for the future.
I’m sure we’ve all thought back to a simpler time and wondered whether if we’d done something differently the future would have been shaped better or if we’d concentrated more in school or hung out with different people or went on more adventures we would be able to cope with now a lot better than we actually do. I like to believe in fate and destiny and I don’t believe if we went back and changed anything, things would be different now. I think everything would be exactly the same, we just would have got there another way. However, in a fantasy world, if I did get the chance to go back in time and meet my younger self, apart from slap her in the face for being an idiot in her teen years which I won’t disclose here, I’d like to think that if I gave her some words of advice that she’d hopefully be more prepared for what her unknown future holds.
I’d tell her that not everything will go to plan. Nothing ever does. But it’s not necessarily a bad thing. The thing you’re thinking of doing when you’re older now will probably diminish in a year or so and be replaced with something equally as ridiculous. It doesn’t matter what it is, whether you want to be a chimney-sweep, a librarian, a dog-walker or an astronaut – keep dreaming. Because dreaming is what will keep you going. Dream big and keep imagining because as John Green says in Paper Towns, ‘If you don’t imagine, nothing ever happens at all’.
I’d also tell her not to panic. Don’t worry. Don’t fret. Worrying about something for weeks and weeks on end will do absolutely nothing for you or for the outcomes. No matter how much you worry – the outcome will still be the same! It’s up to you to decide which route to take to get there. You can think up the worst scenarios but I guarantee the only thing that will actually happen is the one you never even thought of.
Don’t be afraid to be different and do something nobody else is doing. Don’t be embarrassed to like what you like and do what you want to do and if it’s not something everyone else is doing – that’s fine. If everyone liked doing the same thing the world would be an extremely boring place to live.
Make the most of your current situation – don’t wish your life away by being impatient for the future. Live in the now and appreciate what you have at this specific moment. I’m sure we all couldn’t wait for school to be over, to grow up, to be adults but now it’s over – that’s it, there’s no going back. Although it may seem like a chore and a hassle at the time, you’ll have no idea how much you’ll miss it once it’s over so make the most of it. There will come a point in your life where things will change. People will move on and friends will leave and the only thing you can do is let is happen so be prepared for change.
I took this question to my twitter followers and friends and some of them thought about what they would tell their younger self if they had the chance to. Here’s what they said:
Mickey @ imabookshark: People always say to live like there is no tomorrow and stay in the moment. Think about what those really mean anddo that. You’ll have tough times ahead, but always know that things happen just the way they should. Happiness is a choice, so choose wisely. You don’t know what comes next, but that’s okay. Trust in the journey. And most importantly, make yourself <3
Charlene @ hellosweety26: I would tell the 18 year old me who had become a mum and who was suffering with PND (Post Natal Depression) that you will become a good mum and get there.
I would tell the 19 year old me who was in a abusive relationship to look in the mirror see beyond the names you’re being called.
Kirsty @ minionsofbooks: You will face problems, you will be hurt and experience pain. But don’t ever lose hope because you will survive, you will find strength you never knew you had. But most of all you will learn to carry the scars of your past as an example of how far you’ve come.
Simona @ skydreamersimi: If I could go back in time and tell my younger self something, I’d say that in life there are good and bad times and that you need to experience both to find out what’s good for you. The decisions you make are based on your experiences and the mistakes are also there to learn something and also that you have to make some changes. Never give up and believe you’ve lost time, because of a bad thing that happened, it only makes you stronger and richer.
Isabell @ DWOE_REVIEWS:When I was a kid, I couldn’t wait to grow up. But now that I’m growing up, I wish I wasn’t. How great was life when you still were a kid? My life has been full of up and downs. I’ve seen people come and go. I remember sad and happy moments. Some things can affect our lives for a very long time, if not forever. Here is a list of things I’d like to tell my younger self; Write everything down, your thoughts, your dreams, everything about your experiences, make good friends and stay in touch with them, avoid people with closed minds, who tend to be negative, create a stronger bond with your family : friends come and go but you’ll always have the same family and it’s important to have a good relationship with them – it will make your life a whole lot better! Forgive: it makes your life a living hell to want to hate and get back at the other person. You waste so much of your energy on someone who’s not worth it and only hurt yourself, pushing yourself out of your comfort zone may be painful for a time, but the benefits are everlasting, your parents truly love you and want the best for you. Listen to them, trust them, love them, honor them and don’t take yourself so seriously all the time. Laugh. Often. Laugh from your belly whenever possible, letting the tears run down your cheeks.
If you had the chance, what would you go back and tell your younger self?