27) Eighteen Again

August 13, 2010

New Growth

New growth pushing through mature leaves.

The August Break – Day 13

Word of the Day.

Atter – \ AT-er \ n.  1. A perfume or essential oil obtained from flowers or petals. 2. Also called attar of roses; rose oil.

Her loving words of wisdom felt like a cool, atter scented breeze on a hot and muggy day.


A week ago, a friend of mine posted, on her blog, here, this Q. : What advice today would you give to your 18-year-old self? If you were magical granted the opportunity to wind back the hands of time, what enlightened words of wisdom, culled from the years of hard-earned experience, would you impart on your younger self? I love this question and I immediately began to think of a response when I sniffed a new list coming on.

List 27 – Eighteen nuggets of knowledge I’d render to my eighteen year-old self:

  1. Get a good therapist, now. I think we could all use several hours on the couch. The earlier we start the better. Eighteen is a perfect age for it.
  2. Don’t be afraid to fail. I can’t tell you how many dreams/ ideas/ opportunities I’ve let slide for fear of screwing it up. You can never fail in trying – even if things don’t turn out he way you planned.You only fail when you allow that special something you truly want to fizzle out and die.
  3. Okay Ms. Eighteen, listen and listen good. If he ain’t treating you the way he should be walk, no – RUN – in the opposite direction. Only invest in relationships that support the amazing person you are.
  4. Make it a habit to look in the mirror every morning and say, chant or sing in a strong, diaphragm-powered voice, “Thank you. I love you. You are beautiful. I know you can.” And believe it – because it’s true. Don’t see yourself through someone else’s reflection.
  5. Stand up for what you believe in. Learn that it is okay to disagree; that you don’t always have to do it their way but there may be times when you have to compromise.
  6. Don’t, as they say, sweat the small stuff. Choose your battles and walk away from the smaller ones with a lesson learned.
  7. Save 10% of anything you earn. I’ve never been that great saving money but I think tucking away 10% (or more) of your earnings is a good rule of thumb.
  8. If you haven’t already, learn to drive and maintain it. I got my license on my first try when I was 16 but have rarely driven since. Now, I pretty much consider myself a non-driver. I absolutely love someone choosing to walk or using public transportation instead of hopping in the car, but there are times when you need to jump behind the wheel. It’s no fun having to rely on others for a ride.
  9. Decide if you want to have children. This is a big decision. Remember, regardless of society’s slant or the way you were built, not everyone needs to have a baby. That being said, if you decide this is what want to do, think about the things you’d like to accomplish before entering the motherhood, then get busy. Don’t leave having your kids too late.
  10. Follow your dreams even if they don’t meet others expectations.
  11. Find your voice. Learn to express yourself creatively. Embrace your unique qualities. It’s cool to be different.
  12. On New Year’s Day or you birthday, make a list of FIVE things you’d like to accomplish in the year. They don’t have to be mind-blowing (but they can be) but choose things that will shake it up a bit. It’s amazing how routine life can get.
  13. Let your guard down.
  14. Set solid goals and respect yourself enough to follow and achieve them.
  15. Keep yourself in check. Don’t be afraid to change your mind if your life starts to veer away from what you thought you wanted. Avoid hanging on to things that no longer fit in your hand. Let go and keep moving forward.
  16. Ask for help when you need it. Find the person who to advise you if that someone you usual ask for advice can’t help you this time because they don’t understand where you’re coming from (not everyone has to), have no real understanding of the question, or are too busy to go there.
  17. Learn to listen to your gut.
  18. This is the perfect age to spend sometime on your own and meditate on what you want. Head to a park or lake shore with a note pad and pen and let you mind go. Forget about what your parents, teachers or even friends have to say. Don’t worry about what seems realistic, or not, or what at first glance seems crazy or unattainable. Get out of your way for two to three hours and admit to yourself what you yearn for in life. You need not write in any particular order, just let it all flow. You might stumble onto a hidden jewel you never saw sparkling before. Or, perhaps you’ll reinforce what you already knew. But remember this: This…. Whatever it is you are doing, or not doing, right now, at this moment, is your life, so live it as fully as you can. And enjoy every minute of it.

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