No Substitute for Experience and Early TBT

Yours truly, cca ’93

Here’s an early throwback-Thursday question that’s been floated around forever, another curiosity that makes us distinctly human in our ability to ponder, wonder, and pass time.

If you could, what would you tell your younger self, and why? There’s no substitute for life experience after all, so looking back at this point is easy, even if in an abstract form.

I would tell my younger self to stop fretting, to spend more time making memories, reading. To just chill. Sure, work hard, but also chill. Things work out in time, and if they don’t there’s a reason, and you’ll get your answers.

And it’s perfectly okay to poke fun at life — in fact, do more of that. Laugh your head off every change you get. Cry only if you must.

 ~~ What about you?What would you tell your younger self, and why?

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28 responses to “No Substitute for Experience and Early TBT

  1. Hey Silvia. Great question. I would tell my younger self not to be so hard on me, always looking for examples to support this theory. I am human, like anyone else, with weaknesses and strengths, who has made many mistakes and has many regrets, but also who has done things to be proud of (some of the same experiences produced both sets of feelings.) Life is short. Stop listening to that internal critic, and be present.

    Fondly,
    Elizabeth

    • I hear you, Elizabeth. The internal critic must be silenced, and it’s only with time we know that to be possible. I’ve gotten to the point I just tell it to shut up. :) And you have much to be proud of. Thank you for the lovely comment.

  2. Oh, boy. I would tell my younger self sooo much, but mostly I would tell myself my personality type and that it’s okay to be who I am because of that. I would also tell myself to pursue writing instead of wasting money in grad school for a profession I have now abandoned to my love of poetry!!

    • Dara, wow, I love this. In my writing group, we had a similar discussion recently, the question being: does a writer need an MFA. Many said no, many said yes. I don’t care. When I read fiction, I never check the writer’s credentials. If the book’s good, case closed. But here, you’re offering a great answer from the viewpoint of someone who’s been there, done that. Thank you!

      • Yes, to those who did or are pursuing an MFA, no judgment and more power to you. I actually got a masters in counseling but an undergrad in English. I loved my undergrad studies, not so much counseling. I am now a poet and do pet sitting to make ends meet and I love it!! I wish I had know.

  3. There are very few things I could tell my younger self that my younger self would have actually ‘listened’ to or believed. The single most important thing that would have made a dramatic difference would be to convince my younger self to seek help. As a straight A honor student who played sports and appeared to be doing everything an average teenager should do including volunteer work and working a part time job – no one thought I needed any help. I was on my way to success in this world. But I felt it inside, I knew something was wrong I just never said anything to anyone. I was not properly diagnosed as Bipolar until many years after high school when I finally sought help.

    • JC, I am so glad you looked for help. And the takeaway point here is that being so good at what we do comes at a cost. Thank you for this. You’re a success, because you’re well. I sure hope we’re all learning something.

  4. Interesting thoughts and closing question, Silvia. Rather than ‘look back’ I tend to look forward. In a similar vein, I would be inclined to offer my future self counsel based on wisdom acquired to-date. :)

    • Eric, you are so right. Going back in time is fun, but does little other than hopefully offer lessons for others. I thought about calling my next post Conceptualizing (or something similar) for the future and turn this idea of ‘younger self’ on its head to ‘future self.’ Now, you’ve given me added courage to do so. :)

  5. Ohhh man, I have a lot to say to my younger self… like stand-up for yourself, get to know people better before you leap, and know that I’m OK the way I am. If people don’t like me… that is their problem as I’m OK. Learning to laugh and appreciate the small pleasures in life is a BIGGIE!! By the way… is there a “REDO” Button out there? ;-)

  6. What great thoughts, Silvia. Yeah, I would definitely tell my younger self pretty much the same things you would tell your younger self: Things may be difficult and not all to your liking, but take a deep breath, collect yourself, and think of what you need to do. Things may not (and will not) turn out the way you had hoped, dreamed, and thought they would, but they don’t happen that way for a reason, and that something bigger and better will come your way down the line. Oh, and definitely appreciate the time you have, for things will be so different in your future.

  7. Eerie timing, Silvia! i just finished a post for next week about ‘balance’ , and in a way it is something I’m telling my younger self (and it’s not the usual message about striving for balance).

    This is a question I’ve thought about many times, but I often come back to ‘would my younger self listen and, if so, comprehend?’

    I LOVE you TBT photo. You are beautiful with a fetching twinkle in your eye 😊. You look like you’re sbout to step onto the dance floor for a sultry tango 💖

    • Thank you, Sammy. This pic was taken in Redondo Beach, CA, after a day in the sun, so I think that’s just a summer dress. As to your thoughts here, I would make my younger self listen. Haha, sure. :) Looking forward to your post on balance. I like that we’re on the same thinking page. :)

  8. Good post!! well..I need to tell my younger self many things, especially talk about my past mistakes.-

  9. I think I would tell my younger self, “Keep it up, kiddo. You’ve got a great life ahead of you. Oh, and stop procrastinating. Geez!”

  10. This would be a loooong conversation. I think the gist of it would be not to doubt myself so much and spend as much time as possible with my children. And to start writing earlier!

  11. I don’t know what I’d tell my younger self. At the moment I think I’d avoid the conversation.

  12. I would tell myself to do my damned homework. I could have gone to Harvard, but I squandered my potential.

  13. OM grief! I sometimes wonder about this – maybe something along the way of ‘be grateful for my blessings, life experiences, don’t sweat the small stuff’ –

    LOVELY photo!

  14. I’d tell myself not to waste time thinking about doing something, and just do it. It saves so much time. :-)

  15. I would tell myself to live more in the moment, because at the end of the day, this moment might be all we have. It’s okay to dream and have goals. It’s not okay to let those dreams and goals interfere with the joy of living life today. As for the past, it’s already gone. Life is happening now, so grab hold of it and enjoy the ride. Let all of your senses delight in the journey.

I welcome your thoughts.

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