Yesterday, as I chatted at brunch with a friend, we started discussing how people learn. We talked about the rights that an older sibling has for a younger one and I said that I don’t think that being an older sibling gives a person any rights over their younger sibling, especially when they are both adults. If the younger sibling is not endangering themselves or others, they get to make their own choices and I don’t have a right to express my opinion to them. I, of course, have a right to an opinion, but they don’t have to listen to it nor follow it. I don’t think that we can shortcut our way into becoming wise, but rather, that we acquire wisdom through overcoming challenges and difficulties, but wrestling with them, and making choices. And so if I had to give my teenage self, or rather my younger self at any age until my thirties probably one piece of advice, it would have to be about choices.
My key piece of advice to my teenage self and the one I wish my nieces, nephews and younger relatives would accept from me is:
I remind myself of this often, especially when I think any of the following 5 (representative) thoughts:
- I don’t know what I want.
- I’m too old to change.
- I’ve invested too much time and energy to change what I’m doing.
- I need to find out my purpose and what’s next.
- I need to prepare for the future.
Your process may be different depending on your beliefs. If you believe in God, nature, or another spiritual realm, you may meditate for Divine inspiration. You may tune into your inner intuition. If you’ve tuned into your values and are using that to decide what you really, really want, nothing that you do is a waste of time or energy. It’s in alignment with your purpose. I strongly believe that.
Join the Challenge
The daily prompt for today, January 1, for the Bloganuary challenge is “what advice would you give to your teenage self?” you can still join the challenge.