If I Knew Then What I Know Now

If I Knew Then What I Know Now.

Have you ever thought back to previous years of your life and wondered about what advice you would give yourself then if you had the opportunity? At the age of 24 now, looking back on my high school years, I would honestly give myself a few pieces of much needed advice on many things I did.  For example, LIFE GOES ON. Being a teenage girl, everything matters: your complexion, makeup, hair, outfits, vehicle, status, boys, etc. Trust me. All of those things mattered to me way more than they should have. Sure, they still do matter to me to a certain extent, but there is a much bigger picture that is of much more importance. Character is number one! Everyone is unique in their own way, and I wish I could have embraced this more at the time. Most of the time then when something went wrong, I anticipated my world beginning to crumble.   But look! Here I am 6 whole years later with so many bigger problems like earning money, finding my passion in a career, and not eating too many cookies because my metabolism is nothing like it used to be.

I also would have spent so much more time with my family. I wish I would have realized how precious time really is, and stayed in playing cribbage with my dad on some of those Friday nights or had coffee dates with my mom, rather than being obsessed with going to high school parties and pondering if my outfit was the best choice for the night. There is no one more loyal than family. I have lived 350 miles away from them for several years now, and I’d give anything to go back and spend more time around them!

One of the biggest things I have realized is how hard the “real” world actually is. I was constantly stressing about how slow time was going as I wanted to grow up and move out on my own. Can I please move back home now? That has to be socially acceptable right? I would gladly live in my parents’ basement and still have them pay all of the bills. Between the numerous meltdowns I frequently have now throughout the week, car troubles, homework overload, and having to plan and also cook my own dinners…I would THOROUGHLY enjoy moving back home. Unfortunately, I am an adult and at some point I have to get out there, take risks, and learn how to do all of these things on my own.

Having ventured out on my own now for several years, it’s easy to take a walk down memory lane and think about the ridiculous things into which I invested time, money, and emotions. However, I truly believe these were key factors of shaping me into the person I am today. I am proud of that person, and of how far I’ve come and I am also excited for where I have yet to go. But, I still do dream about having my parents pay my bills, and of them taking me on Disneyland vacations. You know, making my life a walk in the park!  But this is just something I can look forward to when I have a family of my own.

So thanks Mom and Dad for watching me put myself through those ridiculous phases. I’m sure it was quite comical for you to observe.


By: Brenda Gurney

4 Replies to “If I Knew Then What I Know Now”

  1. This was truly a great reflection Brenda. I know we do not know one another but you captured exactly what seemed so important in high school. You also realize that it no longer is the prime focus by the time you are in your mid-20s.
    I really enjoyed reading your post.

  2. What I timely post! So many people are about to embark on the next big phase of their lives and it’s such a good reminder to 1) Not take everything so seriously and 2) Be grateful for the things in your life that give you happiness.

    Your frank authenticity in sharing your fears and hopes is really impressive. Yes it’s just a blog post, but saying what we really feel is ALWAYS an act of bravery. I like that you covered career, family, and personal anxieties while always staying focused on your overarching theme, which was how character matters more than popularity and that hindsight is 20/20.

    I would have loved to see some more photos. I think you had a great idea to post a “then and now” photo of yourself, but maybe adding a few more could have made your point even more real for the reader. Finally, I like that you had a shout out to your parents at the end. Well done.

  3. I really resonated with this post. I’m at a point in my life where I feel like I’m trying so hard to hold on to time as it slips through my fingers like sand, the harder I tighten my grip. It’s really bittersweet when you realize at this age just how quickly time has passed and how much has changed and continues to change. I love how you point out that some of the things we focus on in our daily lives just don’t matter and they can take away from what’s important and right in front of us. You outlined what I think a lot of us are feeling right now, but can’t necessarily find the right words to express it. Like Chris said, I love that you have a before and after picture and maybe some more pictures would have been even more effective. Great job though. Excited to see more of your work.

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