I’m in the process of breaking out of my writing comfort zone so it was only a matter of time before I started trying to stump myself with questions. It seems I’ve stumbled onto a new favorite to ask. It is a skewed version of the common “What advice would you give your younger self?”
You can get really good material out of some of those answers, but I wonder if you can get even better from a variation of that question: What advice would your younger self give you?
This reminds me of when I went through an old journal last year. I’d avoided doing so because I expected pages and pages of a disappointed and confused girl. Man, was I wrong!
I was blown away by how optimistic and persistent younger me was. By no means was she naive or blind to real trouble, but she held hope hostage; the ransom was seeing her dreams manifested.
As I read the words of a me I didn’t remember, I sincerely wanted to be just like her. She was that girl that you don’t feel cool enough to be friends with but desperately want to anyway. The situation brought to mind something I don’t hear often: there is real strength in youthfulness.
The young, my age and younger, can get a really bad rep for doing stupid things. I’m not saying that’s completely untrue, but in general I’ve noticed they’ve got a better understanding of how choices will affect one’s life. Now of course there are some big things that are excluded from that point, but they’re likely to take more risks and let themselves soak up the experiences we don’t even attempt to live because we’re ‘grown ups’.
As time goes on, we lose some really crucial perspectives. Perspectives that give us the freedom to enjoy more than just what’s leftover. I think we group certain things as young wiles of the past though the truth is that we’re scared. We give more credit than necessary to the worst case scenario.
All I’m saying is that maybe it’s just as important to give our younger selves advice as much as it is to ask for it. What do you think? What advice would you ask of your younger self?