Learning To Love You More




Assignment #53
Give advice to yourself in the past.

Barcelona, SPAIN



Advice to self
1. I am yourself. I am you and me and I am becoming everyday who we will collectively be years from now. As the person responsible for making your dreams come true, for taking care of you, and for sticking with you through it all, I will dispense some unsolicited advice now. Although some of it comes too late, I hope you know that I still have faith in you, and that you, I, us, have so much going for us, that sometimes I am even afraid we do not fully realize it.
Advice to self, age 8
2. Don't quit piano. It might seem boring and pointless now, but you will regret it later, anytime you see people who know how to make music using any kind of instrument. There will never again be anyone to pay for your piano lessons other than yourself. Learning how to play the piano is a way to honor your grandmother, one of the most important people in your life, who gave you that piano as a gift, and who will be dead in two years.
Advice to self, age 10
3. Don't be so scared when your older cousin and her friends take you for a joyride while smoking in the car, driving fast, and listening to The Cure full blast. It's just a side of her you haven't seen before, but one you'll also go through when you hit your teens, and one you'll both outgrow.
Advice to self, age 12
4. Be gentle with Cristina. Don't get pissed off when she copies your clothes. She is only trying to fit in, she comes from a different country, and she only has you to introduce her to this country. Your clothes are neither cool nor unique anyway, and Cristina will become one of your best friends ever from now until you turn 16. You don't know this yet, but her friendship will be both important and short-lived. You will both leave this country, and the relationship will slowly fade.
Advice to self, age 16
5. Moving to the United States is not the end of the world. It will make you appreciate and learn things about yourself, about your culture, and about the world, that you never even imagined. You don't know this yet, but you will meet some of the most important people in your life there. You will escape the private preppy high school and the life of appearances, brand names, and keeping up with the Jonases that you were more than likely heading for in your own country.
Advice to self, age 23-24
6. Remember the tears after that telephone call? They were not just a sign that you were nervous. They were your inner self, your intuition, telling you something. Don't downplay your emotions. Don't underestimate your feelings. Listen to yourself more, and to others less. Don't complain so much about your teaching job. It's an experience that will make you grow, and that teacher in the classroom next door will become your friend in a way that teaches you a new meaning of friendship.
Advice to self, age 24-28
7. Don't spend so much money on the wedding, the house, and the lifestyle. Soon you will find that you don't need all of these things. Back up everything in your computer. You will lose many things this year, including five years worth of pictures, music, and some random writing. Talk to him more. Tell him you know before it's too late. Stop spending more than what you have. You will divorce and be in debt for years to come. Don't give the ring back.
Advice to self, age 29
8. Everything will turn out fine. It hurts now, but you will turn your life around soon.
Advice to self, age 32 years, 1 month, 22 days, 23 hours.
9. Figure out if you really want that PhD. If you decide to go for it, pursue it with all your heart. If you quit, find something that truly fulfills you, and throw your entire self at it. Keep taking pictures. Write.
10. Keep running strong. Remember that I think you're an amazing woman, more that we give you credit for. Always notice the small things. Don't think about what could have been, instead think about what can be from now on. Live.