I was chatting with my mum the other day and we got talking about things that she might have done differently and what advice she might have given to her younger self. She said she and my dad could have maybe spent a little longer choosing their first home, but she couldn’t really think of anything else that she would have changed. It is strange, though, how we do make hasty decisions over important things. I swear I spent longer choosing my last pair of jeans than I did choosing my wedding dress. In my defence, I wear them a lot and I think they do look pretty good!
I took it as a positive that my mum couldn’t think of much, within her control, that she would have changed and, upon reflection, I realized that I was pretty much in the same boat. I wouldn’t change too many of the decisions I’ve made either. Well I might have advised my young self to not over pluck my eyebrows, but guess that’s not overly profound or life changing.
Although I wouldn’t change many of my life decisions, as in things I’ve actually done, I probably would have changed my outlook a bit. I think I’d tell my younger self to chill out and to put the angst away, not least, because it gets a bit boring to everyone else around. Everything does not need analysing to death!
Lacking much wisdom myself, I asked my friends what advice they had for their young selves. This is what they said:
- Don’t worry about trying to impress anyone. If someone needs impressing then stuff them.
- Be genuine and be honest, but white lies can be useful.
- Do your best today. Don’t wait until tomorrow.
- Cherish your oldies. They are just a more wrinkled version of your friends.
- Live in the moment. Don’t worry about tomorrow.
- Take a gap year, but don’t be a slob!
- Be bold and brave – the world is waiting. Travel.
- Spend a bit save a bit.
- Be kind to yourself and compassionate to others.
- Don’t take yourself too seriously,
- It’s not a competition.
- Nothing beats a lifelong friend.
- Try to make a difference in something worthwhile that you enjoy doing,
Wise words indeed eh! I don’t think the young people I know will need this advice for their younger selves though. The young people I know, know loads more about how to enhance their personal well-being than I ever did. They don’t stop at thinking about themselves either and create and develop societies to help each other. Time to plug a group my daughter is in called LETS – ‘Let’s Erase The Stigma’ relating to mental health issues. A big shout out to the young ‘uns and everyone in the education and counselling services for enabling this progress.
It seems that my own friends also have things pretty well sussed out now too. I’m going to add to my own list, to tell my young self to ‘live a little’ and, in the spirit of doing just that, I think I’ll go put the kettle on, and what the heck, I might even have a digestive too.