Well great things have resulted from yesterday’s post. Misty Bastian Trammel who lives a new age hippie existence in Oregon with her husband and two beautiful girls, suggested not only a question but a quotation to go with it. I also have three people who are now reviewing my current questions and providing some open-hearted feedback and suggestions.
So as promised, I am going to reveal the answer to my 35 year long consideration of my favourite question:
‘If you could go back to your younger self at any age you choose, what three things would you tell her/him to prepare him/her for the life that is to come?’
I have brooded over this question for thirty-five years and my answers have run the gamut from ‘If you ever meet someone named Sam, run the other way’ to ‘In 1994, when you are offered a choice between a lower paying job or just walking away, take the job’.
Now, with the wisdom that time brings, I realize that the choices I did make were fine. After all, even though walking away from that job led to a few weeks of worry about how to pay the mortgage, in the end, I was far better off than if I had just accepted the transfer. On the other hand, even if I had chosen to take the transfer, I couldn’t then and I certainly can’t now predict what the eventual outcome would have been. Perhaps I would have been better off sticking around and waiting for a pension, or perhaps the next week that job would have been eliminated too.
The reality is, we can’t predict the future and I have no idea what twists and turns my life would have taken as a result of that one decision. What I do know for sure though, is that my life is great right now and the decisions I have made over the years has led me to this point right here and right now. So would it have been better if I had run away as soon as I met Sam? Maybe. Or maybe not. But I didn’t and perhaps I’m all the better for having known him.
So to paraphrase that Grammy winning song by Rascal Flatts:
“This much I know is true
That God blessed the broken road
That led me straight to where I am today.”
So what would I tell that younger me? May I have a drumroll please? This is what I would do.
I would see me standing there in line, looking at me as I come through the door in my red mini coat that is way too young for me but hey, it’s her daydream. I would, I am sure, have a little lurch in my heart when I see my little John so cute at that age. Perhaps tears would fill my eyes, they are just thinking about it. I would stride over to her in my high platform boots that I absolutely shouldn’t be wearing because if I fall off of them the way I used to I’m really going to hurt my new bionic knees. I would say,
“Jackie, you look so young. I used to love that jacket and it looks wonderful on you. It’s all going to be great. You are such a blessed and lucky person. I just want you to remember three things:
- Stop that dieting. You’ll just get fatter. In fifteen years, you’ll give your right arm to weigh what you weigh now. Just exercise.
- Take care of your teeth, floss and go to the dentist. Ask for laughing gas, it makes it much better.
- Stop worrying so much. Everything always turns out for the best. You’re going to have a full and happy life.”
Then I would give John a big hug and, I hope, disappear in a puff of purple smoke so I don’t have to maneuver back out into the snow in those boots.
So that’s my answer. What would your answer be?