I am sure like me, there have been times when you have wondered what difference might have been made to your life, if your younger self had been gifted with the experience and knowledge you have accumulated over the years.
I invited several friends from the writing community to share their thoughts on this subject which I am sure you will enjoy as much as I did.
Today author Jan Sikes shares how her experiences in life may have benefitted her as a teenager in tenth grade.
I Wish I Knew Then What I Know Now by Jan Sikes
That is such a loaded statement, as I have learned much in my seventy years of living.
Often, I hear folks say they wish they could go back and do things over again, but only with their current knowledge. I would never want to go backward. However, if I could talk to my younger self and know she would actually listen, I’d give her some strong advice.
I recently watched “The Adam Project” on Netflix. It is a time-travel story where thirty-year-old Adam travels from 2050 to 2022 and meets his twelve-year-old self. There is a lot more to the plot, but can you imagine? The advice the grown man gives to his younger self gave me pause. What if I could go back and tell my younger self some things to help make life easier? What would I say?
First and foremost, I’d tell my younger Janice (that is my given name) to be authentic. Don’t try to be like anyone else. Just be yourself. We are each as unique as our fingerprints. Even though society tries to force us into a mold of alikeness, we are all different.
Growing up, I was an outcast in school. Because of my parents’ religion, I had to wear long dresses and wear my long hair either in a braid or bun. I wasn’t allowed to participate in any school sports or other events. At the time, all I wanted was to fit in, to be a part of the crowd. That longing ate away at me inside and influenced some major choices I made. The first time I felt that longing fulfilled was traveling with Rick and his band when I was nineteen. I finally belonged.
But back to my advice. I’d tell her not to take things too seriously. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Of course, that is all based on perspective. What an adult would consider inconsequential, a young child might find to be of the utmost importance. That’s where it gets tricky.
The way I now view what I thought were catastrophic events in my growing-up years carries no significance in my life today. It doesn’t matter that I thought John Paolino was cute in fourth grade or how humiliated I was when his best friend, Joe Webb, pulled my braid and made me fall on the playground. But that day, it devastated me.
I would tell young Janice always to speak her truth, no matter what. It is impossible to please everyone. That’s a huge life lesson for many of us, particularly women. I’ve often found myself saying what I thought another person wanted to hear to avoid making waves or, worse yet, starting an argument. I am the kind of person who will walk a mile around a disagreement rather than face it head-on and confront it. Anytime we deny ourselves our truth, we give away our power.
I would advise her to stop and think before acting. I’ve often plunged off the edge of a cliff because I only acted or reacted without thinking. If I’d only known then what I know now.
I would remind her that life is short and focus on the things that make her happy and fulfilled. Creating stories for others to enjoy is one of the most rewarding things I’ve done in life so far. I’ve worn many different hats, and it seems each time I switch one for another, it’s been an upgrade.
I would encourage Janice always to nurture her kind heart and have compassion for others. A helping hand or even a simple smile can often go a long way to making someone’s day better.
I would want her to know about Karma. You reap what you sow. We’ve all heard those words, but when its impact hits, we realize the true implications. The thoughts and actions we put out to the Universe come back to us ten-fold. So, if we put out negative, we will get back ten times more than we put out. Staying positive is vital to a peaceful life.
Lastly, I’d tell my younger self to always remain unafraid to open her heart to love. Love is pure, and it’s selfless. It’s a joy.
We often hear that life is a journey, not a destination. And while those are only words, they carry an undeniable truth.
Here’s to the journey! It’s been quite a ride so far.
Thank you, Sally, for inviting me to participate in this fun prompt!
©Jan Sikes 2022
My thanks to Jan for sharing her thoughts on the prompt and her excellent advice that we can apply whatever age we might be at this moment. I know she would love to hear from you.
About Jan Sikes
I’ve been an avid reader all my life. I can still remember the excitement that surged through me the first time I realized I could decipher words. Many summers, I won the highest award possible from the Hobbs, NM Public Library for reading the most books.
There’s nothing I love more than losing myself in a story.
Oddly enough, I never had any ambition to be a writer. But I wound up in mid-life with a story that begged to be told. Not just any story, but a true story that rivaled any fiction creation. Through fictitious characters, the tale came to life in an intricately woven tale that encompasses four books. Not satisfied to stop with the books, I released music CDs of original music to match the time period of each story segment.
In conclusion, to bring the story full circle, I published a book of poetry and art. I was done.
The story ideas keep coming, and I don’t intend to turn off the creative fountain.
I am a member of the Author’s Marketing Guild, The Writer’s League of Texas, Romance Writers of America, and the Paranormal Writer’s Guild. I am an avid fan of Texas music and grandmother of five beautiful souls. I reside in North Texas.
A small selection of other books by Jan Sikes
My review for Jagged Feathers March 3rd 2022
Having read book one of this series I was looking forward to this next story with much anticipation. I was delighted to catch up with some of the characters from Ghostly Interference and the author made the transition seamless.
Both Vann and Nankina who head the cast in this second book, carry the burden of past events in their lives and the story highlights the many challenges facing those who have served and also civilians who have been touched by tragedy.
The setting is tanquil, but danger and violence intrude into this peaceful backwater. The last thing a recovering soldier with PTSD needs is to be back in a war zone, but his need to protect a defenceless woman becomes a mission he cannot back down from.
This is a high octane thriller and romance, with some intriguing paranormal elements which draws the reader in, and sweeps them along with the action and developing love affair. And then there is also an adorable dog who despite his own past mistreatment gives love in abundance.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading the book and recommend to those who enjoy action packed romances.
Thank you for joining us today and I hope you will share your thoughts on the prompt in the comments.. thanks Sally.