What I Wish I Could've Told My Younger Self

What I Wish I Could've Told My Younger Self

I wish I could tell you that everything will be okay.

What I wouldn't give to go back in time to kneel down beside little me, tell her to wipe away her tears and take my hand. What I wouldn't give to look back into my own eyes, brush the hair out of my face, and look at me looking back at myself, a mutual pain shared in our reflections. What I wouldn't give to tell little me everything that will ever happen to us, to tell little me to be stronger, more careful, more kind, and to not make the same mistakes.

What I wouldn't give to tell my younger self, that one day, things will be okay.

I wish I could go back in time, to see myself younger, more carefree, unaware that life could bring me true, real, excruciating pain one day. Not the pain of waking up to go to elementary school, not the pain of not being line leader that week, not the pain of trying to learn my multiplication table, not the pain of not really have friends to play with at recess.

I wish I could go back and see myself as a child before the world became to big and heavy. To see that maybe I didn't think I was happy then, but that I was happier than I may even be now.

I wish I could tell myself to stop my tantrums and blowing up over little to nothing, to stop blaming others and blaming parents because I didn't like the things I was expected to or get what I wanted. I wish I could tell myself that I know you think you're so big and grown up, even in elementary school, but you have to understand that everything takes time and sometimes you have to sacrifice for others.

The world doesn't revolve around you, but you matter to the world and you'll find your place in it one day. That day may not be now, but it will come.

I know life is tough, it's always going to be tough, but I promise things will get better. You can't let other people bring you down because they treat you like you aren't there, because they don't want to do what you want to, because they make fun of you, because no one understands that just because you're a child you don't think like other children. That you're unique and spirited in your own special way.

I know you're emotional, I know you always feel like you're hurting, I know you feel alone and like no one understands. You're only in elementary school, you shouldn't feel this way. But I promise that you'll make important friends, that your parents love you more than you realize and they'll sacrifice everything they can for you when the time comes. I know you aren't happy, but I promise that one day you will be, and you'll feel like you're living a dream that you may now think could never happen.

You can't let yourself down so much. You always reach for the stars then the galaxies then the edge of the universe. You need to come down for a bit. You can't always get things right the first time, you can't always expect to be good at everything. Take time to relax, to learn patience. Being a kid is harder, but growing up is even harder.

I wish I could tell you that you're absolutely beautiful, that the kids in school don't understand the beauty you have. And that you'll blossom as you grow older.

I wish I could hold your head in my hands when you're crying, and I know you won't look up at me out of pride and wanting to seem like you're stronger than you are, but you need to know that others don't define you. That you're failures don't define you. That the mean things people say about you won't mean anything to you one day. I wish I could tell you that you'll matter to people you want to matter to one day. That one day you won't be so alone. That one day, you'll find your place in the world and you'll learn where your beauty lies, and you'll embrace it.

I wish I could tell you to stop putting your pain onto others; you have to learn to deal with it yourself. I wish I could tell you to do more of what you love doing and to not stop when people look down on you for doing what you love. I wish I could tell you that your family loves you more than you give them credit, and that you may think you don't love them, but you really, really do.

I wish I could tell you that you are important.

To love yourself.

That you are stronger than you think you are.

That you are loved.

That you are beautiful, inside and out.

I wish I could look back into your eyes right now when you feel like being a kid is as worse as it can get, and I wish I could tell you that I'm sorry. That I'm so very sorry for being this way. But I also wish I could tell you that you have to forgive yourself. That you have to move on.

I wish I could tell you to stop holding onto the past, that you have to keep moving forward and let things go. I wish I could tell you that you'll grow and learn from your mistakes.

I wish I could give you a hug, kiss your forehead, and tell you to be strong, to hold on, even when things get rough. And to remind yourself that you have so many amazing things about you that you don't realize yet, but that you and those around you will notice one day.

I wish I could be there to guide you, but I know you'll be okay. Everything will be okay. Even when you hurt like hell and wish that one day you were dead, give it time and things will be okay.

I wish I could tell you that you will be okay one day.

Cover Image Credit: Tim and Heidi Bishop

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Working With People Who Are Dying Teaches You So Much About How To Live

Spending time with hospice patients taught me about the art of dying.


Death is a difficult subject.

It is addressed differently across cultures, lifestyles, and religions, and it can be difficult to find the right words to say when in the company of someone who is dying. I have spent a lot of time working with hospice patients, and I bore witness to the varying degrees of memory loss and cognitive decline that accompany aging and disease.

The patients I worked with had diverse stories and interests, and although we might have had some trouble understanding each other, we found ways to communicate that transcended any typical conversation.

I especially learned a lot from patients severely affected by dementia.

They spoke in riddles, but their emotions were clearly communicated through their facial expressions and general demeanor, which told a story all on their own.

We would connect through smiles and short phrases, yes or no questions, but more often than not, their minds were in another place. Some patients would repeat the details of the same event, over and over, with varying levels of detail each time.

Others would revert to a child-like state, wondering about their parents, about school, and about family and friends they hadn't seen in a long time.

I often wondered why their minds chose to wander to a certain event or time period and leave them stranded there before the end of their life. Was an emotionally salient event reinforcing itself in their memories?

Was their subconscious trying to reconnect with people from their past? All I could do was agree and follow their lead because the last thing I wanted to do was break their pleasant memory.

I felt honored to be able to spend time with them, but I couldn't shake the feeling that I was intruding on their final moments, moments that might be better spent with family and loved ones. I didn't know them in their life, so I wondered how they benefited from my presence in their death.

However, after learning that several of the patients I visited didn't have anyone to come to see them, I began to cherish every moment spent, whether it was in laughter or in tears. Several of the patients never remembered me. Each week, I was a new person, and each week they had a different variation of the same story that they needed to tell me.

In a way, it might have made it easier to start fresh every week rather than to grow attached to a person they would soon leave.

Usually, the stories were light-hearted.

They were reliving a memory or experiencing life again as if it were the first time, but as the end draws nearer, a drastic shift in mood and demeanor is evident.

A patient who was once friendly and jolly can quickly become quiet, reflective, and despondent. I've seen patients break down and cry, not because of their current situation, but because they were mourning old ones. These times taught me a lot about how to be just what that person needs towards the end of their life.

I didn't need to understand why they were upset or what they wanted to say.

The somber tone and tired eyes let me know that what they had to say was important and worth hearing. What mattered most is that someone who cared was there to hear it.

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8 Reasons Why California Is “The Place To Be”

Many people ask me why I left such an amazing place, and I still don't have an answer.


I've vacationed in California all my life. I've traveled up the coast and through the deserts and mountains of the Golden State. I've lived there for five years and attended college at a UC (University of California). I am convinced that California is "the place to be", and here's why:

1. The coastline is absolutely breathtaking.

Laguna Beach, CA.

Kathryn Kaloroumakis

The turquoise water crashing into the intricately chiseled cliffs is nature at its finest. Hop on Pacific Coast Highway to drive along 840 miles of pure beauty.

2. The weather.

You don't even have to check the forecast in California to know that it is sunny and seventy degrees.

3. Hollywood.

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Being in Hollywood is like being in a movie - spot celebrities roaming the area, gaze upon the amazing mansions that fill the hills, and tour iconic movie sets and studios.

4. The gourmet Mexican food.

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Whether you are dining in at a classy restaurant on the water, getting take out Mexican from a little shack in the desert, or grabbing a taco from a food truck on the beach, you can't go wrong with the Mexican food.

5. The various universities all across the state.

University of California, San Diego

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Whether you want to study in a beach town, the desert, or the redwood forest, there is a home for you. The state holds 264 colleges and universities for students to choose from.

6. The endless amount of public trails and parks.

California welcomes people to explore the great outdoors - whether you are roaming through the Redwood Forest, hiking to the Hollywood Sign, walking the trails at Big Bear Mountain, or running the trail to the Golden Gate Bridge, there is always another sight to see in California.

7. The various types of terrain.

Mammoth, CA

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Only in California can you surf in the morning and skii in the afternoon. The desert, the forest, the beach, the mountains, and more - all exist in California.

8. Home to “The Happiest Place on Earth”.

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There is never a dull moment hanging with Mickey Mouse at Disneyland or hopping from ride to ride at California Adventure.

Many people ask me why I left such an amazing place, and I still don't have an answer. California is the place to be.

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