Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Letter to the Editor of Me

Have you ever wanted to go back in time and smack your younger self upside the head? Or simply impart some wisdom that you wish someone had taken the time to whisper in your ear? I do. I would love to hop in a time machine and have a heart to heart with the skinnier, fresh faced, more innocent me.

I’d start by telling Young Typ0 to study more. If there was something on TV, a good book within arm’s reach, or later in university some hot guy on the Internet to chat with – chances were I would dump my homework out the window and claim it was done. I wasn’t very good at studying or paying attention in class, or starting essays more than 48 hours before they were due. When I did study, I did really well. Sadly I didn’t choose do so very often.

Of course, going back in time and teaching my younger self to study, not skip class, and do her homework would probably change the space/time continuum irrevocably and I don’t want to go that far. If I had studied the way I should have I might have had a career that would have made it impossible to move abroad with Hubby all those years ago. Heck, if I had studied even a little I almost certainly wouldn’t have been married when I was. So maybe this is something that worked out in spite of myself.

Next I’d tell Young Typ0 she needs to learn to trust the right people. Messing up and making out with boys she shouldn’t have wasn’t the problem. Confiding in the wrong people was the problem.

Oh, and while Young Typ0 and I are talking about talking – she needs to learn to stop interrupting so much! Sheesh! Not all stories are about the Typ0-ness of it all (although the best ones are) and listening before talking would be a good change. (That sound you hear is everyone I know singing a round of halleluiah’s at the thought of being able to get an uninterrupted word in edge wise.)

Finally, she and I would talk about our health. If Young Typ0 had gone to the gym, walked to the dentist, and learned to be happy for herself, the life I know now would be pretty much the same but so much better and more fulfilling. Working out is not a crime! Young Typ0, it turns out, was not fat. I became fat because I gave into that negative self-image and gave up too early. We do that a lot, Younger Me. We’re good at giving up. Stop doing that.

There are certainly other things I would like to fix or change but I don’t want to be greedy and do it all in one fell time traveling swoop. After all, if everything were perfect, I wouldn’t have anything left to complain about on this blog.

35 comments:

Wenbren Explains It All said...

i would def tell myself to not marry so young! I mean I love my husband and all but I would def wait longer, That's a good idea and something to think about. The part about trusting the wrong people, happened to me as well...

Jennifer said...

LOL! I think we all would love to jump in that time machine with you and shake some sense into our younger selves! I'd tell the younger me to not be afraid of taking risks! My life is based on all the 'safe' choices I've made. A titch boring, I'll say. ;-)

toni said...

Whatever else you do, keep writing to your younger self. You write beautifully, and you could develop this into a book.

marfmom said...

SO many moments I'd go back and want to change, but like you pointed out, who knows how that would change things now? We might not be able to time travel to the past, but at least we can change the future :-)

Corinne said...

I think I would tell my younger self to CALM DOWN. You can't live all of live in a week. I don't think I'd change major decisions...they're why I'm here, but I would definitely tell my younger self to stop and think before getting into most of the trouble I've gotten into. The Younger Jennifer and the Younger Me probably needed to trade secrets. :D

Protege said...

I remember when my grandfather would tell me when I was a kid; "I wish I would have the mind I have now, but be back in my young body".;) I never got it then, but man, do I get I now.;)
Yes, the irony of life is that when we finally figure some of it out, we are way too old.;)
Great post.;) However, after all to me it sounds like you have an absolutely splendid and exciting life, with an absolutely great man - so your younger self must have done plenty right.;)
xo
Zuzana

LadyFi said...

LOL! It's easy to be wise with after thought.. On the other hand, our younger selves have made us what we are today.

Still - my message to you is that it is not too late! You can still start walking to the dentist, getting healthier and of course, study has no age limits - especially in the age of the Internet! ;-)

Melissa B. said...

Oh, I'm an interrupter, too! And, of course, my family finds it oh, so ironic that I'm a teacher now. Do you think I ever cracked a book? Thanks for reminding us that we all, eventually, grow up...

Turkey Trot Trauma

Quasi Serendipita said...

I would love to go back and give my younger self a good talking to... the thing is, I'm not so sure she would listen!

only a movie said...

I think I might be an interrupter too.
I love this post, and love the concept of writing to yourself at different times of your life. Nice exercise.
I'm also a firm believer that mistakes usually turn into a good thing later on in life.

Connie said...

I used to want to go back and kick the younger me in the rear a few solid thwacks, but ... if I did that, if she straightened up, led a different life, etc. I wouldn't be the me that I am today. I am not perfect, but I like me, and my life, very much. Younger me is on her own.

Anonymous said...

Stop beating yourself up. You learned your "bad" habits from a good source and from the cradle.
My beef was "why did I have to work?" I could have stayed home to make sure the children did what I hoped they should be doing.
The problem is that I did the same things as you did when I was young. I may be perfect now but it has taken a gazillion of years to get to this state--and there is still room for improvement.
Like mother, like daughter?
merthrymum

Gaston Studio said...

But... if you changed all that, you'd probably never have met your wonderful husband or the other people in your life... and you wouldn't have so much to blog about.

Lydia said...

I'm of the 'not changing' school of thought. I love who I am today. Maybe not completely, but I like who I am now as opposed to 10 years ago. Though if I could change just a few teeny things that wouldn't cause a rip in the continuum, I'd be okay with that. Like locking that 3rd grade bully in a locker for the rest of the year.

Sturgmom said...

I had excellent high school english courses and I SO wish that I had paid better attention and really LEARNED rather than just trying to get through. I should have picked a better college major, too, but you're right- so many things would be different right now had we chosen different paths back then.

Shell said...

What a wonderful thought- so much I would tell a young me....

Yankee Girl said...

I would tell me to take more chances. Do all of the things I was afraid to do.

Oh, and I would tell me that stretchy material in jeans is the spawn of the devil. Do not trust that they will keep making room for your ever-growing thighs.

Marie-Jolie said...

After wishing to do the same thing to my young self a time or two, I've decided to stop beating her up and start doing all the things now that I wish she (I) would have had the wits to do then. Thus... I'm doing a few crazy things in life that are raising the eyebrows of my friends. For example, I went to Paris. Because I wanted to, dang it. And now I've just signed myself up for school to finish the degree program that I always wanted, but was too distracted to actually do. Not sure what other good things are coming up next, but I have a feeling the sky's the limit! Young Marie can kiss my tushie. ;)

Grand Pooba said...

Oh man, there are MANY things I would like to teach Young Pooba but you're right, it would definitely mess up the future and I'm pretty happy with how my life turned out. I would have definitely made out with more people in high school. LOL

Monique-aka-Surferwife23 said...

You are adorable. And I only say that because I find we are very similar Younger Selfs. LOL! We wouldn't be who we are today had we not been the party goer, make out, conversation interrupting girls in our younger years. ;) We now have some good skeletons in our closets to blog about...

American in Norway said...

Wish I wouldn't have dicked around so much in school...but then again, I am very happy with my life... If you changed just one thing... I may have missed EVERYTHING...

sprinkles said...

I have a LOT of regrets. I wish I could change sooooo much of my past.

Mostly, I wish I would've gotten a better education. I didn't care about school and didn't do all that well because I didn't pay attention. I wish I would've gone on to college. Then maybe I wouldn't be in the situation I'm in now. But then again, I still might be.

Katherine Aucoin said...

I think looking back we all think of "would haves, should haves and could haves".

As long as you can look at yourself in the mirror, it's all good, no regrets!

The Blonde Duck said...

This reminds me of that Brad Paisley song "Letter to Me."

Dear Young Blond Duck,

Eat as much pie, mac and cheese, pizza and burgers and boxes of cheese its as you can.

In a few years, you will have to run for an hour a day just to eat a quater of that.

Dance a lot, and run through the sprinklers.

And wear as many rhinestones/ sparkles/ tutus/ pink cowboy boots as possible.

Lora said...

The best piece of advice from my favorite high school teacher was "live with no regrets"

Simple. True. I've taken it to heart.

However, I'd still love to tell my younger self a few things!

Thanks for visiting me today--you have a beautiful blog!

K said...

My younger self definitely could have used a little advice and maybe a little slap.

There are so many things I would tell myself.

Bluefish said...

Oh yeah...I need a time machine to change my whole freakin' life! I only get smarter as I get older...*sighs*

The Top Secret Dieter said...

i'm so glad you said hello on my blog mainly because i'm really excited about being directed back to yours. i love traveling internationally, and while my financial situation limits that hobby to just every once in a while, i so love learning and reading and hearing about others' experiences abroad. thanks for following!

staceyjwarner said...

very witty, well done!

much love

blueviolet said...

Oh yeah, I've got some past slaps to give too! This was fun to read!!

Eva Gallant said...

What a great post, and one we can all identify with.

I stopped by from SITS and now I have to become a follower!

BLOGitse said...

oh, yeah...I understand 100% what you mean..
but
I don't "IF" anymore. Life is good as it is now.
Nobody's perfect (even if some people think so)
but I try my best. That's enough.

Lovely posting!

bettyl said...

*sigh* wouldn't that be nice, to go back and do it all again!!! Well, some of it, maybe...

Sandy said...

Certainly there are things I would have done better if I had the chance. I would only go back in time if I could know what I know now.

Lynda said...

Great post topic. I have had this thought recently... wishing I knew 'then' what I know 'now'.

But then once a very wise teacher said to me...

"If you weren't meant to be doing what you are doing now, you would be doing something else."

It works for me.