If I could send a letter back in time and give myself advice to help me make better choices, first of all, I don’t think I would actually do it. Sure there are things that I would love to have not gone through, like horrible and abusive relationships and bad financial decisions. But, the reality of it is that if I changed what I went through in my past, I would not be the strong, independent woman that appreciates the things that I have come to appreciate in life that I am today. That being said, if I didn’t have a choice and I was required to write a letter giving myself advice that was not just telling myself to make the best choices I could think of when faced with options, then I would give the following advice, based on what I know now…
1. for my teenage self, I would say: don’t start smoking. You will regret this decision on so many levels decades from now when you find yourself wheezing after climbing only a handful of stairs, coughing grossly all the time, and then discover when you try to quit that you are hopelessly addicted and need to take prescription medication to actually quit smoking. I would also tell my teenage self to not skip school or run away from home. It’s just plain stupid and you’re better than that foolish nonsense. I would tell myself to be more involved with the extra-curricular activities that I had signed up for and, allegedly, committed to doing (ie - band, softball).
2. for my late teenaged and early 20’s self, I would say: take the ASVAB seriously and do your best so that you can score a spot in officer’s school when you sign up for the Army, that way you can go to college and then do your term in the Army and maybe enjoy the whole experience more. I would also tell myself to buy new running shoes before leaving for boot camp. I would also tell myself to not give up without a fight when it comes to the end of your military career.
3. for my 20’s-aged self, I would say: turn in your application for the sheriff’s office when you first fill it out!!! Also, save money and be smarter about paying your credit cards and loans. Also, don’t treat your vehicles like they’re disposable. Even though you never get caught for it and never have and accident because of it, don’t drink and drive!!! Also, SAVE MONEY!!!
4. for my late 20’s/early 30’s-aged self, I would say: buy a house! And to also continue saving money.
5. for my mid-30’s-aged self, I would say: it’s okay if you open a bunch of credit and store charge cards, but don’t use them but sparingly.