Things I wish I’d known when I was younger
March 21, 2010
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With age comes experience…
I will turn 39 years of age this year, and so far in my life I have made my fair share of mistakes. I have no power to go back and change any of them and even if I did, I would probably make the same mistakes again. The mistakes I made, along with other influences, shaped the person I have become. Each of the mistakes contained a lesson. It appears that some of the mistakes I had to make a few times to learn the lesson fully. I have also come to understand that the lessons will continue to come often disguised as problems.
That said, there are a few things I wish I had known when I started out in the “adult” life. Knowledge that may have helped me make better choices in life. Knowledge that may have prevented some of the darker times of my life but then again out of those dark time light followed with a new awareness and a new sense of knowledge and a lesson learned. Perhaps creating a list of my own mistakes, in the hope that whoever reads it not make the same mistakes, is a mistake in itself.
If it is, then maybe I have another lesson to learn, but for now, here are some of the things I wish I’d known when I was younger:
- I wish I had paid more attention to the advice given to me by my parents. Advice around money and how important it is to save and not spend every penny. This is a lesson I have not yet fully learned, but I am working on it.
- I wish I had the knowledge I do now before I lit that first cigarette 25 years ago. If I was given the chance to go back to the time just before I was about to light up, I would never have lit it. And yes I failed my attempt at giving up. But I have chosen to see this as a minor setback with the aim of having another attempt, or as many attempts as it may take.
- I wish I had stood up for myself and my beliefs more often instead of adapting to other’s viewpoint to satisfy my need for approval and to avoid conflict.
- I wish I had followed my heart when choosing my further education instead of letting myself be influenced into the education I ended up taking.
- I wish I had been better at controlling my fear of rejection and conflict.
- I wish I had understood that it’s the journey that counts and not the destination. I might have enjoyed the journey a lot more instead of just focusing on getting to the end result as fast as possible.
- I wish I had been less naive and learned to adopt a measure of critical thinking before trusting everyone because they appeared to be kind to me.
The real question is; Why did I not follow the advice of parents and why did I work so hard to get approval or to fit in? I did very well at school with seemingly little effort, but I have always been (and I still am) very bad at following the advice of others. I know that when people offer advice they mean well, but I have always felt it as an intrusion or an accusation that I wasn’t good enough and that in order to be accepted into the world of the person offering the advice I had to change. In a lot of cases when people told me to do a certain thing or behave in a certain way, I’d end up doing the opposite, which on reflection did me no good whatsoever. Perhaps I am conditioned to learn the hard way!