While catching up on my DVR, I came across an episode of "18 Kids and Counting" and the mother, Michelle, was asked an interesting question:
"If you could meet the 21 year old version of yourself, what would you say or what differences would there be?"
That got me thinking...what would I tell younger versions of myself?
Age 5: What an amazing imagination you have...you've given me the best memories of my childhood.
The response: Wanna play Barbies with me? My brother Mike always does.
Age 10: Don't get the perm!!!
The response: But I want wavy hair like everyone else!
Age 13: God gave you this height so you can be better than everyone else; quit complaining about it and start using it.
The response: Who cares about being the best at basketball when no boy likes me and there aren't any cool jeans that are long enough?
Age 15: Apply yourself...your good is great but your great is outstanding. And quit trying to compete with her...you've got her beat in the humor and likability category.
The response: I'm not going to be as smart as those kids and why try harder when I'm already making straight A's?
Age 18: Really? Another shot? Do you really think that's a WISE decision?
The response: You sound like my Mom. Shut up.
Age 21: You're okay and everything will work out...just be patient.
The response: When? Because I'm ready now.
I guess the moral of the story is that hindsight is always 20/20 and there were already people along the way telling me the things that I would eventually want to tell my former self. So that puts me in an interesting spot - should I quit telling my students all the things that I needed to hear because they're going to have to learn it for themselves or should I not stop because I will never know the morsel of wisdom that will stick with them and help them in the future?
There are a few things that my teachers said growing up that really stuck with me...
- My choir teacher, Mr. Antinone telling me that I was an underachiever. I wasn't an underachiever...I was just taking your class to get my Art credit for high school graduation.
- My Senior PEAK English teacher, Mrs. Edgington leveling with me about the Senioritis I had= Retiree-itis that she had...and we both still had to do our work until the last day of school.
- A random Sophomore English teacher in college that allowed me to "prove" to her that the Beatles were in fact poets in an essay.
- My high school basketball coach, Coach DeBord telling me that if I spent as much time in the gym as my boyfriend (a fellow basketball player) that maybe I would be as good as him. Awesome Coach...and you wondered why I quit. It's okay...I'm sure you were relieved to get rid of me.
So maybe I shouldn't quit saying those things...and maybe I should make sure that they are only nice things because I would hate for them to remember me like I remember my high school coach.