Life Advice to my Younger Self

My ID card. A registered 24 year old "alien" in England.
For the first time in twenty-five years I saw myself as an athlete. To me, that sounds weird. I'm not a fast runner. I'm not a great cyclist. I'm just a recreational kayaker. I have never placed in any races since I was sixteen. I'm also a 41 year old mom, so to say I'm an athlete is a bit "alien" to me. 

But the other day I walked into the darkened mirrored room at the gym where they do the TRX classes and for a second I thought I saw another woman in there. I went in there to do part of my circuit that included aussie pullups (the ones where you hold onto rings and pull yourself up from a semi prone position.) I saw a woman's silhouette when I looked up after walking into the room. She had seriously muscular quads and sculpted shoulders and I was thinking to myself "that chick is a serious athlete!" It took me a second to realize that it was my own reflection that I was looking at. It was a funny experience not to recognize myself.

Making phone calls?
It doesn't surprise me though. There's a lot that's changed about me within the last few years apart from my physical appearance. I blame some of these changes on my obvious mid-life crisis - come on... isn't the purple hair a giveaway? My other transformations are the result of life events (like my breast cancer scare last year). I have a new appreciation for living. Not only living, but living my life how I want to live it.

Its funny because if I saw the "me" from ten years ago I probably wouldn't recognize her. In fact, I'm not sure that I would even be friends with her. And the person I was at thirty was such a different person than the person I was at twenty. If my 41 year old self had a chance to talk to my 25 year old self there's a lot of shit she would say. In fact, I'd probably lay down the honesty smackdown on her. Hey. Its me. I can take it. So here are a few things I would tell my younger self if I ever ran into her:
College graduation. 1996. 
I had bubbles.

"Lighten up, girl! Don't be so serious."

"Stop second guessing yourself. Be confident about the decisions you make and own your mistakes."

"Don't be so afraid to have kids. You won't be a perfect mother, but you will be the perfect mother for them."

"Open yourself to feel love. Don't hold back anything and you will be rewarded. Even if its wrong sometimes and slaps you in the face, or on the ass."

"You ARE beautiful. BELIEVE it."

"Quit believing you're broken because you're not. You're just temporarily out of order."

"Try risk taking uncalculated sometime. Be spontaneous and don't think so much!"

"One day you will run again. You won't just run a marathon, you will run ultra marathons."
Backpacking at Vogelsang. 
Circa 1998
"If you want to run, throw away the fucking motion controls, girl! You CAN make your feet strong."

"Stop making decisions based on what everyone else thinks. You're a fucking pleaser and it'll ruin your life."

"Be raw every once in a while. Don't be so fucking in control. You will learn a lot about yourself."

"To help with the above, try this recipe: 2 measures of Gin, half a squeezed mandarin, 1 tsp cranberry concentrate, ginger ale. Enjoy!!"

Lavender Party Girl
"Enjoy your 'me' time, you lucky bitch."

"Don't be such a hard-ass. Talk to a stranger and flirt every once in a while."

"Dump the witch on the motorcycle. He's trouble."

I honestly couldn't find a totally serious picture of me except for the ID pic above. That was probably more of a "what the fuck am I doing in a foreign country" and "I haven't slept in almost 48 hours" look. So maybe I'm a little harder on my younger self than I should be.

In general, my younger self didn't do so bad. Afterall, I started my own business at 28. I also partied, travelled, backpacked and waited until I was good and ready to get married and have kids. You can never go through life without making mistakes or having regrets, though. I guess the point is to avoid the BIG mistakes and the BIG regrets. And even if you make the big mistakes and have those big regrets, as long as you're alive, there is always time to make up for it.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 


  1. Enjoy your 'me' time would be a big one for me to tell younger me as well. When you're young you waste so much time trying to get everything you imagine life to be set in line and worrying about it if it's not. Eventually life teaches us we're not always in control and it's both liberating and frightening, but it teaches you not to waste a lot of time.


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