Wow, composing that first “June Jour Challenge” post was pretty fun and enlightening, for me and (hopefully) anyone else who have or will read it. I’ve quickly realized one of the fun things about this challenge will be what The Finicky Cynic will send out for a prompt. The hard part, of course, is thinking of a real good response. Today, F.C.’s prompt is this:
What is one piece of advice that you would give to your younger self?
Actually, I had contemplated answers to that question for some time, or actually a video response. Do you remember that “Dear Me” project on YouTube a few months ago, where women of various statuses shared thoughts they would want to share with their younger selves? I had thought about getting dolled up and recording and posting my own “Dear Me” video. However, I don’t have a decent video camera, and I’m not counting the one on my smartphone. (Oh, that reminds me, my smartphone is so old that it’s ready to buy a camper and travel America, if you know what I mean.) I still hope to buy a decent camera and record my own “Dear Me” video in the future.
But I do have a lot of advice I would want to say to my younger self. For the purposes of this post, though, I will limit it to one key bit of advice that could summarize all the other thoughts I would want to tell my younger self:
I would tell my younger self to believe in himself.
As I mentioned in a previous post, I was a real awkward wallflower in my younger days, struggling in school and never adjusting or being comfortable with other classmates. It was around that time that I began dressing in women’s clothing, which could make me feel good about myself for a while but I knew wasn’t a panacea for all my problems, both in school and at home. The bad grades and dealing with my cranky, demanding stepfather and trouble-making stepbrother left me with some loss of self-confidence.
Therefore, I would encourage my younger self to think positive:
“As hard as your parents and siblings can be, the one person holding yourself back is you. Doing homework, cleaning house, feeding the horses, and especially the teasing at school will only bring you down if you let it. Let the accomplishments you do at home and school — big and small — be stepping stones to being aware of how good you really are. If you get criticized or chewed out — and you will — never let that get you down, even if there is merit to their words.
“Oh, and the dresses and bathing suits you found in that spare bedroom storage area? Think of those as your Supergirl costumes. Yeah, that may seem silly for me to say, but if you feel comfortable wearing them underneath your 11-year-old Clark Kent getup, let that comfort help build your confidence. I mean, even Clark Kent had a little bit of strength with his Superman costume underneath (or so I tend to believe). And when you’re not dressed up, let that self-empowerment linger in your mind.
“Kid, there’s a little quote from Dr. Seuss that, sadly, you won’t get to hear until you’re an adult: ‘Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.’ Keep those words in your thoughts. Everyone else in your life is who they are, and even though you aren’t perfect, you are who you are. And, eventually, others will accept you as the person you are, faults and all. Stay positive, okay?”