Archive | April, 2019

Notes to my 10 year-old self

17 Apr

Preamble: As I look back at my 10-year old self, it’s hard to believe so many years have passed.  I’m still the same person by nature (DNA) but experiences (nurture) has shaped me.

Back then, I was a painfully shy Catholic schoolgirl who was book smart, curious (about science, boys, other countries, languages), scared stiff about God (the fear of dying in the night didn’t abate when my father said it could happen), and a bit of a tomboy.

Woman Standing on Brown Wooden Plank

My life at 10 was one of discovery: I felt I was in perpetual winter (Alberta had 8 months of snow!) and longed for trips and travel. As the oldest of 5, I was fiercely independent and I already had a bucket list — self-made millionaire (still on the list), finding true love (ditto), living in the tropics (check), and growing up to be someone I’d admire (self-love is key.)

Hind-sight is 20/20 and yet somehow maybe my 10 year-old self (or someone else) might benefit…

Notes to my 10 year-old self

  • YOU deserve LOVE, KINDNESS AND RESPECT from everyone (start with yourself)

No matter what anyone tells you to the contrary – this is critical.  You practice the Golden Rule now, but know it’s a nice cliché without any basis . People who love you will tell you what you deserve/need/what’s best for you – in truth, they only know what they need from you.You Are Worthy of Love Signage on Brown Wooden Post Taken

Treat yourself at least as well you would a best friend. Walk away from anyone and anything that who does not. (This might sound obvious but it’s taken me years to embrace this.)

  • Life isn’t fair but it usually works out.  In other words: Let go, let God, and have some cake.

Life isn’t fair, period, but time moves on anyways so live with it.

Sliced Cake on PlateYou’ll learn that life is like a birthday cake – some people will grab the end pieces (with lots of icing and sprinkles); others will get more filling; others will be left with crumbs.  No matter what you get during life, in the end, we all run out of cake and the ice cream and move on to the great party in the sky.  No one gets out alive or gets to take extra cake with them.

Find something that makes YOU happy (no one else matters) – pursue what you love (usually it’s  something you’re good at) – and you’ll find happiness.

  • No matter how hard the situation, BREATHE, and get through the next 5 minutes

EVERYTHING in life is temporary, including life itself:  the good times, the bad times, best friends, lovers, family squabbles, beloved pets, sunsets, moods, jobs.  Everything. Is. Temporary.  It’s like waves in the ocean, sometimes they join together and crash, other times they build into a huge surf. Waves are not connected (bad things might seem to come in threes but they’re not related) and simply need to be waited out.  Breathe and make it through the next 5 minutes (at a time.)

Person Standing on Boardwalk

EVERYONE has down days and sadness, everyone goes through hurt and rejection – when you see it happening, be there for others (and yourself.) them.  Be kind to everyone you meet for you know not how they live behind closed doors.  (“There but for the grace of God, go I” is one of my favorite middle-aged sayings.  We were fortunate to be born in a free country in a family with a house and food. Never take that for granted, and be grateful.)

  • CELEBRATE often!

Woman Holding Firecracker

Take time to CELEBRATE and take credit for your achievements, even if it means you celebrate alone.  The energy and appreciation that comes out of celebrating will help tide you through the bad times.   (We were raised to think that anything good was because God saw we’ve been “good” – despite hard work; and the contrary was because we offended God.  I do not believe this – don’t you. Crap sometimes just happens, not because of anything you caused.)

  • Not everyone is grateful

White and Black Heart Printed Accessory

You (and I) have a great life – one filled with blessings and good things.  Because of this or in spite of this, people will treat you well/poorly/horribly and get angry at you for not fulfilling THEIR dreams.  Know that you are not crazy or weird or somehow not good enough – you are whole, complete and perfect just as you are. You are kind, thoughtful and compassionate and always will be. Be grateful.

  • Better (to) be single than sorry

Women's White and Black Long Sleeve Shirt

Trust your instincts about people and situations.  NEVER settle for anyone (a friend or lover or partner or boss) who doesn’t treat you well.  The idea that “you have to be a friend to have a friend” goes out the window when “friends” ask you to lie, cheat or give up on your values. Friends treat friends well – and you get to choose!

In terms of dating, believe me this: you’re going to attract men who want to use your confidence and kindness (they want to be nurtured) or who want to topple you as a challenge (narcissists.) You wouldn’t let a best friend be emotionally abused so watch out for this with yourself!  You’re better off alone (in great company) than with someone who takes you for granted and walks over you.  You may not notice at first but know that you deserve to be in the sunshine with a partner, not lurking in the shadows.

  • You are only responsible for your own actions

Close-up Photography of Gray Cairn Stone

Immature people blame their behavior on others – don’t take it on.  You are only responsible for your own behavior (and partly for your children until they are adults.)  You do not need a man (or anyone) to complete you – you are complete on do your own.  If you CHOOSE a mate, please choose one who will ADD to your life, not detract.

If you hurt someone (unintentionally or otherwise,) take responsibility and apologize quickly and often.  BUT, other people’s anger is not transferable to you. Know that co-dependent “disease” runs in our family –  don’t become the next victim.

  • Everyone is a bit funky – but you are NOT CRAZY.

Multicolored Plastic Slinky Toy in Close-up Photography

I know it’s one of your “trigger” words, but you are not and never will be verifiably CRAZY.  The “normal” you believe now (Catholic, observant, subservient and kind) sets you up for abuse by others.  I know you’ll figure this out on your own, but you need strength in your own convictions.  Love you for you – you are unique, creative, generous, and compassionate. The world needs YOU to be present and ready to stand up against the bullies.  Crazy people can’t do that.

  • Follow the 10/10/10 and rule of 17

Six 10 Euro Banknotes

There’s two philosophies that will make your life easier:  Suzy Welch’s 10/10/10 rule (will the decision I make today matter in 10 minutes, 10 months or 10 years?) and my own “Rule of 17“ (Let children be children… they will outgrow childish habits by the time they are 17.)   I wish I had followed these more often.

  • Lastly, become your own BFF

Woman Doing Hand Heart Sign

This IS THE KEY PIECE OF ADVICE that trumps everything else. Become your own best friend forever (BFF.) When you enjoy your own company – you’ll never be lonely again. Accept the you that you are, the good, the bad and the ugly – and fall in love with yourself.

The airline motto of “put on your own mask first” couldn’t be more true.  Love you first and then you’ll have love to give. I remember that mother often chided me about being stuck with myself for life:  “Wherever you go, there you are,” she’d say.  When I was in your shoes as a 10-year-old, this was utterly depressing.  Today, it has a beautiful meaning and I hope you find this out soon.

That’s it for now.  Let’s stay in touch – let’s transform the space and time continuum – and become our own best friends forever. Love you.  xx

%d bloggers like this: