If I Could Give Advice To My Younger Self,
I Would Say…
Life is a series of transformations. Each experience in addition to each relationship affects and changes you into the person you are supposed to become. Sometimes, those transformations are undetectable and will be unrecognizable until you look back at what you’ve accomplished and you look forward to what still is left undone. But, other transformations come during times of stress and uncertainty. During these points in your life, you will feel acutely aware that in order to make the next leap forward in your journey, you must consciously reevaluate yourself, acknowledge those transformations and make the necessary adjustments that can bring you happiness.
So, my advice to you is the following:
- Don’t become too comfortable in who you are at any given moment. The Greek philosopher, Heraclitus, said that you could never step in the same river twice. It is not the same river and you are not the same person. Everything around you progresses (and you can’t stop it) so you should too. In fact, the speed of change is accelerating and will become the only constant in your life.
- Fail…just a little or maybe a lot. This one is not about making mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes and you will be no exception. What I mean is really trying something, putting everything you have into it and failing at it. I spent too much time worrying about getting the right grades, doing what was expected (or what was the safe thing to do), and trying to be the best. In doing so, I think I hesitated when I should have leaped forward. By failing, you will be able to recognize transformation more easily and make changes to your priorities more quickly. And, more importantly, you will know what true triumph feels like.
- Spend as much time as you can with your parents…or whoever that person who molded your values and perspectives was. They are not going to be with you forever. Unfortunately, you probably won’t recognize why they mean so much to you until they are gone. My mother passed away unexpectedly a few months ago. She was the glue that held our family together. She comforted us when we needed it and she sometimes told us what we didn’t want to hear. She was the first person I would call with any news about my family. While I’m aware that my mother is no longer here, I have tried to pick up the phone to call her when there has been some major happening in my life. While you can, pick up the phone and tell your parents why they mean so much to you. You’ll be a better person for it.
So, life IS a series of transformations. With each new transformation, you’re going to learn a little bit more about yourself. You’re going to learn that what may be important to you now will not be important to you later. But don’t worry too much – it’s going to be okay!
– Kristin Svyantek Garvey | Executive Director, Indiana Commission for Women –
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