Advice to long ago

As I lay in bed early this morning after Joshwa left for work (6am is early, unless I’m having a freaky sleep week – and I’m not), I was reading my Facebook feed.  Now, my Facebook feed is full of things that matter to me – lactivism, intactivism, and natural birth; Pagans and Witches and Buddha; and family, humor, and friends.  And at some point this morning, I read something that stuck out to me.

What advice would you give your younger self?

What advice would I give her?  Love yourself more.  But then, that’s a little too vague, isn’t it?  Tell your parents to invest in Google.  Okay, that one’s a little silly, but true.

In all honesty, the advice came to mind the moment I read it.  Tell her.  I would tell my younger self today to tell Momma that I was a Pagan.  I know that may seem strange, with all the stories we’ve heard about teenagers – being shamed and having to hide their studies at best, or being kicked out of their homes at worst.  But I’ve spent quite a bit of time over the last year stressing about having the religion discussion with my Momma.  And it’s a discussion that I am getting more stressed about as my Momma is seeming to develop stronger religious convictions (as strong as can be imagined in a woman who never attends church) lately.

I know my Momma – at least the Momma that I lived with as a teenager.  She would have likely tried to dissuade me, I know; but she would have accepted it – even if only as “it’s a phase”.  And as I grew and didn’t grow out of the phase, she would have gradually accepted it.  In fact, the reason I didn’t have the talk with my Momma at the time had nothing to do with my Momma; I was afraid of what my Daddy would do – granted, I was just plain afraid of my Daddy at that point in my life.  But it seems the longer it goes on, the more it has become some “big secret” – thus adding the simple stress of no longer holding the secret – as well as Momma’s recent surge in religious leaning.

Surprisingly, I wouldn’t give myself any advice on doing things differently when it comes to boys  – I can honestly say that I married my first love.  And I wouldn’t give myself advice on doing things different about the friends I kept – I learned lessons that are invaluable to my life.  I would tell myself to take that finance class that I passed on to take Biology my second year of college.  I would tell myself to hold off on those invasive procedures between 19 and 21 and pass on the Gardasil shot.  Oh, and love myself.  Did I mention that already?

Strangely it seems for people my age, I respect the girl that I was.  I won’t deny that I screwed up – it’s part of being a teen.  But every screw up I learned from.  And I wouldn’t trade those lessons, or where they led me when.  I believe that Joshwa and I would have met anyway, but I don’t know how much more jaded and difficult I’d have been by then.  By the way, I’d tell teenage me that it’s okay to be jaded – it served me well and kept me from being used by people who set out to do no more than that.

So tell me, what would you tell your younger self?


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