Friday, August 10, 2012

Turn Back Time, Again

I was questioning everything I did like it was my first day on the planet.  Everything was wrong, even my attitude.

Then I got a message asking me to participate in an outstanding blogging meme at Chosen Chaos.  I enthusiastically said, “yes!” and even though I wasn’t scheduled to contribute until later in the year, being considered was more than enough to turn my negative attitude into goodness. 

Jamie Walker created If I Could Turn Back Time as a way to meet new bloggers and learn some life lessons:

Rea­sons for this series include…
Intro­duce my read­ers to some great blog­gers out there
Learn a les­son from some­one else’s les­son learned
Enjoy some “thank God for that” thoughts that we never haveto be 18 again
Remind our­selves that we’ve come a long way… and still havea long way to go!

The meme was comprised of one question:

If you had the oppor­tu­nity to sit down with your 18 year old self what would you say to her?

I thought of all of the funny things I would tell my 18 year old self and quickly typed them out.  However, how many funny posts at Sperk* have you read?  Zach Galifianakis is not burning up my Twitter feed with requests that I collaborate on writing a movie.

I put it away for a while.  I had time.

Then I had one day.

Thinking of what and how to write my submission was difficult.

It stirred things up.

I became angry—mad at my 18 year old self, frustrated with my 42 year old self, and furious at time.

Then I wrote.

Things don’t go away without effort.  One has to let them go.  Then one can make room for a new outlook, a fresh perspective, a space where breathing is effortless and living feels right. 

That’s what this post did for me.  It was featured at Chosen Chaos on July 20th

Today, Chosen Chaos is celebrating a full year of If I CouldTurn Back Time by linking up all of the bloggers who participated.  My submission is below followed by a link that takes you to that link up. I encourage you to go there and spend some of your time.  Each writer approached it differently.  Each writer gave the reader something to hold onto that is inspiring. 

If you had the opportunity 
to sit down with your 18-year-old self, 
what would you say?

Put down that beer right now. It has caused you enough grief already and I am sure that if you stop drink­ing now, it will save you a lot of grief in the future. You do not need it. It just makes you seem silly and makes you a target for abuse.

Now, call your mom back and tell her you will be changing your major even though she thinks you won’t be able to succeed at anything else. Danc­ing is her dream, not yours. You want to be seen AND heard.

Unfortunately, your life has been based on how you appear to others and it has made you very inse­cure. You will never measure up to the incredible standards you have created for yourself. So, just do it. Change your major from dance to psychology.

Here comes the difficult part.

You are not crazy.

You are right.

The drinking, the eating disorder and the incredibly low self-​esteem are connected. I know you have been searching with all of your might, try­ing to find the missing piece, trying to get it to make sense. I know you do not want to drink and you do not want to count potato chips. You want to walk into a room and confidently say, “Hello.”

The missing piece is a lost memory. You suppressed it because it was too much for your developing brain to handle. I am not sure your brain can handle it now, but I do know you’ll waste less time if you know—now.

If you need to leave school, do it.

If you need to stop talk­ing to your mom and sis­ter, do it.

If you need to join the Peace Corps, do it.

Whatever it takes to begin your journey of healing, do it now.

All else will take care of itself.

No need to worry about getting too old to dance. You won’t be a famous dancer. Dance for fun.

If you want to be famous, head towards that lit­tle room in the basement of the university next to the sports equipment storage—the computer lab. That’s where the money is. And yes, you are smart enough to do it.

Work on your voice. Write. Laugh. Go for a walk and write some more.

No, I’m not kidding.

That journal writing you have been doing is good stuff. It really, really is. And don’t throw away any of them. You’ll want all of your writ­ing, even the stuff you wrote when you were eight years old.

People will hear you.

You will be heard.

It will get very lonely sometimes. But it will pass. It all does. Everything does. Darkness turns to light, sadness to joy and vice versa.

Yes, there will be darkness.

When it is especially difficult, look in the mirror and say, “I love you.”

Look at me, right now, saying, and “It wasn’t your fault.”

You will get through this.

You have survived the worst of it.

There will be light.

And I will be here, with you, always.

photo credit: slack12 via photo pin cc


  1. I'm so glad you reposted this today. I needed to read this. So powerful. It speaks to me in so many ways. Your depth and clarity is astonishing and lovely. I wish you'd been around to sit down with MY 18-year old self. Shoot...I wish you could give my 49-year old self a good talking to!

    1. Thank you. I've been thinking of you. I also needed to read this again. I get it. ;)

  2. Wow. I missed this the first time, and am so glad to read it now. I don't have words, except that you're amazing.

  3. Your 18-year-old and my 18-year-old were best friends.

  4. The comments before me bring me such joy... THIS is the reason I did this meme. Connections! And your intro... I haven't even done the pretend typing of my own. I've had a whole YEAR to write it and I've got nothing!!!

    Thank you. Thank you!

  5. this is a fantastic piece of writing, and good advice! Thanks for sharing it with us!

  6. I didn't read the original, either. I've got the chills - for your writing, your experiences, your wisdom!

  7. Its a nice write. I do the same stuff to myself now since few years. I am a 28 year old. Haven't lost too much in comparison to you women, but enough to lose myself. I keep telling myself the three empowering words " I Love You" when i get time to see myself in the mirror. It does encourage me when I feel low, brings a smile on the face. Simple things like these can keep us going at any given point in life.

  8. Oh, Sperk, I love this. Truly. just lovely and real and true. Strong and beautiful, just like you. Great piece. Erin

  9. I am so glad you linked up this post with us. One of my favorites! Erin

  10. I enjoyed this so much - beautiful. Thank you for sharing it.


Comment moderation is on so you will not see your words here immediately. Sperk* loves feedback. She WILL see your words immediately, then post them in the comment section. . . unless you are spam. . . or someone named Sam. . . Anonymous is fine, just be respectful and kind. Thank you.