I never wanted to listen to my elders. Then most of the time I regretted it, but I refused to learn from my mistakes, and the next time I snorted and easily ignored the advice. Got any porridge? Ew, it’s not good, I’d rather have gastritis. Put on a hat? I’m not cold, then I’ll sit on sick leave for a week, and it’ll all go away. Choose other boots? But these shoes look better, I don’t care if they weigh three times as much, but I’m not familiar with them!
I didn’t listen to my mom, my dad, or my grandmother – no one at all. I guess the only person I could listen to was me, even if I was old. If I had the chance, I would have gone back in time and said all these things to myself.
Five years old: “Take your time to grow up”
As a child, we all hurry up our time and dream of becoming adults as soon as possible. Nobody will tell me what to do, everybody will listen to me, I will make money and buy myself any chocolate bars – as much as I want!
I couldn’t imagine how wrong I was. When I was a kid, I had fewer responsibilities (and what can I say is that they were not there at all), and the demands on me were much less. I didn’t have to worry about what to wear or where to get the money – I didn’t really think about it. The world around me was mysterious and fabulous, and even I was able to turn an afternoon nap in a kindergarten into an adventure: I couldn’t sleep and fantasized.
Now I can’t even remember the last time I dreamed. The world is no longer a fairytale place, but rather a ruthless and predictable place to live in. There is little money, a lot of responsibilities – what did I ever dream of?
Seven years old: “Stand your ground”
It’s not that I didn’t hit back other kids. I just didn’t have to. If I had to, I don’t know how I would have behaved. This advice is important because it teaches a lot of things at once. When you stand your ground, don’t run into a corner to lick wounds, you learn to contain your fear. You look him in the face and punch him with your fist as hard as you can. And you’re done!
When you stand your ground, you learn to use force, and it’s not only about physical confrontation: you will always have time to lie on the floor, trying to reach the enemy’s eye. It’s about understanding the fundamental law: sometimes you have to use force. Maybe not knock your opponent out, but answer firmly and even boldly. To have the courage to disagree. To have the strength not to give up.
13 years old: “Keep studying math and foreign languages”
If I didn’t have any problems with English and German, I had a real problem with mathematics. I had huge issues with final exams since I decided to split it in half, coping with only the easiest part. I was allowed to take my math in a traditional form, and I was unspeakably glad: I thought I didn’t need math, humanities, mathematics.
I was wrong. Mathematics significantly expands the range of professions that you can study at the university, and these professions are paid much better than all sorts of philological options.
Of course, we cannot live without foreign languages either. Nowadays, their knowledge is required almost everywhere, and if it is not required, the corresponding item will still be profitable to decorate your resume.
16 years old: “Don’t be in a hurry to get a girlfriend”
At this age, everyone’s starting to feel like finding a girlfriend. You look at your friends, with a calm look walking by the arm with girls from the parallel class, and really want to do the same. Relationships seem like a new, exciting, unexplored world. They will make you happier and more mature. So, at least, it is thought at the age of 16.
But no, my dear past, I am not in a hurry to rush to the first girl I find. You don’t have to meet her for the sake of a tick, for the sake of another checkpoint. It will be much less pleasant than you thought. Wait until you want to be near a certain girl, and then try to win her over. There’s no need to spend your energy on memories that you’ll only shrug off your shoulders and be reluctant to talk about.
18 years old: “Have fun”
Everybody’s having fun at this age, but here’s the question. Usually, it is a party and hiking in a variety of clubs. It was all in my life, and I wouldn’t want to change it. I would like to advise myself to have a good time. Have fun. Rabble. To bring to life the strangest ideas. Go anywhere. Think of new games. Arrange parties with changing clothes. Go to concerts of cool bands and DIY-performances in garages. It’s about time.
20 years: “Be patient with your parents”
At the age of 20, it seemed that your parents were too protective and still trying to control you, even though you’ve grown up and understood everything. You are no longer a teenager, but a fully formed person, an adult. Despite this, you still have not got rid of youthful maximalism and cut off your shoulders. Come to your senses, past me, parents love you and want to do you good. When you’re impatient, harsh or rude, it’s very upsetting for them, and they treat you so gently.
22 years old: “Travel”
At this age, most people finish higher education and are exempt from the need to live in the same city because of their studies. Now you are free to go anywhere you want. You can move to another city or a new country, or you can just save up for a vacation and spend it in other countries – it’s an unforgettable experience. Life is so long, you’ll have time to stay home when you’re old. On this planet, you can see so many things you haven’t seen before!
Moreover, when you travel, you will know yourself. You learn from everyone you meet. You learn everything: how to joke, how to behave in difficult situations, how to treat other people – lessons are waiting for you at every step. Don’t miss it!
23 years old: “Just Do it”
You know what price I paid for the idea of running in the morning? I’d set the alarm clock half an hour earlier, wake up, give up on the idea, set the alarm clock, and hurry to sleep. That’s not the point.
I also can’t get rid of some of my old things and sell them on the marketplace, I’m always putting it off for later. Don’t be like me. Do it.