Advice I’d Give My Younger Self

In today’s Sunday Poser, Sadje asks what advice you’d give your younger self. Like in her case, for me it would be different depending on my age.

For example, I could have advised my twelve-year-old self not to be so loyal to her parents’wish to have her go to mainstream grammar school. However, rebellion in a young adolescent is rarely seen as a positive thing and even much less taken seriously. Preteens are expected to be loyal to their parents.

Besides, as someone who had hardly any social contact outside of the home, I didn’t know what was “normal” other than what I saw in the house – which in hindsight was far from normal.

For this reason, I am not really sure what advice to give my childhood self other than to savor the few friendships she did have.

To my teenage self, I would give the advice of standing up for herself more but in a kind way. Then again, this is basically the advice I’d give any younger version of myself and even present-day me, but I have little idea of how to go about actually doing it. I mean, I feel like I’m a doormat that can be walked over and a bed of nails at the same time.

I wish I could give myself the advice not to let others make decisions for me, but the two times I sort of made the decision to move somewhere on my own initiative, both went horribly wrong: my move to the psych hospital in Wolfheze in 2013 and my move to my current care home. For this reason, I’m still unsure I can trust my own decision-making. In truth, of course, I was misinformed in the latter case and not given enough time to process the decision in the former, so it’s not entirely my fault.

I guess, after all, there’s one piece of advice I’d give my younger self. It’d be for my nineteen-year-old self in April of 2006, when my parents threatened to abandon me because I was delaying going to university for another year in order to prolong my training home stay. The advice I’d give her is to let them have their way and not allow the training home coordinator to mediate. This, after all, led to the training home being pressured to require me to live completely independently and go to university after completing the program, something I never even wanted.

I know it’d take immense courage for me at that age to be disloyal to my parents, but had I been completely honest about my needs back in 2006, I would most likely not have ended up in my current care home now and wouldn’t even have needed as much care as I do now.

17 thoughts on “Advice I’d Give My Younger Self

  1. Life would have been totally different, if we would have known the
    consequences of our deeds and choices in advance!
    I would have advised my younger self to try to go to the conservatory,
    or academy of music, after having finished college successfully. Or at
    least to have started singing-lessons by a proper teacher. My parents
    didn’t want me to do that, because I wouldn’t be able to earn a living
    with such a training.
    I ended up as a telephonist in a nursing-home instead! When just married
    at the age of 21 I would have advised that young lady to keep up the
    mobility with the white cane, instead of leaning on the husband for
    everything outside the house!
    And I would have advised that newly wed woman to finish the English
    course to become a teacher of English, or translator, if music wouldn’t
    be possible.

    Take Care, Roelie

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I understand about the cane travel. I wish I’d maintained some of my skills of daily living that I’d acquired in the training home too. Instead, due to my burnout while living independently, I lost almost all of them. Indeed, like you say, it would’ve been so much easier (in a way, but harder in another) if we knew the consequences of our decisions.


    1. Yeah well, this time around, the behavior specialist read me the info that’s on the website about this home and the one next door and added some comments, but the info is either outdated, incorrect or applies to the next-door home only. She also probably assumed I knew about the difference between intensive support-based homes like the one I’m in now (where staff are quite harsh) and care-based homes like my old one. Honestly, I had no idea.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. In retrospect, so many decisions and life events seem to be wrong, but we rarely realize it at the time. It’s good advice to be patient and to not be hurried into making decisions. Thanks for the Astrid.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know it’d be very hard indeed. Initially, back in 2006, I wanted to allow my parents to have their way and abandon me, but my mother told me that I didn’t have anyone to support me besides my parents (which was true at the time) and would never find anyone either due to my lack of social skills (which didn’t turn out to be true).


  3. I would have gone a head and gotten into radio broadcasting when I had the chance. My life would have taken a very different turn.
    I guess I would tell my younger self. A Boyfriend is Not a Husband. You need to make choices independently from that relationship.
    That’s the reason, I did not follow up with Broadcasting.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for sharing. I can’t relate to this, as my husband was also my first boyfriend. However, your passion for broadcasting shines through in this comment.


  4. It’s sometimes painful to look back and realize that we could have made different choices and had different outcomes. But your advice to stand up for yourself is great advice for anybody at any age. It stands up to the test of time. Thanks for sharing so vulnerably, Astrid.

    Liked by 1 person

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