Thursday, October 30, 2014

What's the one thing?

We all have it, don’t we? That little voice in our head that never shuts up…the one who in that grating nail-on-a-chalkboard manner informs us that we should have known better. “What’s the matter with you!” it shrieks, “Didn’t you know?” Well no, thank you very much, I guess I didn’t know. I wish someone would have told me that. That would have been considered useful information TWENTY FUCKING YEARS AGO, not so much now. Now, it just makes me feel sad, and a little bit angry.

What’s the one thing you wish someone would have told you? When I asked you this question, your responses came pouring in. I could relate to almost every one of them, but especially to the reader who wrote: They did tell me. I just didn’t listen.  Amen to that. As a teenager, constructive guidance of any nature would bore me to tears. But that’s exactly when I should have been sopping it up like a sponge. Think of everything we waste in our’s enough to make me weep. Back then, if anyone started a sentence with the following pretext, my brain would instantly shut down: “I don’t want to tell you what to do, but if I were you…blah, blah, blah.”  Oh, how I wish I would have listened more closely to that blah, blah, blah part. But sadly, I was receiving this great wisdom at the height of self-absorption. Instead of listening, I was 16-years old and having really deep thoughts, like, “This sounds rather important. But I really need to pop into the can to see if my boobs have arrived yet.” They hadn't...still haven't...still checking.

I recently stumbled upon my Grade 12 photo. After my eyes stopped bleeding, I wished I could go back and tell my 16-year old self a few things...although I was likely too high on hairspray to be having any deep thoughts. Clearly. As an aside, those little Facebook profile pictures were not built to accommodate the hairstyles of the 80s and fact, you'd be hard-pressed to capture all of my eyebrows in that slot. Obviously Zuckerberg didn't go to my high school - he'd still be getting his head flushed down the toilet for "acting smart".

I’m not a golfer, but I dig the concept of a mulligan - an extra stroke allowed after a poor shot, not counted on the scorecard. How sweet would that be? To be handed another shot because your first try was so fucked up. “Jeez, if I could just have done that differently…” or “Oh boy, I really should have listened…”, with an incredulous, perplexed element of “Holy shit, my parents were RIGHT AGAIN.” No worries, friend, here’s your mulligan. Try that one again - this time with a little more thought and applied brain matter.
Unfortunately for us, life starts at the beginning…long before we’re willing to stop and listen to what other people have to say. And rather regrettably, we’re not allowed mulligans. Oh, sure, we can give it another go after a poor shot. But the first result will always stay on the scorecard. There’s no erasing the past. What’s done is done. You look back now and know you could have done better; sure that’s a given. We all share this one. It’s like a universal remote on never-ending rewind for all of us. Maybe it’s preparing us for purgatory – a constant repeat of should haves, would haves and could haves.(Important note: If you think Call of Duty has a lot of swearing, then you clearly haven’t played this delightful little mind-fuck game.)
But here’s the thing: What happened in your past is now just a story. That’s all it is. It happened, and it’s over. It’s all done now - finito. But the sequel? That part’s entirely up to you. Once you realize this, you release any power the past holds over you. So you know all those things you’ve always wanted to do? I suggest you go do them. You know that person you wanted to be when you grew up? I suggest you be them. That picture in your head of what your life was supposed to be? Adjust your lens, because you’re already living the only one you’ve got…more importantly, the only one you’ll ever get.

Here forthwith are your responses to what you wish someone would have told you.

Relax…in five years, this moment and these people won’t matter. Everything will be alright.

Love yourself first. It’s OK to be alone.

They did tell me. I just didn’t believe them.

If you are not happy, neither are the people around you. Make a change and quit being stubborn.

Don’t be so shy to show a little cleavage. Because now I can’t.

That I was beautiful and smart.

Happiness takes hard work!

Don’t bother dating until you’re at least 25…before then it’s just the hormones talking.

I don’t know…they haven’t told me yet.

My mom told me but I didn’t listen. Don’t be in a rush to shave your legs!

Save money when you are younger to be able to do some of the things you want when you are a little older…debt sucks!!!

It will be hard, but it will also be worthwhile.

I am good enough.

To always, ALWAYS trust your instincts…it sucks finding that out the hard way.

It is okay to cry.

Relax and enjoy life more, don’t worry so much about all the little things and most importantly, be confident in myself and my abilities.

You think you are tired when your kids are young…wait until they are adults and go out at night. All night.

You would be really good at “x”. Why don’t you make a career out of it?

Do not spend all your time working. Enjoy life.

To always be thankful for your blessings.

You don’t deserve this.

Husbands and siblings are SUPPOSED to drive you crazy.

Not to shave my legs if I didn’t need to!

That eating right not only changes the way your body can look, but also changes the way you feel.

It gets much harder the older you get.

Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

Life is a journey and every year you will learn and build a new you, especially in your twenties. But no matter how bad it seems, it will always be worth it in the end, and everything always, always, always work out. And if it doesn’t work out, it’s not over with yet!

I am good enough as I am.

Wear sunscreen! I know that now, but I didn’t when I was 14.

The sooner you can admit you are wrong and accept it, the sooner you can grow.

Marriage is not about that “one” day…it’s about finding someone who accepts, respects and loves you for who you are; it’s about seeing that other person as a partner with whom you want to experience life with, and understanding that as years go by, you will change. The change is not necessarily a bad thing though – it’s about understanding how to change together and by doing so, you will experience an even greater bond.

What to expect when you grow old. For Dummies.

I wish someone would have told me that I was never going to feel financially secure, no matter what.

It’s OK to be who you are. Beauty lies in individuality.

Money doesn’t always fix things, or make you happy.

You need to be happy with YOU. YOU is always with you, to the end of your days – that is the only constant that there is. So be kind to YOU. Get to know YOU really well.

I wish that someone would have advised me on how to be better with money management.

I wish someone had told me how god-awful my ex was being to me behind my back.

Nothing I can think of.

That my fly was down.

That birth control isn’t evil. You can enjoy yourself before having kids, and that’s OK.

The world is a book. Go read. As much as you can.

I wish someone would have told me things about sex.

I can’t think of one thing because I probably wouldn’t have listened.

Childbirth really does feel like you are trying to push a watermelon out your ass. And that sometimes you do not get a second change to say thank you, I love you or any other kind words.

It would be considered wise to save a bit of money when you’re young.

How to cook and bake extravagant meals at a young age, so I could do it naturally and with ease as an adult, instead of having to Google almost everything.

Don’t try – DO! Change is inevitable, growth is optional. Travel if you can to help you realize how many opportunities we have in this country to prosper. If you can make a difference with someone who has had some misfortunes, help them out. It will be good for you as well.

I wish someone would have told me that some people will always be jealous or envious of your success, especially those who sit there and do nothing to help themselves.

The shadow you try hide is the one most visible to everyone.

Life isn’t easy.

How to work smarter.

That trying my best and being true to myself would be enough.

Honestly, my parents and grandparents gave me the BEST advice growing up. I just chose not to heed their words. My two favourites? Always be aware of your surroundings, and hold your car keys like a shank. That, and make good choices.

It’s OK to ask for help.

I wish someone would have told me “You are good enough.” Simple. That’s it. And for someone to truly have meant it.

Value the time you spend with your parents because they won’t always be around.

When I was younger I wish someone would have told me to be confident in the person God created, and trust that he did it right.

That my house would NEVER be clean, and laundry would never done with three kids and a husband. Really?

By the time you are 30, you will be in a comfortable financial situation so don’t put so much effort into getting rid of your student debt. Enjoy a little!

I’m sure everything I wish I knew was told to me. I just wish I would have listened and believed them.

I was told many things, but one I wish I learned earlier is to actually actively listen.

Go into the sales profession as early as possible.

I wish that grown-ups would stop saying “Be nice; you have to play with everyone.” Because really, not even grown-ups like everyone. Better advice would have been, “Don’t be mean; just ignore the nasty fuckers.”.

No, you don’t look good with a home perm.
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