To My Younger Self. Keep Dancing.


In a  series of To My Younger Self these pictures came across my desk. And along with them, stories and memories, life and lessons.

One always speaks the phrase “If I knew then what I knew now” and we are frustrated when someone doesn’t take our advices, adult or child, even when it is advice given through a lesson already learned and we are trying to save another the trouble, the heartache, the road rash that the part of their journey is about to give them.

Upon my first divorce my best friend of my entire life, and also my cousin told me that she was not surprised. That she had literally seen my groom transform through the wedding itself. That little things that were really big things bugged her through our entire wedding weekend. I had asked why she had not told me, warned me of her thoughts and insight and she replied “but would you have listened?” That question is one I carry with me now.

I could not argue with that question. So though there is much I would tell my younger self, wish often that I could, I would likely not have seen the reason. Followed the advice.Or even heard the words.

An old friend sent me these pictures recently. I was young. I was somewhere under seventeen. Maybe as young as fifteen. That skinny could eat anything in the world and carried the world on her shoulders child. I was pretty much raised in that bar because of my mother. I was there almost every night and would see the next days light before reaching home. Often in our family feuding I never even saw home the next day. As gleefully and free flowing dancing without cares as I looked there, the dancing was one thing that kept me sane through this time of life. I had no choice basically but to be in that bar for all of the problems my family faced and for the way my mother chose to raise me. Don’t get me wrong, it really wasn’t all bad….but much of it was terrible.

Dancing and music was a way I could forget the rest of everything. I danced through my teens and my twenties for the most part, though my twenties were much more settled. And I danced sober. I was always sober, don’t get that mixed up, bar time spent or not…..I saw the unsober around me and swam through the fog of too many washed away lives.

What would I tell that one? Should she listen or not.

That it will get better. That life is easier than this. That the fighting is not the norm. That you are good for not drinking and swimming your life through that direction in the fog. That you will make a lot of mistakes but that you are avoiding many even when it doesn’t feel like it. But that the dancing is the right idea, just keep that up. And that terrible and embarrassing pictures will appear on social media from even before the time of social media’s existence. But the best thing is to just laugh and enjoy. Also that I need to wear that color more. And that I am glad that I am going in that direction with my hair again.

And it’s one life and it’s this life and it’s beautiful


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