Now vs Then

January 31, 2013

If I could go back in time and talk to my 24 year old self (besides offering some prescient stock tips!) here is what I would say:  be prepared for your taste to change.  Because I think personal taste is always evolving and at least for me, it can be a little disorienting since it makes me doubt all my other decisions — ie “if I was wrong about this, what else have I been wrong about”  type of thinking.  It takes a lot of confidence to just accept that your taste changes, just as you change (everything changes) and that is probably a good thing.

A perfect example is the shower curtain on the right.  I bought it five years ago and loved it. I thought it was the height of sophistication. Today, the shower curtain on the left is perfectly my speed (for now).  They are pretty different, right? Almost scarily so.

Other things I would have told myself:

Enjoy your skin, thighs, hair, boobs as they are right this minute.  (Aging is a long, slow, horrifying process).

Get a library card and use it (seriously, this is probably the first thing I should have said to my book-hoarding 24 year old self).

What would you tell yourself 10 year younger self?

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Wendy January 31, 2013 at 11:15 pm

Actually, both shower curtains are graphic prints in a bold color/white combo….Though I too prefer the newer stripes. I would tell my younger self to be diligent about flossing her teeth. Dental bills escalate as one ages.

M January 31, 2013 at 11:32 pm

I love that you think these are profoundly different! More like kissing cousins! Though I guess that’s what taste evolution should be. (I always think about the fact that 10 years ago I didn’t own a single striped piece of clothing and now my closet’s full of them.) As for advice to my younger self, I’d say, don’t be so afraid to make mistakes – except for tattoos, nothing’s really permanent.

Nomadic D. February 1, 2013 at 3:01 am

The library card thing is a good one. I too have been a life-long hoarder of books and moving across the oceans this year is starting to seem like an impossible task! I’d also tell my mini-me to just chill out a bit and enjoy the ride, not to worry so much.

Abbey February 1, 2013 at 8:30 am

HA! They feel so different to me! But, I see your point wendy and M….

And yes to making mistakes and not worrying so much!

Lisa February 1, 2013 at 9:37 am

I really like both shower curtains but totally understand what you mean about your taste changing. Years ago, I wouldn’t have even looked at anything mid-century modern. It was French Country all the way. My ever evolving tastes have helped to open me up as I have grown older.
I would have told my 24 year old self to be a little kinder to myself and not to worry about every little moment….to just be happy and enjoy life!

Nubia February 1, 2013 at 11:36 am

I would have told myself to go ahead and run off with my then boyfriend (who I decided to leave because he was from a different religion).

Amanda February 2, 2013 at 2:37 am

As a lover of libraries, I was happy to read your comment about them! Everyone should have a library card! 10 years ago I was 13 and I would tell myself not to buy the expensive prom dress for senior prom. There’s no point in spending hundreds (gross! I’m ashamed of myself!) of dollars on a dress you’ll wear once. Go for something less poofy, more classic, and less expensive!

Angela February 4, 2013 at 10:58 pm

Kind of funny, I am 47 and would tell my 37 year old self the SAME THINGS! :)

Abbey February 5, 2013 at 11:49 am

Nubia, your comment made me tear up. If only we could go back and tell ourselves these things.

Abbey February 5, 2013 at 11:50 am

Angela, so funny! (And good to know!).

Nancy February 6, 2013 at 12:32 pm

I so hear you: if I changed on this, what else have I changed on, will I change on… Which is fine I guess when you’re young and everyone is committed to you but the commitments are not necessarily reciprocal. That just kind of gets heavier when the real commitments come on: marriage, then, wait for it: children. Making promises is a risky business, in fact, do they ever truly get kept? Are we even the same person who made the promise in the first place?

10 years is an especially poignant time period for me, almost 10 years ago exactly, my whole life changed, left Lehman, went on a pilgrimage, met Dan, became an acupuncturist. Now it seems I am shipwrecked on the shores of my childhood, in the right place but in a shambles. I would probably opt for silence. ;)

therufs February 6, 2013 at 2:40 pm

I can think of a few things I might like to have known, but I don’t think I’d believe myself.

Camilla February 7, 2013 at 10:37 pm

I love your advice. What would I tell myself? Try things. Many things. Don’t be afraid to commit and then let go. But hold tight to friends. Go out of your way for friends. These are the people who will matter and make a difference and make happiness.

Aurora February 9, 2013 at 11:55 am

I’d have told myself to make a few more mistakes and to not be afraid to cry when hurt. They were painful at the time but being so settled now (and still pretty young!) i still wonder if i’ve missed out on some experiences.

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