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#10 Overlooked Bits of Wisdom my 40+ self would give to 18yrs me.

I was watching tv the other day. Zapping channels, I ended up watching a short of a documentary- one typical day in the centre of my city, Athens-Greece.

Like someone had put a camera and was recording people crossing the streets, noisy buses passing up and down and old style burger-shops spread around the square.

Watching with no interest as if it was a commercial for taking out oil stains from the carpet – (maybe that would be more exciting )

Apathetic but  became curious about the year this was filmed.

Checking at the clothes and shoes of the people was an absolute loss of time.

Almost everything, from the tall jeans to the thick shoe soles are back in fashion now. Fashion was not helping me.
I tried the buildings: Those fast foods in red and yellow colours…

I remember them when it was a time were going out for a burger was considered a “decent” night out. But when exactly…?
Still missing the info. Was it in 2000, before or after? I was stuck like a truck in the mud of Time.

 

letter to my past self , watercolour painting
rough sketch painting with watercolours from a photograph -Omonoia 1994

 

I am not observative.

But, that special moment of blurriness I made an effort to become one.

Noticed that people were not holding mobile phones.

This observation, made me look at the screen as if a dinosaur was coming out of it!

Noticing the old style cabins that you could make a phone call with a plastic telephone card made me express impatiently: “Oh my God! When was this film? It was the era we had no cell phone hanging around our fingers…”
Is it so old?

The help came with an extraordinary way for me.
(Men can notice really weird things…) My husband saw that people were watching a football match on the enormous -not flat at all- tv at a cafe.

The audience was divided into two groups. He noticed the colours of the fan’s T-shirts and traced the countries: Bulgaria and Nigeria.
Jumping to the ceiling, he yelled that it was the 1994 FIFA cup between Nigeria and Bulgaria… and finally, I got the valuable info:

1994. It was June of 1994.

What was I doing back in 1994?

Not generally, but specific. What was I doing this afternoon of June, with no cell phone, being 18 yrs old just finished high school, already given the exams for the university for the first time, probably still expecting the results?
How was I feeling?

What were my concerns this particular day?

I wanted so desperately to have a video, like the one I was watching, to see my face’s  expressions (really impossible to hide how I feel) or  even how I was dressed in those days’ fashion.

This particular summer afternoon what was I up to?

The video seemed very old. Everything was the same but different.

I imagined the future. When the teenagers  of today will recall their afternoons of 24 years ago, they will have a tone of videos and documents of their childhood and later life.

They will be able to re-feel their youth memories probably better than I , who happens to have a blurry picture in mind (together with some blurry photos)

letter to my younger self, water-cool painting
rough sketch painting with watercolours

 

What is the same about me and what has changed through those years -(besides my weight)?

What would I whisper at the double pierced ear of my younger self?

 

<<Dear past self,

1- Realise how magnificent you are- ALREADY

It is not education, money, outfits, friends or your family that will add to your personality. You already have it. Just don t know yet.

You will be trying “to become”something when all of the essential ingredients already EXIST in you. And those are your creativity, compassion and integrity –

 

2- INSPIRE YOURSELF

-Don’t expect others to fill in the missing parts for your happiness.

You will think that the one or the other person are inspiring you from time to time. You will feel that you will “be saved” from someone else and will be given a perfect life/relationship/job opportunity, only to discover that only YOU can be a saviour to yourself. You will find that there is no saviour issue at all, it is mainly the decisions that you make!

 

3-TRUST LIFE ITSELF.

Trust the process – Don’t be impatient only for outcomes. Sometimes the status of “trying to achieve something” even if it is the exams for entering the University or making this gorgeous guy to ask you out is far more enchanting than achieving your goal.

Usually, when you achieve your goal you ask for something else, and this is how it goes, and you are always missing something.

REVERSE IT. Life is beautiful not only “if”… -(You are still trying to achieve this …but consider start earlier to think like that.)-

 

4- READ Books, TRAVEL abroad and Hug people as much as you can.

After some years you will find out that the world is too big to discover, so grasp every chance for travelling and do not leave it for later in life- which is something that you actually, did-.

Make a daily routine of reading. You will reach 40, and there are still a ton of books that you wanted to read and still haven’t!

And as far as the hugging, try not to take yourself too seriously.

Many friends that you ‘ll meet in your life will tell you later on that when they first met you, you looked distant and inaccessible and only after talking to you they discovered that you were exactly the opposite.

So try to make this evident from the start!

letter to my past self
Photo credits to Nicolas Ukrman from unsplash

 

5- Don’t waste too much time checking the mirror to find what you don ‘t like about you.

Cinderella is a distorted model of reality that society has fed you.

Women are far more great creatures to be valued only for their beauty!

 

6- Trust your damned instinct – it is always reliable.

You have already survived some tough and frustrating situations in your family that you thought they would never end.

And have spent days crying for so much that you felt you have run out of tears! Everything has passed.

You are a survivor from family dramas and you are stronger. So is your instinct.

 

7- Don ‘t see yourself through the eyes of others.

Never mind what the other will think about your choices. Ask “what do I think about this?”.

Sometimes you will forget to consider making THIS simple question.You will be found wandering about choices for studies, jobs and careers! You will be inside a working environment and feel suppressed for many years, and you will take it as a punishment from the Universe.

You will find yourself to be working hard, although you do not care for a career in that field, only to discover that this is the type of person that you are. ( – and that you have your dad ‘s DNA when it comes to working habits).

Later on, you will realise, that you have learned a lot about yourself ,through the hard times. Through the mismatch of your interests with the environment and that the Universe was always taking care of you, in ways that it was impossible for you to realise.

 

8- Question everything – consider no one’s opinion as a CANON

– especially your parent’s.

They might have the best intentions in the world, but they only know their reality. ( Which is right for all of us, by the way!)-

And as far as it concerns painting when they will tell you that “ok, what job are you going to do with painting? Are you going to paint portraits at the underground station?”

– Just answer YES and go do more paintings. – Your creativity is your power, you will see…

Not to mention that back then, they had no idea what the Internet was!

 

9- Never say “I will never_____” .

– Probably you WILL do, just don ‘t know yet, but those words, in this order, are already triggering the universe.

 

10- Timing is everything. So is Time.

I mean the 24hrs a day. Do not say “that I don’t have the time to…”.

You have no idea what “no time ” means till you ‘ll have your first baby. Then you will see how he needs you ALL the time!

You  won’t  change it for anything in the world, but you will be wondering how you thought you had no time before?

 

After finishing this post, I realised that the internet is full of those letters.People keep writing to their past selves.

Although doing this writing was fascinating, these playbacks left me with nostalgia and appreciation for the journey of youth.

overlooked bits of wisdom for my 18yrs old self
Dear younger self … keep these in mind

 

As this blog celebrates one year of existence, plus the nostalgia that climbs to almost every word of this post, I invite you to stitch a letter to your past self.

Where do you follow along with me?

Do you have more to add, coming from your experience?

Tell me your truth on the comments area, under this post.

 

Thank you for being here, you make it even more amazing!
Angie

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