Hindsight is a wonderful thing… what would you tell your younger self if you had the chance…
Here’s what some of the women in the Henpicked and Totally4Women community said…
- Be more adventurous, Hull is not the edge of the world.
- Say yes if the offer sounds interesting, you can always change your mind.
- Kiss a few more frogs, they could have been your prince.
- It’s okay to quit, skiing isn’t for everyone.
- Keep playing the piano, you’ll be glad in 20 years that you did.
- Be patient with old people, they’ve got a lot to share.
- Always keep an emergency tenner in your bra.
- You are beautiful just as you are.
- Many things will not work out as you planned them, that’s often good.
- Kindness really is the answer.
I would say to myself at 14 that the hairdresser DOES NOT understand that I want to keep the length of my hair and just have the front feathered down to the sides. He cut my hair to shoulder length – from waist length and gave me a pageboy then got all miffy because I was so appalled. He even charged me! And he was very lucky I stopped my dad from getting in the car to sort him because out I was so upset. Taught me about being assertive with communication though.
I would say to myself when I was in my early thirties, don’t buy the house in Ashford, Kent with your workmate. It sounds like a good idea to save money in rent and the house was a mortgage sale, but Thatcher reduced housing to negative equity, the Channel Tunnel project was announced and the new Community Charge by councils was unsupervised. My rail fare (I worked in The City, London) rocketed up, the CC charged us the equivalent of our mortgage payment every month. Two broke girls went from being broke to being in debt for decades – it still reverberates in my life – and I lost the house, and the friendship.
G J Marshall
In my 20s, 30s and to a lesser degree 40s, I wasted so much time worrying about things that were out of my sphere of influence or control. Now at 52 I have the confidence and wisdom of age (even if it comes with a certain degree of puffiness) to know what I can and cannot control and, as a result, focus only on that which is within my control. So, to my younger self I would say:
- Enjoy and bask in the glory of you. Everyone else is too busy worrying about themselves to notice!
- If you think you have met your best friend at 18 – you haven’t!
- Wear what you want if it makes you feel good even if others laugh.
- Don’t waste any time at all plumping cushions – no one notices!
- If a weird lawyer seems like someone you can connect with – go for it – it could be the start of a lifelong friendship.
- Know that no one else notices your fat knees.
- Listen to your girlfriends only if you truly believe they love you.
- A good bra is your best friend.
- Have regular mammograms.
- It’s OK to have one night stands.
- Go with your first impression of smoking. Don’t persevere.
- Don’t pretend to understand the driving instructor when learning to parallel-park.
- Money always helps.
- Don’t scrub the vitreous enamel off the toilet before friends arrive. They never use it or have no recollection after the first bottle.
- Take as much care of your neck as your face.
- Forgive your parents because then you can expect your children to forgive you.
- Be very suspicious at a job interview if you are told they always have a laugh. They don’t.
- Carefree is any date BC (before children).
- Don’t imagine the spot at the back of your neck is necessarily the first thing a new date will notice.
- Acquiring a work-ethic involves a 4-letter word.
- Fake it. Everyone else does!
- Anything worth being good at takes time. Be patient, not discouraged.
- Look up and look out at the world, not down at your feet.
- You don’t always have to answer.
- Treasure, protect and nurture your body.
- You can’t please all of the people all of the time, so don’t waste your energy trying.
- Stop worrying. It’s not as important as you think it is.
- Stride into the room smiling.
- Go out and get it! Small successes breed larger ones.
- Those who matter don’t care, and those who care don’t matter.