Lessons for a younger me

I am really proud and excited to be hosting the Writer’s Post Blog Hop No. 6 this fortnight. For this fortnight, I’ve chosen the following topic:

If you could teach your younger self one thing, what would it be?

30 years on planet earth have taught me a few things. Like 7 hours of sleep is required to function well. Or mixing different alcoholic drinks is likely to cause a hangover the next day. Or that every family is dysfunctional in its own whacky way. 30 years on this planet has taught me things — good and bad. What to do and what not to do.

Some lessons I learnt as a child. Like never eavesdrop standing right behind the door or your fingers will get jammed. Some others I have had to wait for years to learn. Years before that light bulb went off in my brain. And made me wish that my younger self had known it. If I could teach my younger self just one thing though, it would be this: Avoidance does not solve problems.

My younger self loved to avoid.

Scared of public speaking? Just avoid it! Stressed about an upcoming assignment? Just sleep. And therefore avoid it. Annoyed with your parents? Don’t talk to them about it — stew over it and it will sort itself eventually. Stressed about exams? Sleep. Worried about meeting new people at that party you got invited to? Make an excuse and avoid it. Too many worries about the future in your head? Watch TV, go online or read a book and avoid thinking of the worries. Feeling sad? Keep yourself busy to avoid the uncomfortable feelings. Feeling anxious? Seek reassurance at once to avoid feeling uncomfortable.

Lessons for a younger me

As human beings, we all avoid. We love to avoid anything that involves pain and suffering. While in the short term, it is definitely beneficial, avoidance in the long run leads to all sorts of problems. I would like to tell my younger self that avoiding public speaking does reduce anxiety. But only in the short-term. That same anxiety becomes ten times worse when you have to do it again. Sure, you could avoid again. But how much longer would that work? Unless you choose to have a job behind a desk or choose to study a course online forever, at some point, the fear will need to be faced. What will happen then?

Avoiding pain and suffering makes sense. But how far will you go to avoid? Will you avoid getting into relationships for fear of getting hurt? Will you avoid new experiences for fear of failing? Will you avoid therapy for fear of getting better and actually living your life? Will you avoid moving out of home for fear of the unknown? Will you avoid changing jobs for fear of feeling uncomfortable while learning something new?

In small doses, avoidance makes sense. But beware as it can become your only coping strategy in life. The only way you know to exist.

You’d be better off avoiding avoidance sooner rather than later.

The one way of doing it is to realise that suffering is part of life.

What about you? What one lesson would you teach your younger self?

Do share your post in the linky below!

Until next time,