Monday, January 25, 2021

What Would You Tell Your Younger Self?

March 19, 2010 by  
Filed under Self Esteem

Inspired by the post by Kim at Adventures in Wanting last week, I wanted to further explore a topic she proposed that I found very interesting.

She essentially asked – knowing what you know now, if you could go back in time and talk to the young version of yourself, what would you say?

That really got me thinking.

The first thing I would tell myself is to look outside of my house for a good role model.  It could have been a friend’s mom who I particularly liked and respected, a neighbor, a favorite aunt or older cousin.  It would be someone who I could really talk with, someone who wouldn’t judge me and would give me good guidance. I think would have been key as I was growing up.

Closeness was not fostered in my house.  I was a latch-key kid from a young age and my parents were just not emotionally available.  I grew up quite independently, took myself to get birth control pills when I started having sex, things of that nature.  It would have been really great to have another woman in my life who I could have gone to share my confidences, feelings, fears with etc.

I don’t know if a young me would have admitted to this role model that my mother hid junk food from me or that my father teased me about the size of my rear end, but hopefully this person would have helped me with my self-confidence, told me how beautiful I was no matter what size that I was, and that the health of my body was more important than how it looked.  She hopefully would have told me to love myself, believe in myself and that I could do anything I set my mind to.  She would have told me to set goals and dream big. These were not things that I heard from my parents.

I would also tell my younger self to stand up for herself.  That when her dad makes comments about her rear end to stand up to him, tell him to stop and to mean it.  To tell him he is hurting her instead of helping her, even if in his mind he thinks he is just doing some good-natured “teasing.”

I can’t say for sure whether or not if I in fact had a good role model and was able to stand up to my father that I would not have been, and grown up, a compulsive overeater/binger, but I would like to think it would have definitely helped.

What would you tell the younger version of yourself if you had the chance?


No Responses to “What Would You Tell Your Younger Self?”
  1. Mike in Philly says:

    I would tell my younger self – stop worrying. you going to do a good job. And then I would say don’t be afraid to ask beth ann out. Secondly, anglela, the one who rejected you, grows up to be a slut with a drinking problem and three kids.

  2. Kim says:

    Thanks for the shout out 🙂 I would tell my younger self not to worry so much. Life works out in its mysterious ways. Knowing my younger self, she wouldn’t have believed this 😉

    • love2eatinpa says:

      welcome! thank YOU! and yes, life sure does work in mysterious ways, in the moment though, especially when you are young, everything seems like the end of the world.

  3. Shelly says:

    I love this post!!

    I would tell my younger self, who care if you arent popular in high school. No need to be self concious and worry about not fitting in, Who cares? Be yourself!!! dont be someone you arent! You will realize this before you go to your 10 year high school reunion.

    Also, when you were deciding on a college major you should have done what you wanted to do and not have given in to the pressure to pick a major in order to get a secure career.

  4. FFA says:

    Don’t you think to some degree this is dwelling too much in the past? We all wish we had different things, different parents, different role models all of that. There is a difference in what you would tell yourself and what you would wish for. I just wonder sometimes reading your blog how much are you really moving forward and not just on a carousel. This reads sometimes like instead of binging you emotionally binge. I am a compulsive over eater and have worked hard to stop binging after 23 years of doing so but my entire life does not revolve around being in recovery. I moved on and quit blaming my mother who put me down, my father who would make snide remarks. They did not know how to help me and as an adult I found the people who could. You have found a support system, therapist, have a family who supports you and still it reads a lot of the time like you are whining about your family. It just seems a shame to get caught up in the past and not celebrate the present and free yourself from identifying based on your eating disorder. We are all more then our bodies, eating, and eating disorders. It’s people first disorder second.

    • love2eatinpa says:

      yep, my last two posts here on WATRD have been about my childhood. i have been a compulsive overeater for 30+ years, but didn’t know it was an eating disorder until just over two years ago, so i’m still finding my way through, doing what you said, learing to celebrate the present, realizing that i’m more than an eating disorder.
      i have been binge-free now just over two years and have lost all my weight and kept it off for almost a year and a half. in my process of embracing this eating disorder and putting it in it’s rightful place in my life, i have had to deal with the past in order to move forward, i needed to see where i’ve been first and that included all this crap from my chilldhood. right now in my therapy process, i can tell from my journaling, that i’m dealing with my childhood, something i’ve never done before. so yes, it’s what’s on my mind now. i’m working on understanding it, acceptance, finding a place for it and putting it behind me.
      if you look at my blog, it is not all about my past, it’s about struggles and maintaing my recovery, finding ways to deal with the disorder so i can continue to move forward on this binge-free path that i am on.

      • Gina says:

        love2eat – I’m glad you responded to FFA. I was almost going to respond in a similar vein to her, but held back. If we don’t examine and acknowledge the past, we won’t be able to deal with it and move on – in other words we will keep making the same mistakes over and over.

        Sounds as though you’re doing well! 🙂

  5. Rita says:

    Be nice to girls, and not just yourself but other girls, all of them, they’re all going through the same things just expressing it differently.

  6. Nell says:

    Don’t be something you aren’t. You can’t keep it up anyway and it’s going to cause you ulcers, chronic insomnia and self-esteem issues.

    Perfection isn’t attainable, and you are, in your way, just as good as the rest of your family. Don’t keep telling yourself otherwise, everybody will bop you on the head if you do.

    You will love your studies, but take a couple less hours. It’s not going to hurt your career, and you might actually get to LIVE a little!

    And finally: GO TO THAT INTERNATIONAL QUALI. You know what I mean.

    • love2eatinpa says:

      goodness, nell, i’m sorry you had what seems to have been some pretty rought times. it’s great that you have learned from your past. i hope things are going well for you, it sounds like they are!

      • Nell says:

        Well, it was more or less my own fault for trying to be everyone’s best-liked version of myself. I did a couple things I’m not really proud of and had some tough spells, but I got out kicking (in the true sense of the word, taking up Tae Kwon Do again).

        Nothing to be worried about- my workaholic self is all better now 😉

  7. Ashley says:

    Great post! I would tell my younger self to not to listen to malicious comments because most of them stem from their own insecurity and jealousy.

  8. love2eatinpa says:

    oooh, good advice. something we can all listen to as adults too. 🙂

  9. 1noelle says:

    FFA – we often look to our past in order to understand, learn, improve and grow. I think this is exactly what lovetoeatinpa is doing as part of the process to heal and become a healthier and happier person. I also think this would be a great exercise EVERYONE should do as a way to enlighten ourselves and possibly make some changes today to benefit our kids.

    We all have stories and heartache that shape who we are but it does NOT define us forever or limit us, we have the ability to change and be happy and healthy.

    I will be a Godmother next month and it inspired me to write down thoughts that I wanted to share with this child. I want to be a positive influence and good role model. I want to be the person that I wish I had growing up….I will be the change. I share the thoughts with you as I continue to write my thoughts-my first draft

    The Person To Love Me

    The person to love me, I hope, will accept me for who I am, yesterday, today and tomorrow

    The mistakes I make will not be reflected negatively on my character or the failures I have be limitations for my success

    The person to love me, I hope, will appreciate who I am and believe in me consistently and without failure

    The moments I show weakness is my opportunity to trust in you, giving me the strength to move forward to make me stronger

    The person to love me, I hope, will recognize the beauty I posses and tell me daily of its existence

    When my body changes and grows I will not be criticized but encouraged
    to have a healthy routine that will make me feel good

    The person to love me, I hope, will be my rock and my guide to elevate me to be the best that I can be

    When my insecurities begin to show I am gently reminded that I worthy and wonderful and loved everyday

    The person to love me, I hope, I pray, that the person to love me will first be me!

  10. love2eatinpa says:

    that was a beautiful letter, noelle. thanks for sharing it with us.

  11. saralmm says:

    I would tell myself to listen to my mother!!

    • love2eatinpa says:

      lol! i wish someone would tell my kids that! 🙂 i think it’s really nice that as an adult you feel that way and recognize your mom was probably right about some stuff.

  12. living400lbs says:

    1) It’s not just you that ends up with net gains from dieting. Quit while you’re ahead.

    2) If you are dating someone who doesn’t get along with your friends, either something’s wrong with your friends or something’s wrong with the someone you’re dating. If you’ve known your friends longer it’s likely not them.

    3) Sell your Microsoft stock at the end of 1999.

  13. Lori says:

    Don’t major in English and women’s studies. Some day you may actually want a job.

  14. Willow says:

    It’s truly sad that my first, instinctive response to the question was to think, “I’d warn her that she’s going to regret reading all those books instead of playing sports and learning to apply makeup and be fashionable and poular, because her school years are going to be hell on earth because people hate people who read.”

  15. love2eatinpa says:

    aw, willow, it’s a shame that is first instinct, but i feel pretty certain that all that book reading definitely paid off and that out of high school, all that stuff evened out.

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