Dear younger me (Part I)

I had never really been into Christian music and then about three years ago, I gave up “secular music” for Lent and started listening to K-Love and I found a passion for it. Recently, more and more Christian musicians have made their way up here to the New England area. I went to a MercyMe concert recently. It was fantastic. They have a song called “Dear Younger Me” and the lead singer was talking about the song before he sang and he said, “If you were to come face-to-face with the eight-year-old version of yourself, what you say?” There was silence and then he responded, “Yeah, chew on that for a while.”  

This got me thinking that this would be a great Anchor article but I thought advice just from me to my younger self wouldn’t be that great. I went out to the Facebook world and posed the same question. I got some great responses so I thought I would share them with you. I unfortunately couldn’t share all of them and to keep from plagiarizing, thank you to all my friends and family who provided the following advice: 

“Keep your eyes and ears open and learn from those who have come before you.”

“Don’t sweat the small stuff, life has a way of working out. Embrace your fears, you will learn a lot about yourself.”

“Don’t be afraid of who you are; becoming self-aware is a long and sometimes painful process, but well worth it in the end.”

“Love those around you, but most of all love yourself. Don’t take to heart hurtful words. They are just that — words. Don’t take for granted the people who love you most in life; you never know how long you have with them”

“Never ever be afraid to be yourself! And if people don’t like the real you it’s probably because they don’t like themselves! And remember always share a smile, it could brighten someone’s day!”

“Don’t let work rule your life, remember to have fun, and never lose faith.”

“All those times in your life when you were afraid to do something because of what others would think or say? All those people are thinking about their own actions and aren’t really paying attention. Just do it and enjoy the experience life has to offer.”

“By default you are no different than anyone else, by seeking you grow far beyond the default. Grow by learning and doing, help others grow by leading a life that people will want to learn from you and do the things you do.”

“Don’t grow up.”

“Don’t be afraid to stand out! Embrace who you are no matter what anyone else thinks.”

“You are beautiful and valuable not because of how you look, or what you accomplish, but because God made you and He loves you.”

“Always stay positive. Things are always worse somewhere else so be grateful with what you have while you have it!”

“Can I use your leftover ideas?” This wasn’t actually advice, he was asking to borrow the leftover advice but I thought it made good advice too! 

“You are forgiven. You know that in your heart, so believe it. Change your decisions being based on feeling like you can never recover, and own the fact that no matter what mistake you made you can be forgiven. Also, keep in touch with your friends, tell them the truth always, and know that they are doing the same. Keep dancing, keep singing, and never give up on ‘you.’”

 “Go to the gym! Those muscles won’t grow on their own.”

“Eat your veggies.”

“Do the best you can do every day. Reach for the moon and come back with a couple of stars. Treat others the way you want to be treated and most of all stay in school!!!!!!”

“Get better grades in high school so you could start practicing medicine way, way sooner.”

“There is only one me who will ever walk this earth. There is no one better than you! But not in a boastful way, just surround yourself with people who love you and love them back. Help others and you will be helped in return. Be kind but never let yourself be taken advantage of. It’s OK to say no and not have to give a reason. Admire what you may not have, but be satisfied with what you are given. Plan for the future, but balance it with enjoying the present. Be grateful!!! And call your mother, just because!!”

“I’d have to wait 40 more years for a Red Sox championship, that The Beatles only have six more years together and that the Rolling Stones would still be together 50 years later. Right!? I would also tell myself that the peace and warm feelings I had being with my second-grade teacher at St. Anne’s School in Fall River, Sister Anne of Jesus, would be found in happy, holy people all my life; and that those are the types of people to surround myself with to stay on the true course.”

“Invest in Microsoft.”

And the best advice was from my brother. He said, “Be nice to your sister.” I was given so much great advice that I could not fit it into one article so I will continue next month with the rest of the advice. If you would like to add any, please don’t hesitate to email me. So until next month.

To be continued.

Anchor columnist Amanda Tarantelli has been a campus minister at Bishop Stang High School in North Dartmouth since 2005. She is married, a die-hard sports fan, and resides in Cranston, R.I. She can be reached at atarantelli@bishopstang.com.

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