Advice to My Younger Self
I don’t know if I can improve on Helen Mirren’s guidance (which I double-checked to make sure these are truly her words). She said, “At 70 years old, if I could give my younger self one piece of advice, it would be to use the words “fuck off” much more frequently.” My thoughts certainly parallel hers, but she has said it so eloquently, I paused to consider whether to continue this post. But, at the risk of redundancy, I decided to carry on.
So, here are just a few more words, and thoughts, and memories.
- Don’t be afraid of being afraid. Then take a deep breath and do it anyway. Regrets about not taking chances will always trump regrets from holding back.
- You will face terrible times, times that you aren’t sure that you’ll get through. You will survive and laugh again.
- Never lose your sense of humor and your ability to laugh, first of all at yourself.
- Forgive those who’ve wounded you the most deeply. It is a gift to yourself. Then learn.
- Allowing yourself to be insulted is not “taking the high road.” Otftimes it is plain cowardice.
- Don’t stay in a job where you have to put on armor as part of your work uniform.
- It’s okay to take off from work to read really good books.
- You won’t die if you fail. Your spirit will die if you don’t try.
- Work isn’t everything; it isn’t even very much.
- Your friends will get you through life.
And about saying “fuck off” – use it sparingly, use it thoughtfully, but use it.