If you could give your younger self one piece of advice, what would it be?
Well, that is an excellent question. Why, you ask? Because I (Dissy) have a unique perspective on the concept of “advice.”
The vast majority of people out there think that, just because they’re tapped for advice, whomever has done the asking is required to do exactly as they have “advised.” When, as is often the case, the asker does not do as the advisor has suggested, that becomes an excuse to bitch about it on social media.
“Well, why’d you even ask if you’re just gonna…”
Dude… shut the fuck up.
To me, advice is merely perspective. It’s another way of acquiring information that may or may not have occurred to me prior to my asking. When I have all of the advice I need, I sit with these things. I stew on them, I consider every angle, I combine all of the advice with my own thoughts in the matter, and I take action. It may or may not be what was recommended. It may resemble what was recommended, or it may not.
So… what would I have advised my younger self knowing full well that I would not follow my own advice?
I think maybe I’d plant some seeds at an earlier age.
“You will never, ever reach an age where you know all there is to know, so stop acting like you’re done learning and growing.”
I actually wrote a pretty good paper in college about this very topic. Don’t be too terribly impressed. I was 30 years old.
“stop taking this all so damn seriously.”
“Let go of what you think should happen and be happy with what is.”
Yes. That last one. We are going with that one. I’d also throw something in about ditching the jesus baggage. Yo, Dissy (even though 14 year old you isn’t even called “Dissy” yet), the only person who will EVER save you is this gal right here:
How about you, Barb?
I’m going to be a little more direct with Small Barb because she desperately needs someone who will be.
You’re setting yourself up for a lifetime of pain by letting people who don’t care about you convince you that your only value is in how small you can make yourself. I don’t just mean the endless destructive crash diets, although that’s part of it. I’m talking about not asking for what you need, no matter how important it is to you, because you believe your only positive quality is being “low maintenance”. I’m talking about internalizing all your sadness, anger, stress, and frustration because your entire personality is “that person no one needs to notice”.
You are a whole person, and you have every right to take up space in the world. The sooner you start, the healthier you’ll be.
I wonder if either of us would have listened.