Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Advice to My Younger Self

In a few days, I will have another advanced degree. I will be able to put "M.A." after my name. It seems like every 20 years I make an educational advancement.

My degree will come from Hollins University at the 170th commencement exercise this Sunday at 10 a.m. The ceremony is on the Front Quad, and as long as it doesn't rain, it will be outside and the guest list is unlimited.

The upcoming ceremonial rite has left me with mixed emotions. I am nostalgic and eager for the future all at the same time. Nineteen years ago I received my BA, something that took me eight years to obtain. Education is something I have always craved and I am pleased and proud that I have managed to make it happen.

I don't know if in another 20 years I will have another degree, but I strongly suspect I will continue taking classes of some kind.

Anyway, I thought I might take a look back today and write a note to that 29-year-old who received her first advanced diploma in 1993. Some of these are things I have done. Some are things I wish I had done. Those who know me well will probably know the difference.

Advice to My Younger Self
Don't be a stranger to your own feelings. Get out of your head and listen to your heart.

For God's sake, watch what you eat and take note of your weight.

Learn to love your body.
Take up yoga as soon as you can.


Read everything you can get your hands on.

Embrace technology, but not so much that you lose yourself in it. Unplug frequently.

Take long walks in the woods.

Trust yourself and your husband. All others are suspect, but give them the benefit of the doubt.
Fruits and vegetables are your friends.
Go back to school sooner rather than later. While it is never too late to learn, it does get harder with age.

Dance in the kitchen. Every day.

Do not stop playing the guitar.

Make lots of friends.
Join organizations that do things for others. Be active in your community.

Love with your heart as well as your head. Love yourself, first.
Write about everything. Put it all down.

Don't be afraid of your own thoughts.

Learn something new every day.

Face your fears.

Wear different shoes every day.

Don't let the bastards get to you. You are better than they are; don't forget it!


  1. Are you dancing in the kitchen today in yoga pants, while playing the guitar and wearing different shoes than yesterday? Just checking....

  2. Congratulations on your wonderful achievement! I shall be thinking of you on Sunday.

  3. Congratulations on getting your Masters, should feel very proud. I'd always thought I might eventually go to college, but it hasn't worked out so far. Nevertheless, I learn something every single day, and I'm happy to say, I've never lost my boundless spirit of curiosity.

    Good advice to your younger self. Good advice, actually, for anybody.

  4. I just got done dancing in the kitchen! Kelly put on "Candy Man" and that song always makes me jump up and dance around like I'm in a musical! How can you not be happy when you listen to that song?

    Anyway, you should be proud of yourself! What a fantastic accomplishment! I wish I would have done it. I know it's not too late but I'm too busy with work and the horses. I'd have to give up riding, that's for sure. I'm so happy for you!

  5. Jennifer CooperMay 16, 2012 10:38 PM

    Enjoyed your post. Will try to keep these things in mind!


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