What do you wish you’d known in your past, now that you’ve reached some type of maturity and can look back?
When I encourage my writing class students to write their list of “Things I Wish I’d Known,” I write along with them, thinking it’s an easy exercise.But I’m surprised by my first esoteric response:
“Never, ever give up chocolate.”
Embarrassed, but intent on following my own instructions of just writing out the first things that come to mind, I continue my list:
“Give to others, but be sure to also give to yourself.”
The following one surprises me:
“Don’t worry so much about hurting someone else’s feelings.”
Wait a minute. I catch a glimmer of something.
The next insightful “wish I’d known” advises:
“Those you love, love more; those you don’t like – avoid more.”
Ah, I’m connecting all the dots, or all the “wish I’d knowns,” to be more exact.
Never ever give up chocolate expresses all of the above platitudes, only better.
Never give up what I am, what I need, what is right for me.
I’ve learned that yes, it’s important to keep others happy, to take care of them, to be a “good” mother,wife,daughter,friend,colleague,sister,aunt,grandmother,mom-in-law,sis-in-law,cousin.
But, I shouldn’t have to give up ME to be a good anything.
Not that I’d give up my mistakes and misdirections and missions lost. I needed each and every one of those experiences to get here – to a chocolate-loaded life of love, wonder, worry, pleasure, sadness, but mostly joy.
Particularly if I have a piece of saved (and hidden) dark chocolate buttercream nearby.
What’s on YOUR list of “things you wish you’d known”…?
P.S. I also wish I’d known that poetry can be fun, instructive, soul-searching, and beautiful. If you feel the same way about poems, my blogging friend Karen Elliott is featuring a Poetry Week February 18-23 – check it out at http://karenselliott.wordpress.com/ (one of my poems will be featured on Friday, 2/22).