Wednesday, June 8, 2011

To 18yo Me

While at the grocery store today, I passed a newspaper displayed with an article in which graduating high school seniors were asked about where they thought they'd be at age 30.  At first, that made me laugh...  When I was 18, 30 DID seem like an awfully long ways away.  Practically dead, you know.  But now that I'm on the other side of it, well I'm not dead yet, anyway.

But it got me thinking of the things I'd want to say to my younger self, if I could.

1.  Your bucket list will change.  What you want today may seem silly 10 years down the road.   Change with it.

2.  Kindness matters.  Don't miss an opportunity to exhibit it, even if it's inconvenient.  Even if you think you'll look like an idiot.  Kindness matters.

3.  Humor at someone else's expense provides a satisfaction that lasts about 10 seconds.  It is never worth the months of guilt that follow.

4.  Who you spend your time with influences the person you are, so choose your friends wisely.  If there is a quality you'd like to develop in yourself, find someone who exhibits it well, befriend them, and hope to God they haven't already learned this lesson.

5.  Missteps are just that.  One does not equal your failure.

6.  What you think matters today will probably not matter so much tomorrow, so relax just a little.  Tomorrow will take care of itself.

7.  Apologize.  Yes, I know it sucks.  Yes, I know it's embarrassing.  Yes, I know it involves admitting that you were wrong.  Do it anyway.

8.  Ask for help.  Accept help.  At the end of your life, you do not get a bigger trophy if you've done it all by yourself.

9.  Think first.  Act second.  Oh, darling, if you could learn this one, how many less scrapes would you find yourself in?

10.  You should have three types of friends.  A.  Someone who mentors you.  B.  Peers.  C.  Someone you're mentoring.  All three are crucially important.  If you're missing one, you're doing it wrong.

11.  You cannot change anyone.  That is their call and their call alone.  If you cannot accept them for who they are right now, accept that and let them go.

12.  You also can't please everyone.  It can't be done with honesty.  Look around...  worry about your relationship with those you are in close relationship with.  The rest...  let it go.

13.  Change. Grow. Create character.  But do it for the right reasons.  Don't let bitter unhappy people change who you are.

14.  Enjoy it.  Stop and take in your surroundings once in a while.  This isn't a race.

I don't have this all figured out...  somehow I thought that, at 30, I would.  That when I was really an adult, everything would fall into place, make sense, and life would be somehow easier.  It's not.  But maybe that's just life...  What would we do if we had it all figured out?  and maybe sometime soon, my 55 year old self will call up with a little advice to get me through the next 20 years...


  1. "sigh" have no idea how long ago 18 seems right now!!!...btw, love the picture...looks just like you LOL..

  2. I.Love.This. Timeless wisdom, thank you for sharing!! Love the foto! xx Kim

  3. that's a life list, a good one for every age. Oh my, what I would give if teenagers would take your advice, this will be the 2nd of your blogs I put up in my classroom. And my almost 55 yr old advice...serendipity. Don't out on the opportunity for adventure.

  4. I don't think you ever figure everything out. Every phase of your life is a different journey so enjoy. Even at age 71 I'm still enjoying it!