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A younger self

ScannedImageNew Year’s Day and the resolutions that it generates have come and gone. My birthday is fast approaching. I’m looking at my life—the past events and moments to come. As I was reading a fashion magazine a few weeks ago, I stumbled upon a very brief yet poignant question “What advice would you give your younger self?”

What advice would I give my younger self? Hmm. I’m not always a reflective person, but this question seemed to draw me in. Just for sport I researched the question and it seems other publications have also asked the same question. Some responses dealt with letting go of expectations, compliments that a person receives, knowing one’s worth, thinking and acting on passions, finances, grace (that one surprised me), education and eating habits.

Here are a few insights that came to my mind highlighted by two words: pay attention! Pay attention to everything around you and within you, pay attention to the people in your life and what they bring to your moments, pay attention to the voice within (listen!), pay attention to God’s amazing nature and how it affects your life and the lives of others. I caught a theme here…

Look at your life thus far. Think about the life lessons you’ve experienced. Would you dwell in those life lessons and move on or remain stuck in them? In the days ahead I hope you move forward into the advice you’d give your younger self.

Syd Brinkman is finishing her second term on the churchwide executive board. She hails from Allison, Iowa. That’s Syd receiving her high school diploma in 1977.

Comments (2)
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Elizabeth McBride says:
Feb 06, 2014

Great post, Syd. Happy birthday soon! Your post reminds me of an article that ran in the February issue of Cafe a few years ago. I asked three women in their 30s to write Valentines to their younger selves. It’s still one of my favorites. http://www.boldcafe.org/blog/valentine-younger

All of the women offer relationship advice but also talk about keeping faith through good and bad times. In the article Tiffany wrote: “this letter contains no warnings. I am both sorry and happy to say that you will have to live it—all of it, the joy, the pain, the angst, and the excitement as it unfolds. But that too is a gift. . .Sometimes it takes a while (or even more than a while) to see how it works out. Sometimes the road is not straight, but very curvy. Just have faith. Keep moving forward. Know that God is looking out for you.”

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Mari Barosay says:
Feb 06, 2014

I would say, stay clear of drugs and you don’t need a male to affirm your worth. Rather, stay in school and finish your degree. Major in Library Science. Get a Master’s and be a librarian.

I took the long way to do anything worthwhile in my life. But, at the same time, while I made too many detours, I did some good here and there.

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