What Would You Say To Yourself?

I watched this video this morning, and began to wonder what I would say to my twelve-year-old self.  My first thoughts were “the bullying will stop”, “you’ll get better looking”, “you’ll never use advanced math so don’t worry about it”…I think I would also advise myself that some things will also get worse,  hurts change, though they hurt just as much.  Perhaps I would be philosophical and suggest that time is going to accelerate at some point, that no season is really as long as it seems.  I wonder if I would think I was just another obnoxious twelve-year-old, self-righteous and theatrical.  I don’t think I would have sought much advice, for I always felt like I was getting too much of it anyway.

The truth of the matter is, I talk to the kid inside me all the time.  It’s where certain adult wounds cut deepest, for there don’t seem to be the right kind of band-aids, where my greatest feelings of inadequacy are under-protected despite my years of learning how to hide them.   I am certain I wasn’t as prescient as this guy was as a twelve-year-old boy, to even think of making a video before videos were ubiquitous.

So I pose the question to you – if you had the chance to talk to your twelve-year-old self – is there anything you would want to say?

27 thoughts on “What Would You Say To Yourself?

  1. Great question! I will be pondering this, without a doubt. I’d like to link back to you if I can get my thoughts into some readable form, if that’s ok. Thanks for the insight and inspiration to consider this, and for what you shared.

    • I’m so glad this resonated with you! And yes, please do link back and share your thoughts with me once they crystallize a bit more. I would love to read them!

      • Fantastic…thanks for the reply. I wasn’t sure if my comment went through [was trying to do it via my phone]. I will be pondering this one and hopefully at some point have something to share – and will definitely link back to you. I really appreciate your blog and all that you share.

  2. Such a good post Mim and one that touches a soft spot in my heart, perhaps even deeper. I started talking to my self in the form of letters I would write to the 9 year old that I was protecting from the world. We all have our stories and we all have our shadows…but as an adult, I did realize the shadows needed to see the light and self protection needed to stop, as it was in fact doing the opposite. With the light comes growth is all I can say. The letters were some of the best, most honest, most authentic writing I’ve ever done and I, the WHOLE me, was the beneficiary of the heartfelt words. Had I had the foresight of this young man, who knows when my true growth would have begun…he’s one smart guy…but it’s never too late to talk to our younger selves…especially if they need a hand up.

    • Your comments really touch me…I’m not sure I have ever completely healed the little girl within. I can say that I take very good care of her and try to be the adult she needs, it that makes any sense. If I think about the things that sting, I find that they are invariably reflective of some of that same feelings I had way back when. So I guess, she and I do talk – and happily, she’s still alive and well playing hide-and-seek with me pretty regularly (as if you couldn’t tell)..:-)

      • I so get your comment about how the things that sting are reflective of the feelings we had back then…so true and keeps me working toward growth. I want the stings to go for both our sake and know the only way that will happen is for her to feel it too and grow from it. And when she feels it, I fight all the harder for her. Make sense?
        Anyway, I’m glad your little one is still an active part of the amazing woman you are today…hehe maybe both of ours are playing while we chat! could very well be.

      • I think these friendships grow in part because our ‘kids’ are the parts of us without guile and pretense. And we gravitate to those who are (at least in this cyber world) equally transparent? I don’t know – I’m just glad we have our play dates!!

  3. I love, love, love this question, if only because it makes me think of my 12 year old self. That gal had guts and spunk! I think I would encourage her not to lose those traits. I might tell her to not worry so much about subjects in school where she didn’t excel, but to pay close attention to the ones she liked or found easy and see why that was. And to encourage her to explore and cultivate her curiosity. And maybe to take tennis lessons, because I love hitting the ball around, but could be better and it seems like something I could do for a long time. I would definitely tell her to take Spanish and not French in school. And to make sure to go abroad in college. And maybe to spend one college summer doing something more fun than working in a bank, although if I had done that, I probably would have gotten into trouble that I didn’t need. Finally, I think I would tell her to know that bad times will come, but that they will also go and the sun always rises again no matter how bad things get. Thanks for a great post – can you tell I loved this one? 😉

    • Your message to yourself is fantastic!!! I’m really thrilled that it struck a chord in you – for it did with me as well (duh, or I wouldn’t have written about it, right?). Somehow I think your 12 year old would be really proud of how her adult grew and evolved. She’s probably marveling at you as we write!

      • I hope so – she is kind of my hero! There is an amazing book about what happens to girls in adolecence that resonated with me so much called Reviving Ophelia. One of my favorite lines from the book reads “most preadolescent girls are marvelous company because they are interested in everything – sports, nature, people, music and books…they can take care of themselves and are not yet burdened with caring for others. They have a brief respite from the female role and can be tomboys, a word that conveys courage, competency and irreverence.” This book made me want to teach 6th grade girls to encourage them to keep this sassiness! 🙂 Thanks for a super-thoughtful post!

      • I can’t tell you how many times I have recommended that book! It’s wonderful, insightful AND instructive for moms with daughters…

  4. I would tell my 12 year old self, follow your gut instinct, don’t second guess it. Through out life, some of my biggest pains have come from ignoring that voice at my ear, my gut, my guardian angel, or what ever you wish to call it. When something doesn’t feel right, it almost definitively isn’t.
    The second thing would be to never lose that sense of curiosity or wonder, in trying/seeing new things. For several years a while ago, I quit exploring the world around me, I was on autopilot. Going through the motions in life, leads to one thing, regrets.
    Other than that, I would warn my self about that upcoming growth spurt, I had a t 13/14.

    • I love the advice you would provide…I think I would encourage the adventurer in me more, and perhaps give myself the assurance that all would be well – being 12 was not a great time. Big growth spurt huh? That must have been a little disorienting!

  5. Hi! Got the chance to watch the video also. When given a chance, I’ll tell my 12-year old self to take easy on the carbo. 🙂 And that there is so much she can give to life….

    • I’m not sure I would have listened to myself if I told me 12 year old to watch the carbs (I was quite the carb-junkie) – but it would have been advisable to do so!!! And how exciting to hear that one can give more to life – what a great thing to say!! Thanks!

  6. This is such a wonderfully evocative post, Mimi, and especially interesting in concert with David’s morning video. It prompted a soul-searching Sunday, that’s all I’m sayin’…. As for what I would tell my 12-year-old self, I heartily agree with “Keiththegreen’s” recommendation — honor your intuition! And labor mightily against those who would attempt to introduce “can’t” and “shouldn’t” into your vocabulary.

    • Bravo!! Tell yourself that ‘can’t’ and ‘should’ are epithets and as such have no real meaning. I don’t know how developed my intuition was at 12 – though I could already separate a good person from a jerk, was exposed to the vagaries of life without realizing they were vagaries…:-) I really believe that your 12 year old must be so proud of the woman you have become. Soul-searchin’ Sunday? Let’s just say, I’m with you – perhaps it was in the air..hugs, m

  7. My 12-year-old self was a force to be reckoned with. I would have told her to stick it out through the teen years (and law school!) and remember who she is. Periods of weakness and insecurity are fleeting. Be strong, be loving, and be Christine. Because she is enough.

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