As we grow older we hope to become wiser, but advancing age does not always equate wisdom. There are a lot of dumb, older people out there.
Hopefully, we learn lessons from our experiences – the good and the bad.
What if you could go back in time and visit your young self?
What advice would give yourself?
Would you pat yourself on the back and say, “You’re doing a great job!” or would have words of warning like, “Stop – you’re being destructive!”
Here is what I would say if I ran into my teenage self.
1. There is a God. It’s never too late to believe. Not only is there a God, but God desires for you to know him.
2. Stop being intimidated by others. Don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself. Speak your mind.
3. Other people are not better than you. Stop thinking that everyone else is smarter and more talented than you. You are smart and talented. You may not be the best at everything – but you’re pretty darn good at a lot of things.
4. Don’t dye your hair blond. You can’t cover red hair with blond dye – it turns a weird pink. Love your red hair. It’s special.
5. Don’t cut other people down. This is a terrible habit and only makes you look bad.
6. Don’t sleep with guys just because they want you to. Have self respect and learn to say no. It doesn’t matter if they won’t like you. Stop trying to please others.
7. Don’t dye your hair black. It looks awful. See #4.
8. You don’t know everything. You can’t know everything – so stop acting like you do.
9. Don’t sleep with married men. It’s wrong. Period. Men who sleep with minors are sleezy.
10. Take the time to develop skills. Be more motivated. Practice music more. Take an interest in pursuing something. Read more.
11. Don’t get drunk with men. Getting drunk isn’t a good idea at all, but with men, the outcome probably isn’t going to be in your favor.
12. It’s okay not to go to college right out of high school. But don’t think it isn’t because you’re not smart enough. You are.
13. Don’t get married because you don’t have anything else to do. This is a horrible choice and will set a rocky foundation for your future.
14. Your actions have consequences. I know this is a hard one as you tend to think of only the present. One month away is a long time to you. But you need to think about your long term future and how your current behavior will affect it.
15. Don’t be disgusted by spider veins on middle aged women. You won’t be young forever and yes, you will someday be in your forties and have spider veins.
16. Find a way to volunteer and serve. I know it’s hard when you’re not exposed to settings that make this possible – but find a way. It will help you to see the bigger picture in life and not keep you so self-centered.
17. You are capable. Stop thinking that you are lacking in the abilities necessary to be successful at anything you want to do.
18. Do not apply for jobs that involve removing your clothing. This will not look good on a resume. You’re better than that.
19. The world does not revolve around you. I know this is a shocking revelation, but it just doesn’t. See #16 for ways to cure this view.
20. Don’t tan yourself to death. I know this is the 80’s and the deep, dark tan is in, but you’re a red head so deal with it. Learn to love your white skin.
21. You are valuable. God values you. Treat yourself with respect and walk in the other direction of those who don’t. Surround yourself with others who value you.
So this is what I’d say. Would it have changed anything? Probably not, because we often have to go through certain experiences in order to gain wisdom.
We should listen to words of wisdom. That’s part of becoming wiser, but life experience is often the best teacher.
No one said we were going to leave this life without a few bumps and bruises.
Are there certain things you would tell your teenage self?