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Listen up, young Joanie

  My sister just recently went through some of her old journals and came across this photo of me when I would have been about 10 years old. I had never seen this one and for some reason, it brought up many emotions in me and thoughts of what I was like when I was younger and the woman I’ve grown into.

I have a few tips for my younger self now that I am of an age where I can look back and wish I knew then what I know now … isn’t that like all of us? The absolute best thing about growing up is our darn hindsight!

  1. That boy who told you that you were “built for comfort, not for speed”  when you are 12, lol, did you a huge favour… living an active lifestyle has probably been one of your greatest tools for developing a healthy body image.
  2. Love those shoulders… embrace them even though while growing up you felt like a football player next to your skinny-shouldered friends. When you get older they will make you feel strong (and help you carry weight that you would be surprised you could….)
  3. Inspire yourself. Find out what you love and what makes you happy and  DO THAT THING. Just because you think someone else is better at something doesn’t mean you can’t also excel at that thing….. helloooooo????  Be better at practicing and patience and not having to be good at something right away. Ha, this will never leave you, unfortunately, but I really wish you could read this. Do not be so afraid of what other people might think. When you get here, you will wish you had cared less and did more.
  4. There is a time in your twenties where you don’t seem to realize that inner beauty beats out physical beauty EVERY TIME.  Don’t get so obsessed with how you look or aging … one day, mark my words, you will look in the mirror and you may not necessarily love those lines on your forehead or around your eyes but you WILL love how much you look like your mother when you are missing her face.
  5. Try hard to love yourself for your own “inner beauty”. It will be a struggle as you will always be your own biggest critic, but will get easier as you go, and will eventually attract those who love you for who you are and not how you look or what you have.
  6. Don’t fall for guys whose names start with a J. Enough said…….
  7. Don’t worry about not ever finding that right guy. He is out there living his life and will come to you when you least expect it. He will be good for you, good to you, and love you for all of your shit:)
  8. Don’t hang on to relationships that feel bad.  This definitely includes boyfriends, but also girlfriends or co workers who bring you down, whatever the reason. Life is hard enough so try to surround yourself with people that you love and who love (OR AT LEAST REALLY LIKE) you.
  9. Maybe RETHINK that spiral perm.
  10. Be more help to your sisters with their children. I know you are a young twenty-something chick around these times but don’t be so selfish and help out.
  11. Don’t be so thoughtless with people’s hearts and feelings. Again, you’re young and selfish and you just don’t have the experience but be kinder.
  12. Speak louder.
  13. Don’t worry so damn much. Especially about the things you can do nothing about….. heard that before? Yep. Eventually, you will worry less about the things that don’t matter and probably just as much about the things that do, but know that you have the strength to get through a few things that pop up and life will just go on whether you worried or not.
  14. Eat. Drink. Enjoy life. Be you. Make your own choices. One day, with the help of social media (what’s that you ask?), what you eat, drink, do for fun, support, don’t support, etc. will be analyzed and judged. Nurture your self into a strong person who knows who she is and can choose for herself.
  15. Go to Art school!!!
  16. Hug when it feels right. Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn’t, and not everyone is a hugger. You never were but you will start to really enjoy a good hug when it is genuinely given.
  17. Learn to take a compliment with grace. Stop always putting yourself down when someone says something nice about you. Say thank you and smile. I know you feel like you are being arrogant when you accept praise but let people be nice to you. It builds your self-esteem and we all need a little of that. And be more complimentary of others as well
  18. By all means, do not talk shit about your best friend’s ex-boyfriend….. they always get back together!  ( and to add to this, really, try not to talk shit about anyone. It only leaves you feeling kinda shitty yourself)
  19. NO chain letters… NEVER, not ever…NO. Just STOP.
  20. Invest earlier. And don’t spend so much time shopping!
  21. Of course, you have no idea what this even is yet, but thank goodness that there is no internet and social media around while you are growing up. You will get enough of it as an adult and spend too much time (like now) on the darn thing…… it is an amazing thing but there can be a little too much of anything good, yes?
  22. Do NOT speed twice on your first driving test…. sheesh
  23. a little secret… the friends you have through elementary and high school will still be your friends now and you will belly laugh at all of the stupid things you did and time will pass but it won’t feel that way…. and one day you will all be turning 50. Holy S%#*.  Celebrate!

and last but not least – learn that Tequila Shots are NOT your friend!