What would you tell your younger self?

Today I am in the UW Whitewater campus library. Mallory commutes here from home 2 days a week, and didn’t feel well enough to drive because of a cold. So, I drove her down and stayed the day while she is in class. Being back in a college library and back on a college campus has stirred up some interesting emotions. And, I have been thinking:

If I could go back and talk to my 18 year old self, what would I say?

I wasn’t a very good student when I was in college. I didn’t want to be there, I didn’t know what I wanted to do, and I had too many things other than studying on my mind. I think I was smart enough, just not motivated enough to succeed. In fact, I failed miserably. I went to Iowa State right out of high school for a year and a half, then I quit. I worked for a few months and then decided I should try again. After another year and a half I packed up and went back home, again. After Kirby and I got married I tried a couple more times. As much time as I spent (and as much of my parents money I spent) I should have a degree. I don’t. That is one of my biggest regrets in life. I just gave up on my education.

If I could go back and talk to myself, I would have a lot to say. The real question is, would I listen?

I would tell my self to study harder, and play less. I would tell myself not to worry about all those boys that broke my heart, the right on will come along, and I will be happy. I would tell myself to take time to look around and appreciate all those people who really do care, they won’t be around forever. I would say to take more chances, don’t be so shy, and don’t worry what other people might think of me. I would say to appreciate family, they are missed when they aren’t close by. Mostly, I would say that life will be good. There will be a few bad times, and one horrible, painful, devastating and heartbreaking event in 2009. But hold on, because there are a lot of good people around to help me through, and I will survive it.

Obviously I can’t go back to that college girl and help her to correct her mistakes. And if I did, my whole life may have turned out differently and I wouldn’t be sitting in the library, waiting for my beautiful daughter. What happened to me back then, made me who I am. I may have a lot of flaws and no college degree, but I have a pretty good life. Other than losing Ryan, life hasn’t been too bad. I guess it’s time to quit regretting those things in my past and start concentrating on today and tomorrow. I hope you can do the same.

Dear God,
Today, I am thinking about all the opportunities I have been given. Forgive me for not taking full advantage of the life you have set in front of me. I promise to do better.

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