I have met some amazing people in my life (and I’m not even THAT old). I have a terrible memory, but I’m pretty sure I met my friend Kassie in 3rd grade. We spent many years around each other in school. I always liked her, but never took the opportunity to really get to know her. Boy am I sorry. The more I read of her blog, http://bravelyobey.blogspot.com/ the more I realize what I missed. What a heart! And what a talent! This beautiful and kind girl asked me to join her talented group of bloggers on a mission. I’m new to this blogging thing, and totally clueless. And just like this assignment, I’m sure I’ll look back one day in the future and be embarrassed of the lessons I had to learn to get me where ever I will be. This is a quote from Kassie’s blog, about this adventure…
“Good Morning! Here is our first prompt for our brand new Reverb Broads blogging group for December. In case you missed it, our group of witty, lovely, intelligent bloggers will be writing on a variety of clever, interesting, silly prompts for all 31 days of the month. Go here or here to learn more and join us in the writing madness! So let’s get this thing started:
December 1: Reverb Broads Prompt: “If the you of today could go back in time and give advice to any of the previous yous, which age would you visit and what would you tell them?” via Kristen at kristendomblogs.com.”
Well, since my goal here is photography, and growing as a photographer, I had to think about this post and the future posts that are going to be done for the month of December. I’d like to get in a habit of posting to my blog. I’d like it to be inspirational to me and my photography, and you and your photography. The thing about photographers is that we use these moments, these emotional moments of our past to create our pictures. For a while I thought it wouldn’t be right for me to post these “assignments” on here. I was wrong. Each one of us needs to do these types of assignments. Not only to help inspire our next photograph, but to remember what brought us here. Remember the original forces that brought us to where we are today. Even if you don’t have time do write a long note to yourself at a younger age, jot a few things down, or think about it tomorrow. It helps us remember where and why we are going, even now.
Dear 14 year old me,
First piece of advice coming to you from your future? Buy horse blinders. They’ll help you keep your focus. In the future they test for something called ADHD, you might want to get tested for it, even if it’s after the age of 40. Anyway, I’m writing to give you some extra advice for the next couple of years.
-Find good people, attach yourself to them, and don’t let them go.
-Find what you think is beautiful, and spend a lot of time exploring it.
-Look for things that inspire you, follow those things and when you start to get down, force yourself to find more inspiration.
-Especially this year, don’t say yes and decide to just wing it when someone asks you if you know how to drive a stick.
-Try really hard to be yourself, and whatever you do… be respectful of yourself.
-Create things in your life.
-Don’t spend a moment looking at your negatives, find your positives, the things that are wonderfully special about you and focus on molding your life around them.
-Please start to learn to listen to yourself. For some odd reason it takes a long time and I’d appreciate it if you could start now.
-On your 21st birthday, when you are wearing that tight miniskirt, maybe it’s not the best idea to ride that mechanical bull while the bar staff are mixing shots in your mouth.
-Understand that life is a roller coaster, then savor your favorite parts of the ride. The parts of the ride that you don’t like, sit back, it will be over in seconds.
-If your dream looks too big, too daunting and too far away, break it down into little pieces and focus on taking smaller steps instead.
-Relax, like yourself and enjoy the moments.
-Study, it’s a sure way to help your future.
-Those funny stories of your big brothers crazy, drunken times…. much funnier on them. Be your own person.
-Read, because it’s awesome and there are so many amazing artists who have made magical pictures with words. You’ll never get to see those masterpieces if you don’t explore the books.
-Don’t worry about boys. There are so many of them. More everyday. The special ones will stick by and the really special ones will hopefully be there forever, in some way, shape or form.
-Focus on finding subjects that excite you. In order to do that you have to try out a lot of things. That’s going to be hard to try all of those things while wearing horse blinders, but oh well, try it anyway.
-The time in a few years when the song ”Stars Fell on Alabama” comes on and Dad starts ballroom dancing with you in the kitchen, hold on tighter, dance longer and enjoy every second.
-When you have a dream, break that dream down into little steps, and start on the path. Who knows where it will lead you. Just keep your happiness in the back of your mind, and at any point, if you are not heading toward something that makes you happy, do a u turn.
-Explore while you can, live many places, see many styles of life. Note which ones ring a bell with you and don’t worry about what others think. You come from a huge line of individuals. We tend to take our own paths, as long as you know where that is leading and it’s a direction that makes you happy, then go.
-Don’t worry about what other people think! Blinders. I found some for sale for $79.00, that means they are only about $40 bucks for you right now. I promise, it’s a good investment. Better than Enron.
-When you are 16, please don’t drink and drive. And if you do it, don’t go over 80 miles per hour down State Line Road in front of a cop and then turn off your lights and drive down a cul-de-sac to hide. Really stupid.
-Don’t not do things because you are scared or worried about being embarrassed. Put yourself out there, you have to if you want to create. Your going to be scared or embarrassed many times in life, whether or not you are on the path to doing something you love. So it may as well be on a passionate path, right? Every time you get the feeling that you can’t do something because you don’t want to be embarrassed or nervous, do me a favor, commit to it and take a deep breath. Take time afterward to congratulate yourself for growing.
-If you want something, make it work. Learn to put the fear aside.
-Along with those blinders, get a good to-do list. You need it daily.
-When you get to be an adult, promise me you’ll try your hardest (at times) to still act like a child.
-Even though your parents get mad at you for being sad, getting angry or crying, realize they are musts in life. If you are missing some of these, then something is off.
-Maybe you’re first move away from your home in Kansas doesn’t need to be New York City. You might appreciate NYC a little more after the age of 17. Although pat yourself on the back for thinking bravely.
-A Christmas Carol was correct in teaching that greed is not a good or good looking thing.
-That quote that people have been telling you since you were little, the whole, “what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger”, stop quoting it, it’s not exactly true… it makes us experienced. And then you need to do that laughing, crying human emotion thing to get through it.
-Your health is important to you, mentally and physically, remember that always and act on it daily.
-Step outside your comfort zone every once in a while, it will help you see things more clearly.
-There is a quote, “Perfect is the enemy of the good.” It’s very true. Drop the perfectionist thing and be brave about being you. Do it, or you’ll never know and you’ll always wonder.
-Perhaps a last minute decision to study abroad in France would be more beneficial if you knew the language? Go ahead, study abroad, but this time maybe you could learn some French first?
-Don’t lie. You don’t have a good memory at all. You hardly can remember what really happened yesterday. Life is so much easier, a big breath of fresh air, when lies are taken out of it. And stay away from the people who do it.
-Laughter is a blessing. Do it as much as you can. And when you have your own children, savor the moments of their laughter. It is the most beautiful sound ever.