Thursday, October 11, 2012

Words to My 15 Year Old Self

What words would you share with your younger self?

It is International Day of the Girl, and CNN gathered quotes from various woman about advice they would give to their 15 year old self. My favorite of these was from Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan, "People do things differently, and that's ok! Learn from those who walked the road before you, but carve your own path. So be different, explore the twists and turns on your own way." Maybe her words don't seem like the others since they seem more general and open than the others.

I've read lots of advice people would say to their younger selves, and I never wanted to do it. It was too hard reflecting on my past. My husband and I joke about giving our younger selves high fives because of how amazing our life has become. What would I have done differently if I knew what life had in store for me? Would I have worried or cared less about the things in my life? It wasn't until this weekend, when I read The Perks of Being a Wallflower where I thought to myself, "What would my life have been like if I read this book in high school?" It wasn't until the very end, when I read the words below, where I thought of my pile of journals filled with words from someone who doesn't feel like me any longer. The girl left behind.

“It's like when my doctor told me the story of these two brothers whose dad was a bad alcoholic. One brother grew up to be a successful carpenter and never drank. The other brother ended up being a drinker as bad as his dad was. When they asked the first brother why he didn't drink, he said that after he saw what it did to his father, he could never bring himself to even try it. When they asked the other brother, he said that he guessed he learned how to drink on his father's knee. So, I guess we are who we are for a lot of reasons. And maybe we'll never know most of them. But even if we don't have the power to choose where we come from, we can still choose where we go from there. We can still do things. And we can try to feel okay about them.” 
 Stephen ChboskyThe Perks of Being a Wallflower

And I asked myself,  "Am I okay with them? Or does it matter?" My life is the way it is because I decided not to drink, smoke, or do drugs. I dived into geeky pursuits and it took me on adventures. I chose my path, and I don't regret it. So what would I tell my younger self? I decided to keep it open and general.

Keep walking down your own path. Rocky or smooth, blizzards or rainbows close or far away, it is yours.

Natasha

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