The other day I heard a radio DJ asking his listeners this question: "If you had a time machine and could go back in time to when you were younger and give yourself any advice, what would it be?" One listener called in to the show and said "I would tell myself to always be nice to everyone because someone you are mean to could one day end up being your nurse or doctor or something." Wise words! When I went to the hospital to be induced to have Luke, I got checked in, got changed, and when I came out of the bathroom to my room, the nurse was standing there and I realized that she was a childhood friend of mine from about 18 years ago. After she and I had our "what-a-small-world!" moment and caught up on all the missing time, she left and Jacob asked me who she was. I just said, "She was a friend from Elementary school." And then, with one eyebrow raised suspiciously, Jacob wisely asked "Were you nice to her?" :) So there you have it, people! Those around you really can and do end up being your nurse or doctor one day! And having been a very nice person paid off too, because she was a great nurse and totally took care of me the whole day.
So anyway, if you were wondering, here are the three pieces of advice that I would give myself if I could go back in time and have a little chat with 10-year-old Jessica:
1. Accept who you are. Sounds so cheesy and trite, but quit pretending. The people in my life who totally embrace their own weirdlyness and quirks are those that I find the most endearing. Don't be embarrassed by what you like or what interests you. If you secretly own a copy of the movie Twilight, admit it. If you really, really want to take adult tap dance lessons, accept it. If you love your Phil Collins Greatest Hits CD, enjoy every minute of it. You are going to spend eternity with yourself so you might as well enjoy the company.
2. Don't be so scared. I think I spent most of my life (well Elementary through High School anyway) living in fear. Fear of what? Oh, I don't know, things like... failure, anyone with an ounce of authority, getting a B on my report card, being abducted, speaking in front of other people, falling down, crashing my car, choking, getting in trouble, thinking that everyone around me was an evil, iniquitous sinner who was secretly plotting my transport to the Telestial Kingdom. It was a sheltered life. I think I didn't do a lot of things I maybe secretly wanted to do (play on the tennis team, for example) because I was just too scared to even try. You miss out on a lot of experiences when fear holds you back. Not to mention that none of that stuff I worried about ever even happened!!
3. Wear Sunscreen. Just kidding! That was from that stupid song back in the day.(Actually, I would warn myself about that in regards to Stake Youth Conference when I was 15- THAT was a bad sunburn...) No seriously, lastly, I would tell myself, appreciate everything. As I grow up and talk to other adults and people my age, I realize what a great childhood I had. It was a fun time, and it is never to happen again! So, embrace it! Enjoy your siblings (who really were and are your friends) and someone else paying the rent! You have it GOOD, sister!
And now I am going to go move my secret copy of the movie Twilight from the bottom of my kitchen drawer and put it out with all the rest of our DVDs. Happy? Me too :)