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 ~ I am a "late-blooming" writer from Texas who specializes in creative writing/poetry. I have a background in music, the performing arts, and enjoyed 14 years in sales/marketing & as a special events planner in the private club industry. I am a 1990 graduate from The University of North Texas who started off as a music major (voice), but I wasn't "feeling" it was the right fit. So, I took a break, changed directions & graduated with a B.S. in Hotel/Restaurant Management. I was an athletic, healthy young woman who also displayed an unfortunate pattern in the men I chose in life (life lessons indeed!). After a brief marriage in the early 1990's, I decided to focus on my career, yet 5 years later I met hubby #2. So, with more maturity & high hopes for success, I married again & became a full time stepmother of two. Along with several rewarding events & fond memories came more challenges, yet I maintained a fun, successful career in the food and beverage industry until 2001. Life...as I knew it changed when I received the diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Looking back, I must have been in denial or a state of confused shock as to how dramatically my life would actually change. I attempted to work a few more years after diagnosis, but I was becoming more unpredictable, forgetful, & lost - my job performance was never quite right anymore. You see, this disease affects everyone different. I went through relapses & other issues, but my mobility was intact - then. Unless you REALLY know me, I was then & continue to be labeled an "invisible symptom" case. My MS enjoys messing with my brain, & many other body functions. Anxiety, mood changes, nerve pain, heat & fatigue are debilitating - quite an uphill battle especially when stress is involved. A few more "in denial" years went by & I dealt with this vile invasion of my "internal room-mate". My husband couldn't understand, nor could he handle my ever increasing health issues - he hated every part of it (I don't really blame him for that). But, he avoided being around me when I was suffering - he {didn't sign on for this & I sure didn't look sick}. He was embarrassed as to how my MS affected his lifestyle. So, divorce and other challenges came into play in 2009. Those were painful, rough days. I know now I was suffering from a nervous breakdown. Not yet had I thought to seek the help of a professional therapist to help me cope or to help purge the noisy voices & chaos inside my head, so I began to purge through writing. WRITING saved me! I attempted to compose little songs & dove into playing piano again - I even taught myself a little acoustic guitar & it felt good...soothing. I had found a form of therapy which enabled me to breathe again; a healing tool that didn't require a prescription. This journey to reinvent myself actually seemed plausible via my artsy background & new creative outlets. I've become a student again & the benefits of turning off our "auto pilot switch" & instead focusing on learning new, foreign things & activities is priceless. This "rewiring" of the brain is called Neuroplasticity. Writing (primarily poetry) & music has filled me with a POWERFUL passion, purpose, & endless possibility. This may sound odd, but I'm grateful for the tough times! There's this gift called "resilience" - my MS & other life struggles have gifted this to me. A gift which forced me to find "me" & to focus on the important things in life...to laugh, live selflessly with compassion & passion. Find me on: 🔸Twitter: @pettigrew66, @MSpals, @MSpalsPoets 🔸Facebook: MaryPettigrew48 🔸LinkedIn: http://linkedin.com/in/mary-pettigrew-1b582330 🔸Instagram: 🔸https://www.mspals.org Acknowledgments and Press ~ • Two of my early poems were published in the U.K. in book compilations of poetry: ~The Summer of Sport: Forward Poetry 2012 ~ Poetry Rivals Collection 2013 • Featured in 2 articles in The National Multiple Sclerosis Society's 'Momentum Magazine' ~ 2013 = art therapy & MS ~ 2015 = connecting via social media • My work has been featured/published in various book compilations, blogs, websites, 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 Something On Our Minds (SOOM): funds The Accelerated Cure Project "Twitter Q&A" - A Writers Experience (details forthcoming) • Creator & Co-founder of MSpals: a global organization (2014)

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