Thursday, December 9, 2010

What Would You Tell Your Old Self?

How often do you have those "if only I knew then, what I know now" moments?

(I first thought of this when I found a great book at Borders that compiled touching letters female celebrities wrote to their younger selves.)

The other night, I was talking to a close friend on the phone about some taxing times she experienced throughout the past years. Things have fallen into place for her now. In fact, they are going so well that somebody who saw her now would probably have a difficult time imagining that anything ever went wrong for her.

As we pondered over how fluid life is, she said, "I look back on that girl I was two years ago and it hurts. I wish I could just...tell her that things will work out and not to be in so much pain."

Hearing that made me wonder, what would I want to tell my old self?

1.) It's a blessing that things will not work out with this guy. You will both be with people who are better suited for you.2.) Being confused about your career...revolving it around passion.... will only make it more rewarding in the end

3.) There is a grace in being a good listener for a friend and in giving your uncensored input...but the real skill comes in knowing which one of those to pick

4.) A person's negative behavior--jealousy, snide remarks,etc.---should not bother you so much; many times, it is simply a reflection of how low they feel about themselves

5.) Nothing is ever for sure. Do not be more attached to the idea of a plan than the plan itself.

6.) You will meditate through writing. That is when your mind will be in its most peaceful state, when every part of you is fired and placated at once.

7.) You will look back on college and miss every part of it---living with your best friends, procrastinating during finals week, Grey's Anatomy marathons, socializing (instead of studying) at the library, binges at Moe's... And that's how you'll know that you made the best of it.

8.) You will never stop caring about certain people even when they are no longer in your life. They will drift away for various reasons which may or may not be in your power.

Sometimes, it may even feel like you are trying to fill their roles with others...but just know that you cannot clutch every single thing that ever mattered to you...that you have to carve out space to make room for things, people, and places that are more compatible with you


  1. True, unless we throw out our past experiences we would never have place for new experiences. We can thank the past for making us what we are, but say good bye to the past and move on : no excess baggage please in this journey called life.

  2. I would tell myself to let go doesn't matter what anyone else thinks.

  3. Your insights are wise beyond your young years. I'm very impressed, and agree with all of them. Having lost quite a few friends too young, I would remind myself that each day is an absolute gift from God; that each day more He gives us is a clean slate on which we can help write out our life story. This story will not be one of perfection, but it should be one in which we have pushed consistently toward love.

  4. Firstly yes! I am a night owl too! :D

    I agree with every single one of your statements. I wish I could tell my old self -

    1."You know what? This is NOT going to matter in the next 10 years".
    2. She is a huge hypocrite - watch some more episodes of That 70s show instead of spending time talking with her on phone.
    3. Don't eat too much of those roasted peanuts!! (Oh boy what a stomach ache it was!)

  5. I agree with Roxane! These are great insights. Especially #4--being able to see beyond another's lashing out to the hurt and fear that's lurking behind it.

    I wish I could have told my former self about critique groups. I'd have made a lot of connections and matured in my craft sooner. Ah well. It is what it is.

  6. Oh, if only I had taken the time to inquire into critique groups. It's never too late!!

  7. #3, 5, 6, 7 and 8 gave me chills. So true for me too!

  8. Love this post! What wonderful things you've learned over the last years. It is nice to know that while life keeps swirling about, things are taking place and we are learning through it all. Love it. Thanks for the inspiration. Perhaps I should write myself a little letter...:)

  9. this was really lovely, I just found your blog and this post was very touching... love your whole concept, you for sure have a new reader :)


  10. Aw yay! I'm so happy that I'm not the only one who went through some of these experiences.

  11. No.4 is the ultimate, most important point that I can totally identify with. In fact that’s one of the first things I thought of when I saw your question!