There is a tremendous amount of value in looking at situations retrospectively. The arguments we’ve had; the decisions we rushed to make; the joyous moments we should have cherished more…
I was talking to some younger girls in a Church Zoom-Study a about week ago and I was reminded of an idea I like to think about quite often … what would my younger self think of me now ?
I think back to the wide-eyed brightly smiled little girl that just loved life and loved all people . Had no insecurities. Trusted completely and worked hard. Didn’t doubt her authenticity or that of anyone else. Heard and obeyed advice without question. Tried to do her best and dreamed big.
What would I tell her ?
Would she be proud of me now ?
Obviously I can’t exactly remember how my brain used to process things at that point. But I have tried through the years to reserve the little-girl-in-me as much as possible. And it’s been tough.
I remember I was at university, and I saw a picture of myself with friends. Everything looked fine – but I noticed something different. My smile was … off.
Yes it was still the same grin from ear to ear; but my eyes weren’t full of light as I was used to seeing them.
I was reminded of this quote :
‘Let your smile change the world, but don’t let the world change your smile’– unknown.
It just made me catch myself and wonder whether the stress of biomed and the beginnings of adulthood were taking away the little-girl spark that I had before.
One of my goals in life is to always have a childlike heart – inspired by a quote from Jesus (Mark 10’14). But it’s a tough feat to try and maintain. Looking through the lens I have now at that little girl what would I say to her ?
- Stick to your dreams – Dreaming big with wisdom is not a bad thing – don’t feel like you have to accommodate to other peoples expectations of what reality is – keep imagining and don’t let anyone pull you off your cloud.
2. Work Hard – Plans for your future are earned. Keep your head down and keep going. Do everything you NEED to do today , you can do what you’d LIKE to do tomorrow. Work ethic will be everything. so grit your teeth, sacrifice your time – your future self will thank you for putting the work in.
3. You can save your world – but one step at a time. – You want to be everything to everyone. You want to help wherever you can, lend a hand – but you only have two. You are the one that needs help and assistance and all the advice you can get. Don’t try to give others what you don’t have … not just yet.
4. Don’t Lie – You are enough . You don’t have to embellish anything, or pretend you’re something you’re not. Your true friends will like you for who you are, the rest that need a story to get hooked in , aren’t going to last, so don’t waste your efforts trying to impress them .
5. Try to be a little more consistent with that journal !
6. Be flexible – I know you’ve a set plan of what you want you’re future to look like, and that’s fine- that’s good ! But try to think a little more about WHO you want to be rather than WHAT you want to be. Success isn’t in a ‘field’ or ‘university’ its in a character – so don’t get so down-cast if something doesn’t quite work out – it’ll end up perfect for you.
7. Don’t doubt your abilities – Its funny when you do well in chemistry for example; your entire academic life and then 3 consecutive tests come up that you do terribly in , and suddenly : ‘ That’s it, science was never my thing, I just don’t know if I can do this…’ – that’s so un-logical , no-matter how teachers look at you or think you’ve lost your game. You are intelligent. You can do this.
8. Max out EVERY opportunity. Whether is the piano, violin , ballet , tap , guitar , Latin, Karate – whatever it is . If you’re given the opportunity to study something , pour yourself into it and learn . Practice ! Push yourself.
9. Some people don’t like you – that’s okay – stop trying to please everyone. You’re just being yourself , you don’t have to try and prove anything. – start working on your character, note your flaws and make decisions to humbly change; but not for anyone else except you and God. Stay exactly where you are, don’t change for people, embrace your personality.
I’m sure they’re things in the next 5-10 years, I’d tell myself now, but we will have to wait and see.