Friday, September 18, 2015

Dear Younger Self

Hello Darling,
I've been thinking about you for while now, and it occurs to me that I might be able to offer you some advice that could save you some grief.
1. Be yourself. I know that advice is trumpeted from the rooftops... in theory. In reality, being not just like everyone else not very well regarded. That's okay. Embrace the things that make you who you are.
2. That advice, however needs to be tempered. Different in and of itself isn't a virtue. Consider the person you aspire to be, and work toward becoming that person, but don't just shun what everyone else is doing just because everyone else is doing it.
3. The above being said, lose the sunbonnet, at least it public. And the prairie dresses. Find a way to make your style jive with what people actually wear.
4. You need friends, Dear One. It's much easier to be yourself if you have other people who like the person yourself really is. Perhaps you might even have things in common with them. "We both have a weird lifestyle" doesn't count as "things in common," in case you were thinking of using that as an out. Be on the lookout for kindred spirits.
5. Learn to make decisions. Eenie, meeney, miney, mo. There, it's decided. Now move on.
6. Know what you want. From life, from friendships, from romantic relationships. We can start with what you want for dinner. You won't always get what you want, but you will certainly never get it if you don't even know what "it" is.
7. When you don't get what you want, move on. Don't fixate on something you can't have. Forget what is behind, and strive for what is ahead.
8. Heartbreak and pain are some of the things that shape who you are, but they ARE NOT who you are. Some pain never goes away, and some broken things can't be fixed. It's tragic, and it's sad and it's wrong that things happen as they do sometimes, but God has enough grace to make something beautiful out of the most heartrending tragedies. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.
8. Accordingly: Buck up, Buttercup. Everything wrong in your life, contrary to what you may have heard, isn't someone else's fault. And even if it is, there is nothing you can do about it. Sometimes life is just bumpy. This little thing we call sin nature has done a number on the world, and those around you (not to mention you, yourself) can be relied on the let you down. Your mood and your demeanor are your responsibility. Have a good cry, close your eyes for fifteen minutes, read some of your bible for a refresher of the doctrines of "God is God and I'm not,"  and "God is consistently reliable" and move on. Smile, do something you love, and decide to be happy.
9. You know the old saying "Jack of all trades?" If you have forgotten, the rest of the line is "... and master of none." Master something. Pick one of the 500 things you are interested in and become actually skilled at one or two of them. Dabbleing is fine, but becoming just barely competent at everything you do isn't.
10. On that note, PRACTICE. Play the piano for hours a day. Why not? GIVE ME ONE GOOD REASON! Sorry, I'm a little sore with you about this one.
11. Do math. You may not actually be good at it. Even if you're not, you've got to know it.
13. Memorize copious amount of scripture. Read your bible and and study it, then read and study some more.
12. There are wonderful, never-to-be-repeated things happening in your life right now. Savor them.
13. When they are over, it's okay to miss them. But don't forget to revel in the new things.
Finally, rejoice evermore, pray without ceasing, and in everything give thanks, for this is the will of God for you.

Your Twenty-Something, Happily Married, Mother-of-Littles, Busy, Tired, but Oh-So-Happy Self.

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