dear younger self

Dear Younger Self

Dearest Friend,

I’ve heard people say in passing, “What would you tell your younger self?” I never gave it much thought because it’s hypothetical. I can’t go back in the past so what’s the point in wasting the time I do have thinking about something that just can’t happen?

While it’s true that I can’t change what’s been done in the past, the question has given me some thought recently into a bit of an unexpected direction. Let’s just say I could go back and tell my younger self something. Would what I tell myself be something I should be adhering to now? What if my advice to myself was so life altering that if I didn’t listen to it, I would miss a valuable lesson. Not wanting to waste another moment of time, I sat down and compiled my list to myself.

Don’t go back for “seconds” of anything. Your waistline will thank me later.

Invest in a high impact sports bra. I know you hate running now because you think you can’t run with big boobs but you do love it. You just need the right equipment.

When your Dad is hugging you, don’t be the first to let go. You will miss his hugs the most, I promise you.

Take school seriously. You are smarter than you think and you don’t need to be a straight “A” student or be perfect to be successful.

One person doesn’t represent all people. Yes, there are mean people in the world but there are so many good people too. Give them a chance.

Do not try that cigarette. You will quit later and be successful but save your lungs the repair time and not start.

Ice Cream is NOT your friend. I know you think you’re sick all the time because you have a sensitive stomach but you’re in fact lactose intolerant. Dairy is your enemy.

Don’t listen to your 9th Grade English teacher. She is wrong. You can be anything you want to be and you will be a full-time writer when you grow up. Don’t fight your urge to write because she told you that you can’t.

Stick up for yourself. I know you think you can’t but you are worth it and you deserve better.

Love yourself. I know you don’t believe me but you are special and you deserve to be loved. You are not defined by how others treat you. Be yourself and if they can’t see how great you are and treat you with all the love you deserve, you don’t need them in your life.

I suppose if I could, I would warn my younger self of a thousand other things but the ten above were the first things that came to mind. To be honest, I’m a pretty stubborn person so I may not have listened to me anyway.

In all seriousness, I’d say everything worked out in spite of not being able to go back and tell myself these things. I may have learned all the lessons above a little late in life but it doesn’t matter. Heck, I’m still learning to love myself. So what did I learn from all of this listening to myself now? I learned that I could be a little easier on myself but other than that? I am exactly where I’m supposed to be.

With love and gratitude,

the gratitude letters author signature diane lynn

6 thoughts on “Dear Younger Self

  1. Hi Diane. This is a pretty good list. I’m glad you ended it the way you did, because I agree with your final paragraph.

    I’m sorry about your 9th grade English teacher. I never had a teacher say anything like that to me, but I did sometimes get funny comments from adults (who had never read my writing) when they learned I wanted to be a writer. I heard both that 1) anyone can write, which seems to imply that it takes no talent at all, or 2) making it in the writing field is completely or nearly impossible. Both are bad advice to give to a young person you’ve just met. 😛

    1. Hi Susan. Thanks so much for the nice compliment. Teachers are people too and where there are people, there is the potential for mistakes. I don’t hold it against her. I did let the comment sway me for the longest time about taking my writing seriously. I wish I had an earlier start. What you commented makes sense. I often wondered what people were thinking when I tell them I’m a writer. I often get the “deer in the headlight” look.

  2. Wonderful post Diane! Loved this part: “You are not defined by how others treat you.” I think I would tell my younger self the same things, except for the ice cream part.

  3. The chance to ‘advise’ my younger self is something I’ve always wanted to write about. Not because I want to change much but a few tweaks would be good. Maybe I should do it this year.

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