I’ve spent the last two and a half years watching my son grow up. And lately I’ve been asking myself how I can keep him from making the same silly mistakes his father and I made. And the truth is I can’t. I can only share with him what I have learned and hope it sinks in.
I do have peace knowing that even if he doesn’t listen right away, he will eventually. I mean, I did. However, if I did have a chance to tell myself what I know now, like I get to tell Jackson, these would be my top 7!
1.”Never fall in love with the idea of a person.”
As a romantic female, I did this a couple times. I fell for a guy’s looks, charm, and the feeling I got when I was around him. Not too long after that happened, the fantasies of a future with him would begin. I’d become emotionally involved with a guy that was all wrong for me because I imagined him in my head to be different in the future…for some reason I thought he’d be someone else? My logic was seriously flawed back in the day.
2.”You are not fat, you Amazonian string bean. And honestly, your outward appearance doesn’t matter.”
I wouldn’t just tell myself to stop worrying about her weight, I’d tell her that over all, looks don’t matter. To some people they do. To the right people they won’t. Being a good, caring person with substance is so much more important than having perfect brows or a perky bum.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I still like to keep up with my appearance. Even the Proverbs 31 woman wore fine purple silk linen (the red bottom standard of biblical times), but I take a step back these days when vanity starts to take over and remind myself what is really important. And it’s not the likes or comments on an Instagram post, it’s my family, those I love and the state of my heart.
3.”No! Don’t pierce your belly button or get that tattoo….stop! What are you doing?! Don’t get another one! That’s gonna cost you $2,500 to remove one day but fine do what you want…”
I regret getting my tattoos and piercings. Not that I am judging others who have them (two of my sisters do) but I am not the same girl I was 6 years ago. That girl was confused and figuring out who she was. She was insecure from being in a bad relationship that destroyed her self-esteem. I thought altering my outward appearance would mend the broken insides as well (again logic very flawed). Shocker, it didn’t help anything.
Now present me gets to endure painful laser tattoo removal every 6 weeks. I’d definitely tell myself about the pain. More importantly, I’d tell myself that changing the outside doesn’t help when it’s the heart that needs fixing.
4.”Chase your dreams and follow your plan, but enjoy the detour when God shows you what HE has planned.”
It will happen to us all, that divine intervention. We make plans because we only see in part. HE sees it all. I would tell myself to stop kicking and screaming like a toddler when her plans would hit a roadblock. I’d remind myself to just trust that it will all work out.
Geez, I’d be so chill right now if I had learned this lesson sooner.
5.”Why don’t you visit home more often?”
I use to get so caught up in school, friends, and guys that I missed out on my family’s lives back home. Not that choosing those things is necessarily wrong, I just gave more time to one than the other. I missed my little sister’s wedding for crying out loud! I would seriously ask myself to make more time for my family, especially because we lived so far apart..
6.“Girl, forgive a little more. “
I wish I could sit down with my younger self and tell her that holding grudges is only going to hurt her, not the people who broke her spirit. My mom use to tell me this a lot, and like a typical teenager I didn’t listen. In all honesty, I still struggle with forgiveness. Sometimes I have to chose to forgive daily or bitterness starts to creep back in. And I ain’t got time for that.
7.”Develop your talents. Don’t give up!”
I had a real problem with letting failures hinder me from realizing my vision, especially in high school. Instead of learning from my mistakes I just gave up. I didn’t become a wonderful pianist in two weeks- quit. Did’t place first in a competition- didn’t try again the next year. I would definitely tell younger Kimberly to try, try, and try again.
It was easy to make this list. After all, we each have things we’ve done that we wish we could do differently. But the truth is, I wouldn’t be the same person I am now had I done everything perfectly the first time. We don’t grow from perfection, we grow from adversity! I’m thankful for the lessons I learned, and will learn.
What life lesson has taught you the most? Would you go back if you could and stop yourself from making mistakes?