In which I address my younger self.
This week Stasha is asking us to share ten ways we are different from then versus now.
If I knew then what I know now...there would be a total different vibe to me.
I like to think that all of the things I *THINK* I screwed up were actually a happy accident to make me, well me.
That weight that you are where you THINK you are so disgustingly fat?
That will totally be your goal weight in 10, 15 years.
I can recall looking at myself and hating the way I looked. I would sorta exercise, tried throwing up (it doesn't work if you do it HOURS after you eat). Tried starving myself (eating breakfast and then not eating all day is just dumb), diet pills, laxatives (I'm getting raw today, yo!) all sorts of things because I was "too fat" and I wanted to change.
Now I *HOPE* that I will one day reach that size then that I thought I was such a fat ass.
There will never be a better time, you will be tired, you will be sleepy.
I came up with every excuse in the book for not finishing school.
Divorce, not enough money, pregnant, tired, overwhelmed.
The jokes on me as I attempt school, work, mom, life.
3) Don't get that Jheri/Jerry/Gerri curl
Your hair will now grow, you will drip all over the place and it is wrong on so many levels.
Yes, I drank the juice, as in Jheri/Jerry/Gerri curl and chile...you couldn't tell me NOTHING!
I finally had that bouncing and behaving hair.
So what if I left a trail of where I had been?
So what if It was gummy and gooey?
My hair was suddenly creeping towards my neck and I LOVED IT!
Who would have thought cutting it ALL off and allowing it to do it's thing would actually make it, well, grow?!
4) Don't date that guy.
You know the ones.
All I can say is, eww.
5) Save your money
I was am terrible with money. My mom would always caution me to save, save, save. But arrogantly (ha!) I thought I would be working at the place I worked forever, making goo gobs of crazy stupid money (for a 20 something with no kids, responsibilities and such) and the party would never end.
It did and now while I'm not destitute, I would prefer a fatter bank account.
6) Calm Down!
Believe it or not I have tendencies to be a shoot from the hip, leap before I look type of gal. Yes lawd. I was quick to tell you where to go, how to get there, what to take, and well, go eff yourself. (Lovely, ain't it!). These days I tend to think before I speak, act or make a decision. The old hot head Rachee still makes her presence known but I would rather take a day (or three) to gather my thoughts, calm the bleep down and relax before making a decision.
With all of that goo-gobs of stupid money I used to make and enjoy one would think that I was all over Planet Earth. One would be oh so wrong. I used to worry that I was too fat, didn't have enough money and would promise myself that one day, some day I would see the world, travel around, visit.
Fast forward to now, I'm fatter, broker and some day is not here.
Before I die I'm getting out of this country again and seeing the sites.
8) Be brave
All of the above stemmed from me being too afraid. Afraid to try. Afraid to fail. Scared to start. So often I would be given an opportunity but instead of going for it would find a reason to talk myself out of even allowing myself the chance to go for it.
I missed travel, jobs, life.
9) *INSIST* That people say your name right.
With all of the Laquaquas, Mo'neshanenes and Ti'Boo-bos and the like one would presume "Rachee" wouldn't be too difficult to pronounce.
One would be incorrect.
It wasn't until I turned 35 that I became militant with people about saying my name correctly. I was always so scared (ehh!) to correct them. I had a teacher call me "Toots" all through high school because he couldn't pronounce my name. He said it was, "Too hard to say." Instead of reading his ass (that angry Rachee came much, much later) I giggled and sat in embarrassed silence all of tenth grade English.
Say it right, spell it right and we're cool.
10) Ask for help
This is still a hard one but I still would tell my young self: You DO NOT Have to always be strong black woman. It's cool to ask for help.
Open your mouth, ask for help and it's ok, it's not a judgement, it's not a bad thing.
I don't think Stasha realizes that her prompts are sort of therapeutic. I seem to exorcise some issue that (unknowingly) I have been carrying around for a while. This week was no exception.
So, what would you tell your younger self?
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