Five Pieces of Advice for My Fifteen-Year-Old Self

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Me at fifteen years old

I was listening to the Yolanda Adams morning show the other day, and the topic for the day was “If you could give advice to your 15-year-old self, what would it be?”  My fifteen year-old-self was pretty innocent and naive.  I didn’t get into much trouble, and I made good grades in school. I wasn’t perfect though by a long shot. I made my share of mistakes, and in hindsight would have done some things differently.  After thinking about it some I think I would offer the following pieces of advice to the younger me.

1. You are beautiful no matter how small your curves are compared to other girls. When I was younger I was disappointed by the booty genes I inherited.  I wanted a bigger butt like other girls I knew. Whenever I tried on clothes in a store I would imagine how I’d look if I were a little thicker. Of course my mom would try to reassure me that I was fine just the way I was, but I still felt inadequate.  Over time I realized that there were girls I wanted to look like who actually wanted to look like me.  That taught me that everyone has something that they’d like to change about themselves.  I have also learned to appreciate who God made to be, which is somebody pretty special and well built.

2. If a guy doesn’t want you, you don’t want him either. I spent too much time as a teen pursuing relationships with guys that were one-sided–I was more into them than they were into me. I spent even more time trying to figure out why these particular guys didn’t like me in a romantic way.  What was it about that me that wasn’t good enough?  I thought. Child, please!  The answer to that question is absolutely nothing. Man’s rejection does not determine someone’s worth.  Thankfully, my self-esteem, or should I say my God-esteem, has improved tremendously since then, but I really could have saved myself a lot of time and heartache had I learned this sooner.

3. Learn to save your money.  I definitely would be in a much better place financially if I had learned this concept as a youngster. Financial literacy was just not one of those things that my family discussed, probably because they didn’t have the knowledge either.  My goal is to make sure that changes with the next generation.  I will teach my children the importance of tithing, saving, and managing money wisely so that they can be much better off at a much younger age.

4. Finish what you start.  Dance lessons, piano lessons, track, and an economics class–I quit them all.  I got bored with dance because I wasn’t advancing as fast as I thought I should; I didn’t like the recital aspect of piano nor the practicing that came along with it; my college economics was more difficult to understand than I liked, so I gave up.  Fortunately for me, I’ve developed a more persistent mindset as I’ve aged.  My husband describes it as a bulldog mentality.  Once I decide I want something, I go hard after it until I get it.  But I can only imagine how much more I would have accomplished in my life by now if I thought that way all my life.

5. Spend more time with your grandma, and learn how to make biscuits like her. Everyone loved my grandmother’s homemade biscuits.  I tried making them once and let her taste them. I admit I was kind of feeling myself because they were pretty good for my first try.  My husband joked about there being a new biscuit maker in the family, which was a big mistake.  My grandmother sat up straight and tall in her chair, stretched her eyes wide, and said matter of fact, “I’m the only biscuit maker in this family.”  Maybe she wanted to go to her grave with that title and her secret recipe. Nevertheless, I would have tried even if it meant sneaking a peek while she made them. Now that she’s gone I think it’s a shame that we’ll never taste biscuits quite like hers again.

What would you say to your 15-year-old self based on what you know now?

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