Things I Would Tell My 14 Year Old Self

We can’t go back in time and re-do our “boo-boo’s” in life.  We’re not supposed to have that option to edit or do-over our experiences – this is how we grow and learn.  We learn from our decisions, challenges, mistakes, as well as from our good fortunes.  We try to advise our children and young people in today’s world what to do, what mistakes to avoid based on our lives and experiences, but they must also learn on their own…in their own time…like we did.  Although, the opportunity to have a little conversation with my younger self is intriguing – I probably wouldn’t listen, though…sigh.   

Art by:  2Birds 

















THINGS I WOULD TELL MY 14 YEAR OLD SELF

Be patient…
It’ll get better
You’ll miss out on so much if you’re self-absorbed
Know who you are and listen to your gut
Be unique – celebrate that
Don’t go out of your way to prove yourself to others
If you do your best, you’ll reap rewards
Avoid becoming infected with perfectionism
You are worthy, you are good enough…
You are you’re own unique version of perfect
Don’t be afraid to try new things, face that fear…a reward is waiting
Don’t worry about what people might think
Don’t rely on others to make you happy
When meeting a boy, don’t say to yourself, “I hope he likes me” – say instead, “I hope I like him”
Your skin will clear up, your body will change
Those gorgeous stars & models in magazines… AIRBRUSHED
They may look “perfect”, but they’re human – flawed, like we all are
Don’t try to look like anyone else
Don’t try to act like anyone else
Don’t try to be like anyone else
BE YOURSELF
Learn to say “NO”
Embrace the power to say it
Pace yourself in life, it goes quickly
Use sunscreen…
USE SUNSCREEN
Please, oh, please…embrace your body
Embrace what God & parents gave you
Play music and sing
Think before you quit taking music lessons
And the dance classes, too
Laugh out loud, and often
Speak up, ask questions
Have an opinion
Stand up for yourself
Read
Read even more and be curious
Study…be wondrous of the world
Do more for others
Spend time with your grandparents before they’re gone
Listen to their stories…learn from them
Hug your friends and family often
Tell them that you love them
And SMILE – every day.

Author: Mary

ABOUT MARY ~ Mary is a patient advocate for MS, chronic illness & disabilities. She is a freelance writer from Texas who enjoys exploring a variety of different styles & genres, however her deep passion for creative writing (poetry, essay, narrative interview & non-fiction) remains unwavering & purposeful. Mary's personal & professional background is an eclectic compilation consisting of the fine arts, civil rights advocacy, fundraising with 15 years in sales/marketing & event planning in the private club industry. Mary is a 1990 graduate from The University of North Texas with a B.S. in Hotel/Restaurant Management. In 2001, Mary was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Within a few years, health issues forced her to resign from the career she loved. As her marriage began to crumble, Mary was keenly aware of the emotional & mental crisis firmly taking hold. Eventually, she sought the help of a professional therapist which helped her learn the important coping skills needed to tame/calm mood disorders & to encourage healthy ways in which to purge the noisy chaos inside the brain. This loss of reality, normalcy, & PURPOSE needed to be reinvented, renewed & rewritten...NOW! The divorce & all related proceedings lasted an unfathomable six years, yet it was the therapy, communities & her writing which kept her most grounded. Each poem a cathartic purge, each word a therapeutic tool meant for healing & to inspire resilience. Blindsided by this newfound purpose & passion, Mary continues writing & exploring a plethora of multimedia outlets to this day. Her writing, networking & advocacy projects target the MS, chronic illness & disability communities. Her interactive presence can be seen throughout social media. Although MS is the primary community in which she advocates, Mary enjoys playing an active role in other patient communities (bloggers, writers, music, live chats, special events, & many more. One of the key messages Mary continues to emphasize is how chronic illness can affect everyone differently. MS is a prime example in that we are not a "one size fits all." This disease called MS is a conundrum in every which way. To this day, research continues, yet we still don't know the root cause for MS, yet current findings now show "risk factors" for the disease. MS can morph as it sees fit to do so. Unpredictably, silently, sometimes relentlessly this MS becomes an uninvited, unwanted "internal room-mate." Mary's overall background & her desire to discover herself & new creative outlets was a plus. A renewed student for life, Mary continues to explore the unknown - Once you switch off your "auto pilot" it's amazing what you can see & do. Place focus on learning, consume new information & participate in activities uncharted or foreign (The science of Neuroplasticity). All of this is most DEFINITELY a work in progress, but remember to focus most on the important things in life. Laugh out loud & live selflessly with compassion, purpose & unbridled passion. Connect with Mary at: 🔸Twitter: @pettigrew66, @MSpals 🔸Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Mary.patriciapettigrew 🔸LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/maryppettigrew 🔸Instagram: 🔸https://www.mspals.wordpress.com Acknowledgments and Press ~ UPDATES TO COME * Creator & Co-founder of MSpals: A Global Organization (2014 - present) * Administrator & contributing author of content, posts, & interviews: MSpals blog: https:/:www.mspals.wordpress.com ~ The Summer of Sport: Forward Poetry 2012 ~ Poetry Rivals Collection 2013 ~ Something On Our Minds Vol.III ~ Something On Our Minds Vol IV. Interviews: National Multiple Sclerosis Society's "Momentum Magazine" ~ 2013 = Art Therapy & MS ~ 2015 = Connecting Via Social Media Other works also featured on a variety of blogs, websites, videos, as well as other multimedia platforms including: www.pajamadaze.com www.disabled-world.com www.HealthCentral.com www.MyCounterpane.com www.MS&MeRadio/TBI Network iConquerMS/The Accelerated Cure Project WEGO Health - Patient Leader HealtheVoices - Patient Leader MS Focus - Monthly contributor

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