I am sure like me, there have been times when you have wondered what difference might have been made to your life, if your younger self had been gifted with the experience and knowledge you have accumulated over the years.
I invited several friends from the writing community to share their thoughts on this subject which I am sure you will enjoy as much as I did.
Early teens Hawaii
I wish I knew then what I know now! by Denise Finn
There are many things that I wish I knew then that I know now. Yet, I doubt my current knowledge would have made a difference to that rebellious teenager. I was told to save my money for the future, which always made me shake my head. The future? I only had the now. When my well-meaning grandma worried about me driving seven hours to Disneyland with a friend, I smiled, nodded, and packed my bags. Another time, I drove to the ocean at two in the morning during a rainstorm. Even with a blowout, I had a bag of cat sand in my trunk from shopping earlier to pour into the mud, so a kind passenger could change the tire.
It all worked out in the end, no matter what chances I took. I was completely unaware that anything bad could happen to me. Take better care of my health? Nothing would change my diet or drinking habits until I had no choice. My youth was a place where I lacked the worries I have now.
But there was one time in my teenage years when I wished I could have assured myself it would be okay. I attempted to end my journey at fourteen years old because of an unpleasant family situation. Four years or four days felt the same through childlike eyes. If I hadn’t gotten to that low point, though, I wouldn’t have the faith and hope I do now.
All the things that I learned the hard way made me the person I am today. And hearing a voice tell me, “You have to go back. You have things to do,” is something I think about daily. It makes me want to do as much good as I can in this world for the time I’m here.
So, instead of wondering what I could say to a younger me, I pondered what I could learn from the girl who still looked at the world so full of hope despite that moment of darkness. I realized I could embrace the message of faith I had received in my youth.