Advice to my younger self

The more I read and listen to things that inspire me, and the more disciplined I become in terms of writing regularly and thus allowing creativity to flow, the more ideas I have that literally light me up from the inside out. I’ve always loved stories and am fascinated by the art of memoir; the untold multitude of wisdom and lessons that we each carry, but don’t always share because

a) it’s not the right time

b) it’s not polite and we’re afraid of upsetting someone

c) we don’t want to seem self-centered by talking about ourselves

d) we’re afraid to be vulnerable

But I want to hear those stories. I want to learn the lessons you’ve learned. I want to see the human side of you that your likes on Facebook are never going to show, and I want to help share those stories and lessons because other people desperately need to hear those things too.

We’re wired to connect through stories, and especially in the divisive world we live in, where people seem to see things in black or white, conservative or liberal, pro-pipeline or pro-environment, and forget that those positions are not mutually exclusive, and forget that the people on the other side of the spectrum are still good people, we need to get honest and raw about sharing the things that connect us and make us human.

To start, I asked people to share the advice that they’d give their younger selves if they had the opportunity, and it’s so interesting to see the big themes that become apparent, even just from these five entries. And since I always maintain that a good leader will never ask someone to do something they aren’t also willing to do, I’ll start things off, inspired by the words of Ann Lammott,

“You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.”

“If I could give my younger self one piece of advice, I’d say STOP IGNORING GIANT RED FLAGS. When he can’t afford his own vehicle so he “borrows” yours, takes it for a drunk joyride, wrecks it beyond repair, and then has the sociopathic audacity to LIE about it, or gives you gas station Mackintosh’s and a T-shirt he won for yelling the loudest at the strippers for Valentines Day and genuinely believes that you should consider yourself lucky to have him, save yourself a whole lot of trouble (and set yourself up to actually have fun in university) and DUMP HIM!”

“If I could give my younger self one piece of advice, it would be to take every opportunity to be adventurous; whether it was out of my comfort zone or not.”

“If I could give my younger self some advice, I would say, always trust your intuition, and as important as it is to get things accomplished, it is okay to have a break.”

“If I could give my younger self a piece of advice, I’d say know your SELF WORTH, listen to your instincts and leave what/whom no longer serves you before you fall victim.”

“If I could give my younger self one piece of advice it would be to trust your gut instinct. The best decisions I made happened when my gut instincts told me everything would be worth it, no matter how much the unknown and new experiences scared me.”

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