Dear Huffington Post: Why I don’t wish you had told me that in my twenties

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Has anyone else noticed that the Huffington Post seems to churn out a lot of these “wish someone had told me” posts that go viral on Facebook?

The writing styles vary, but the general messages stay the same – don’t be afraid to be yourself, chase your dreams, don’t settle, etc, etc.. There are always items on the list that nearly everyone can relate to, as evidenced by the numerous comments, likes, and shares online.

I admit, I’m likely to give an article like this a thumbs up. Because like the rest of the general US population, I can relate to some of the regrets on the list. I’ve wasted time doing most, if not all of those things. I’m not unique, though. We’ve all been there.

It’s part of human condition to grow up and learn from our experiences. We look back and realize just how long it took us to learn life’s lessons and think, “what if someone had told me this back then?” That kind of wishful thinking leads us down a path of feeling like had we started with the information we have now, we’d be much better off. We wouldn’t have “wasted” so much time figuring it all out.

Except that’s not how it works. I can tell you exactly what would happen if you tried to tell my teenage or early twenty-something self all the advice from these wonderful Huffington Post lists:

Dr_Evil_Listen

That’s the thing about being young. You don’t know what you don’t know. There’s no shortcut to maturity. You just gotta keep plugging along and eventually learn the lessons yourself.

Then when you’re all grown up, you’ll write your own letter to your younger self. And maybe Huffington Post will run it. Then a new generation can ignore the advice while the older generation nods and smiles along as they read it, and a whole new cycle will begin.

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Comments

  1. I would have taken my own advice about as well as I took the advice of my mother, grandmother, or anyone else who actually knew what the hell they were talking about. You HAVE to fall to learn it for yourself and not repeat your mistakes. And if I WOULD have listened, I wouldn’t have married my ex husband and wouldn’t have my two beautiful children. There are always small glimmers of good that come out of your mistakes, even if it’s just personal growth.
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