After I posted the advice to my younger self, I had a really interesting comment from a follower on Instagram. He told me that recently he’d been looking at this idea from the other way around, and had started letting his younger self give his current self advice.
I absolutely love this approach – all of a sudden it seemed like a more positive way to frame things, rather than just looking back at your past selves and judging them, analysing your mistakes and ruminating on regrets.
So, I’ve been thinking about my pre-adolescent self and what she would have to say (she was the most care free version of me, not yet bogged down in anxieties and responsibilities). And very unexpectedly, I don’t think I’m too far off her anticipated future….
“Look for your prince”
I’ve always been the biggest Disney fan. EVER. My first love was a Disney Prince and I genuinely think my favourite films helped to shape my adult belief in marriage, friendship and true love. And despite it being a very modern fairy tale (!), that swooning little girl would be so thrilled to know that we found him.
Apparently my younger self once told Mum that she wanted 30 babies. Well, that’s because that precocious little shit hadn’t experienced childbirth, 6am arguments with a pre-schooler and the extortionate cost of nappies! But, although I always imagined I’d have a girl some day, I do have two beautiful babies who tire my brain and explode my heart and would make my baby-mad younger self so proud.
Growing up in the late 80s and 90s, my younger self had some awesome role models in her feisty Disney princesses, She Ra, Lex from Jurassic Park (“I am not a computer nerd. I prefer to be called a hacker”) and many, many more. She was inspired to explore far flung places and meet new people. To be brave, have adventures you could only dream of, to excel. To dance, to fly, to sing, to climb mountains, to save the world.
And this is where I’ve let her down. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become more careful, more terrified of failure, more aware of what people think. I’ve compromised and given up on dreams. So this is what I’m going to work on. It’s difficult with two small children, but I’m going to make a conscious effort to be more spontaneous, to open myself up to new experiences, people and places. To say yes, take risks and give all those old dreams a try.
And, I think I’ll talk to that cool chick more often.