~my thoughts about life~

Monday, November 7, 2011

Dear 18 Year Old Me

Emmy did a very interesting writing exercise on her blog.  She wrote a letter to the eighteen year old version of herself.  She gave herself good advice, said what to avoid, and what to do differently.  Some things were general, some very specific.  I wondered what I would tell myself so I decided to give it a try.

Dear 18 Year Old Me,

You just graduated and you couldn't be more excited to begin the next chapter of your life!  I know you're frustrated that you missed graduating with honors by one stipulation.  But don't worry, it really doesn't matter.  You got a scholarship to your first choice college.  The honors cords would have only made your white graduation gown look prettier.  You're not sure what you want to be your major in college but you'll end up making the right decision.  You want to eventually be a stay at home mom so Early Childhood Education is a good fit for you.  (You won't end up working long anyhow.)

You're in love!  Good choice, he ends up being a real winner!  The first few years of marriage will have its ups and downs.  You'll wonder what you're working for; your house is always a mess, you're always tired, you don't feel like cooking, and you have very little money.  But it gets much better, believe me!  You'll have a couple crappy jobs and people will treat you like dirt.  Don't worry about them.  You'll move on in life and never see them again.  Your family is who will always be there for you.

I know you want a big family and I'll let you in on a secret.  You get it.  But be patient with your children.  It's in your nature to yell and scream a lot.  Try not to.  Spending time with your children is more important than the TV, the phone, or the computer.  Help them learn.  You'll be thankful when you see how well they perform in school.  Teach them to love and respect one another.  Remember, children learn best by example.  Be a good one.

You will be let down by various people in your life.  There's no way to avoid this.  Friendships die.  You will shed some tears but don't let it impact you too greatly.  The people who matter most will be there when it really counts.  Again, your family is something you can always count on.

Be nice to Aunt Grace and Uncle Don.  Knowing your children is very important to them.  It won't hurt you to allow Aunt Grace to think you named your daughter after her.  When she passes away, you'll have good memories.  Uncle Don really wants to be close to the daughter you named after his favorite aunt.  Just go with it.

Don't waste away your life always looking to what you don't have.  The grass is always greener on the other side.  When you have no money and nothing to do, all you want to do is run around and have fun.  When you're older and more established, you would give anything to have a day to sit down and do nothing.  Enjoy each moment while you're living it.  Count your blessings and be thankful for what you have.  Don't waste your time being in competition with others.  Be who you are.  If someone doesn't like you because your house isn't decorated as cute as theirs or you don't wear name-brand clothes, forget about them.  Weigh your priorities and only focus on what's truly important in life.  Don't live to try to please other people.

Stand up straight and be confident in yourself.  Those are some of your biggest flaws.  You can and will accomplish a lot.  You will live a great life and experience so much happiness. 

Oh, three more things-
1.  When you're competing in the quizzing championships, go ahead and ring in on the very last question.  You know the answer.  Don't let your teammate beat you do it because he will freeze up, he won't know the answer, and your team will lose the championship.
2.  Don't take that recommendation for the florist for your wedding.  He's a joke and ends up making you a bouquet you totally hate.  Hire a real florist. 
3.  When in labor, you will be introduced to an intern anesthesiologist.  You won't be paying much attention because you will be in pain.  But stop and listen.  Say no when they tell you that this woman will be administering your spinal.  Refuse, and ask for a qualified doctor who knows what they're doing.  Otherwise, this intern will end up ruining your whole birth experience.  She will cause you great pain, you will vomit, and they will drug you into a state of semi-consciousness so that you don't even see your baby being born.

That's all.  Enjoy life.



emmy said...

Well done she. Well done.

Theresa said...

I love this idea and I enjoyed reading this! I love the photos too!

Linda said...

Great idea. Loved the letter. I think I would be too depressed to write to my 18 year-old self considering all the wrong choices I feel like I made in my life.

You're very brave to have done this.

Shelly - Tropical Mum said...

I really enjoyed reading this letter. I found myself nodding at some things thinking that I should heed some of that advice now, especially about 'the grass is always greener...'