Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Notes to My 24 Year Old Self

I found this page from an old diary of sorts when I was sorting through a pile of photographs the other day.
It was a list, albeit a brief one , from a somewhat perfunctory interview preparation note to self.
The note was written on a Sunday afternoon in the summer of 1986, when I was travelling up to York
The interview was in the first slot on the Monday morning at Bootham Park Hospital, which is still a beautiful Georgian , albeit empty, building just outside the city walls.
I didn't have much to say did I?
I had experience of nursing drug and alcohol patients.
I had a sense of humour!
I was calm.......
And I was arrrhhhhhhhh about everything.
And that was it!
How I would have loved to have sat alongside my 24 yar old self on that train
I would have loved to have told that young man a few truths and pointers.
This is what I would have said

1) Don't sweat the small stuff.
2) Buy a house as soon as you can afford to do so. ( Buying a small terrace house in York would set you up very nicely indeed for the rest of your life!)
3) Take on board that being gay will be  more accepted after the aids hysteria has died away, so much so that in only a half generation or so, gay people will be able to marry in the eyes of the law and with the acceptance of the majority of the population! ...how wonderful is that?
4) Travel more , experience more.......the world will soon become a very small place where everyone will have a phone that can give you immediate access to everything and everyone!
5) try to sort out your family shit , you are on borrowed time with loved ones and not so loved ones
6) dont waste time worrying about things you cannot change
7) When you are angry at something or someone say something
8) Buy a dog....don't leave it until you are 40
9) be loyal to friends , loyalty rebounds .
10) Have confidence and hold your head up.


40 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. And your 24 year old self would have probably responded with... "What are you talking about you old duffer? Get away from me! There are plenty of other seats on this train. Are you trying to pick me up or something? Christ! You're old enough to be my father!"

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    1. " get the fat strange man away !"
      Youre right YP......




      NOW OFF TO BED overtime tonight

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  3. Lol at Yorky Pud's comment. They are wise words you wrote but if you were that smart back then, what would you have missed out on along the way?

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  4. yorkshire pudding is right..you would have scoffed at that advice. god knows i tried to ram that stuff down my children's throats.

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  5. Is this an invitation to readers own experience about 'notes to my 24 year old self'? If so I would say:

    Don't get married
    Make sure you are financially independent
    Stop trying to please everybody
    Don't worry if people don't like you
    Don't be gullible

    By the way, did you get the job?

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    1. Yes it was an invitation....and yes I got the staff nurse post on the mother and baby unit

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    2. I would say something very similar to my 24 yr old self!

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    3. Well there is definitely a theme going on here cos I would say the same. Anna

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  6. I'll work on what I would say (I see a Sunday five-meme in that.) Don't sweat the small stuff, and most of it is small stuff. I have learned to ask myself, will anyone care about this in 6 months or a year, if not, if is small stuff, move on.

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  7. Perfect advise...but youth rarely listen :)

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  8. I love Yorkshire Pudding's comment. Absolute truth. I made so many decisions that in hindsight I would not have made. But I'm here now and who knows how any one of those 'better' choices might have altered that fact. So, I'll suffer/enjoy the consequences of my poor judgment. I think you, by the way, grew into an exceptional human being... even without the small terrace house in York.

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  9. I am glad I knew nothing; it wouldnt have changed me anyway.

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  10. You would not have become the self you are ,if the self you were back then had not gone through all the times that you did .. good and bad.

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  11. It makes no difference what you tell young people, they will do what they want. I tried to give my tips and suggestions, like wear a raincoat, and I got, "Yah, Ma, I know, I know." Seven months later, he's standing in front of the minister with a rose in his lapel. WE don't know anything ...

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  12. I have embraced all my silly mistakes and foibles. They're what makes us, us.

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  13. I used to moan and groan if only I had not This and That.
    But then I look at the things that came after ... if only I had not married my insane high school sweetheart ... I would not have my daughter ... and so on and so on ... so embrace the bad ideas too :)

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  14. Good list...I wonder what I would write?

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  15. I like this post. I have a lovely vision of you next to that young man. Wise words.
    Greetings Maria x

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  16. By the time you're old and wise enough to listen to the advice of your elders, you've usually made your mistakes already. Nice idea though.

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  17. I would tell my 24 year old a lot of things, too:

    Mind your own business. Do your job without getting involved in other's people's business or things that are none of your business.
    The opposite is also true. Keep your business to yourself.

    Quit smoking. It's not good for you and you'll regret it later in life.

    Stop trying to be something you're not. Accept that you're gay and that your impression of the gay world is very limited and stilted. It won't be easy, but it'll be a helluva lot easier at this time and cost you a lot less money and grief than doing it later.

    But then, I stop and think about my son. If I had done this I wouldn't have had him. And I love him with all my being.

    So, I think I'll just sit across the aisle and observe this 24 year old self from a distance. He'll figure things out in his own way and in his own time and it really will all work out in the end.


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  18. These ten pointers should be writ large and pinned up on everyone's wall John - they are so true.

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  19. Probably best not to dabble with fate. what joys and good deeds and people wouldn't have been had, done and met.

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  20. If my mom had not made that big mistake when she was 16 ... I would not be here.
    If I had not done what I was always told not to do ... talk to strangers ... I would not have met the love of my life .
    I just have to start listening when They tell me to stop shopping.

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  21. Hmmm. If I'm being serious, I'd tell my 24 year old self that safety is only an illusion so stop letting fear make the decisions.
    I'd also tell her she's not so bad as she thinks, so stop apologizing for being alive.

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    1. Excellent ... so perfectly perfect.

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  22. I would never listen to my mother. I wanted to be a nurse after high school, she said I wasn't nurse material. I became a nurse at 41.

    In her eyes my first husband was the devil incarnate and she basically told me if I didn't divorce him, the family would disown me. Being young and stupid, I divorced him. Currently she hates the man I married and had children with. For 18 years she treated my youngest like dirt everytime we visited (I cut back on visit's big time because I love my children). She now thinks he's the best grandchild ever and wonders why mother other son won't set foot in her house.

    Husband number one is now my best friend. He introduced me to my husband and is an honourary uncle to my children.

    My life is what I've made of it. I can look myself in the mirror and not regret most of it.

    Agree on the dog issue. My regret is we only have one. I'd like a few, we have the space and can afford it but spousal unit says no.

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  23. My 24 year old self wouldn't listen to an old fart like me. She would be polite about it, but obvious...

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  24. Most times, I would like to reach back in time and slap my 24 y/o self silly. But, all in all, we both turned out okay. :)

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  25. Love love LOVE this post John. Thank you for sharing

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  26. Take it as a compliment, sometimes you have to sit and wait, never powder your tongue, find joy

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  28. Ahh, the wisdom we wish we had in our youth! I wish you could've sat beside my 24 year old self!

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  29. I wish we really could advise our younger selves, and that they would listen. :P I'd have told mine to go do every silly adventurous thing you want to do now, because you never know when your health will take a dive and you won't be able to any more. Oh, also, look after your liver better. :D

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  30. A good list. Especially the one about when you're angry, say something. Like many Brits, I have a tendency to bottle things up and not make a fuss, but that can just lead to bigger problems later on.

    And would my 24 year old self have listened to some middle-aged bloke on the seat next to me? I very much doubt it. At that age, you're pretty headstrong and self-righteous.

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  31. Another note to your younger self John. You are a nurse but you are also a writer, a good blogger but also a beautiful writer.

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    1. You can take people on a journey with you, move them, make them laugh, bring a tear to their eye, give them something to mull over and sometimes all in the same post !

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  32. Good advice all around. I often wish I knew then what I know now.

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  33. What would I have told my 24 year old self -

    Go with the flow, life will be good, but at the first hint of trouble divorce the man you're with, there will be brilliant times ahead and by staying you're only delaying them.

    Have confidence, you are and always will be strong in the face of adversity.

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  34. Your list sounds good to me.

    I would only add when talking to my 24 year old self (or 18 year old self, or 15 year old self) to try and get a college education. Or at least training in a field where tolerance is at a premium.

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