I stole the idea for this post from the always entertaining Shelley Sackier over at Peak Perspective. If you could write a letter to your 14 year old self, what advice would you give her/him? Here’s mine:
Dear Dawdling DayDreamer:
Learn to forgive yourself. You are not the saint you think you are. You are impatient and will make many mistakes. But it’s okay because those mistakes will lead to experiences you may never have had, had you been more deliberate in your actions. Thus, learn to forgive yourself.
Always give someone a second chance. You are not the best judge of character and, although you rarely judge someone by how they look or talk, often your first impression of a person will be wrong. Of course, because you think you’re a saint, you will try to make the best of a bad decision when you should be running in the opposite direction but then again, forgive yourself. There are lessons to be learned in these experiences.
Never say “I would never…” because you will. Accept that there
are no absolutes in life. When you find yourself in a situation you never imagined being in, remember to forgive yourself. It happens to everyone. Even saints.
Learn to listen. You think you are a good listener but often you only hear what you want. Let people finish their thoughts and carefully reflect. Conversely, sometimes you hear things people haven’t said, thought or felt. Remember, lack of confidence is a thief of time. You might feel like a compete mess but no one has x-ray vision.
Friends are not perfect. Some of your friends will be the type of people you never thought you’d enjoy hanging with. So keep an open mind. Don’t make a list of what a friend should be. There is no mold. Just enjoy the ones who somehow get through your hard shell and remember, you are not a saint.
In conclusion, you will be brave enough to take risks and fool-hearty enough to pursue your dreams. Your smile will always get you through so use it generously.
24 thoughts on “Dear Dawdling DayDreamer”
How did you know I was dawdling?!?
A lucky guess?!?
Umm…good great guacamole, gracious guide. Give/forgive grows goodness.
Sage advice, Jan, and appreciated. 🙂
I love this. Unfortunately my 14 year old self would not listen to a word my current me-self would write.
This is true but it’s an interesting exercise.
Sound advice, if only they will listen, I never did. :))
Me either. Ah well – there’s no going backwards.
Like the other posters here, 14-year-old me never listened to a word of advice. But wow, did she ever make some mistakes. As always, a great post, Jan.
Thanks Mary! I have a feeling we would have been best buds!
I love letters to ourselves. Since most of us didn’t fully listen to advice from others I often wonder if we would have listened to advice from an older self? Great post!
Thanks! When I was 14 I didn’t expect to even live as long as I have!
There are so many beautiful words here, Jan. I think if this was the letter I’d written, I’d nearly find myself bowled over by how much my older, wiser self truly cares for me. There’s so much tempered wisdom delivered in the form of a verbal hug.
I love it. Success!
Thanks Shelley! It was an interesting exercise which I have to say, turned out differently than i thought it would!
Oh, Jan – I loved this!
I guess if I were to write a letter to my 14 year old self, I’d say, “For the love of God, girl: stop being so damned bossy!”
Sigh… I still struggle with that one! 😀
Thanks Kate! Your 14 year old self would probably say “I’m not being bossy!” right? I know I would have!
Yeah, my fourteen year old self would have just flounced out of the room when I started speaking. *grin*
What a lovely idea for a post topic. Like other comments here, I’m sure my fourteen-year-old self would have read my words and said, “whatever.” Do I even know that girl? And how many renditions of me have there been over the years? At least I think I’m liking my current self quite a lot.
When I was in my mid-thirties I suddenly realized that I didn’t know who I was at all – I was confronted by my 17 year old self who demanded to know what was going on. Over the years I’ve tried to reconcile the stranger with the 17 year old. It’s a great achievement to like oneself. I’m glad to hear that you’ve made it! You give me hope!
Unfortunately, my message would be a dark one, but one that would’ve saved me years of suffering: break your stepfather’s hip & pelvis with the baseball bat tonight (instead of waiting till you’re 18 & he rapes your 5yo sister & you’re trying to protect her, too) & trust that you will, indeed, be a published author some day, no matter what your family members say (I mean, what do they know: none of them even reads books). I will always love you. Hugs & kisses, Alexandria (which is the name you will fall in love with at 17 and legally change your given name to one day)
Wow, that’s quite a story! I will have to check out your book. What the title?
Lots. I’m on Amazon: Alexandria Constantinova Szeman.
Thanks for asking. Very kind of you.
Thanks very much for the post: what a wonderful exercise.
Yes you have written a lot!