46 Comments

  1. I love this list! Just yesterday I appreciated the meme: “Some people will think you are too much…those are not your people.” I think of all of the hours of tears I could have saved my younger self had I not tried to reel myself in to please others.

    • Laurie Stone

      So true, Anna. But I’m not sure youth has that kind of hard-won inner confidence. I think it comes with experience. Thanks for reading.

    • Laurie Stone

      Oh my God, Gary. When I think of how my husband and I lived in our early twenties… and went to work the next day. A week of that now would land us in the hospital!

  2. I love all of this especially #6 as I will always be a slave to chocolate. What wise advise to give to your 17 year old Laurie. #8 is so true. I get sick of hearing people in their 20’s talk about how old they are. I want to say, “How old do you think I am? 90???” I never thought about it in terms of people being old their whole lives, but that is essentially what they are doing. Great perspective.

    • Laurie Stone

      Yes! They are old their whole lives, I never thought of it that way. They look back at 40 and exclaim how young they were, but were lamenting their age back then. Its all relative. And yes, once a chocoholic, always one.

  3. What a lovely and wise post. My mom was 96 and still coloring her hair and refusing to wear orthopedic shoes “like some old woman!” And take care of your body is so important–it’s so hard to imagine consequences at 20-something. Every one of these is brilliant. I wish I’d not only been brave enough to be “who I am” sooner in life, but had taken time to really “know who I am” first!

    • Laurie Stone

      Lee, I’m convinced one of the perks of getting older is getting to know who we are. For most of us, its a result of lots of experiments and hit or miss. I envy that rare young person who knows where they’re going and what they’re all about.

  4. You could have been speaking to my younger self Laurie! #1 be who you are not who you should be should have been my mantra. Sadly it took me many years to realise this. Love the post.

    • Laurie Stone

      Thanks so much Sue. I think it takes most of us many years to figure ourselves out. There are a few exceptions, but for most, its a long journey of discovery.

  5. I would definitely like to go back and shake some sense into myself especially in regard to your first point. Immediately after college I spent 4 years in a cubicle doing accounting even though I loathed every last minute of it. I was too scared to try something else. At 23 I somehow believed I was stuck!

    • Laurie Stone

      Laura, I think many of us went in the wrong direction when young. In my case, I followed the herd into the corporate world. Oh well, that’s how we eventually learned.

  6. I would have told myself to make sure I just focus on being a good person. In our teens it seems to be so focused on looks and material possessions. When I look back, I remember those people who were just genuinely nice!

    • Laurie Stone

      Sarah, I think most of us are insecure when younger so of course, we focus on the exterior. As we get older (and wiser), we learn that kindness is more important. You’re right, though. Certain kids seemed to get that earlier.

  7. Great points. I agree with you.

    Especially the “be who you are, not whom you think you should be”. I have put pressure on myself all my life and can never live up to my own expectations. Sigh.

    I would also have told myself that tanning in the backyard smothered with baby oil was not a good idea. I regret that now 🙁

    • Laurie Stone

      Marian, I did the same thing with baby oil! Back in the 70’s, who knew? There were also no seatbelts and children rode shotgun. I shiver now when I think of that. Thanks for reading.

  8. I think I would add, “It turns out just fine”. No matter how bad life has gotten, and it has gotten pretty bad, as long as I kept going the world turned and eventually it was ok. If I had know that earlier, I would have saved myself a lot of tears.

    • Laurie Stone

      Laura, Nana was a character, who always lived as she wanted. She threw the script away and I always admired her for that.

  9. I think the last line is what really spoke to me – you do get better at hiding your feelings of inadequacy and vunerabilty – and you get better at noticing other people aren’t bulletproof either. I just wish I’d had the confidence I deserved at that age – young people are so much better equipped than we were to know who they are and to be brave enough to try new things.

    • Laurie Stone

      Leanne, I think this generation has the benefit of talking about their feelings more. When I was in high school, everything (feeling insecure, lonely, etc.) was swept under the rug. Now at least this generation has a better foundation than we did.

  10. OMG! I have an entire book written on this very subject. The manuscript is sitting in a drawer, collecting dust but I’m glad I wrote it. Great post 🙂

    • Laurie Stone

      Mona, You have to take out that manuscript out of dustballs and do something with it! Who knows, you could have a best-seller on your hands.

  11. Excellent post! I would tell my younger self to be forgiving. I spent so many wasted days ( and years) being angry at others ( and at myself). I realized later in my years that I was only hurting myself by holding on to anger and resentment. I wish I had learned to forgive MUCH earlier in my life…right about 17!

    • Laurie Stone

      Darlene, I think forgiveness becomes easier as we get older. Maybe because we no longer have the energy for all that fighting. At least, its true with me. Glad this resonated.

  12. Great advice! I would tell myself to be kind to me………less critical and more loving. At 64, I am doing this now. I find good things to say about me. I have squelched my inner critical voice. She is gone!

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