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Words from the wise

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By Meaghan Downs

Yesterday, I turned 22.
That’s a few years shy of a quarter of a century, definitely enough life experience to justify doling out my infinite wisdom.
Especially to my 10-year-old self.
I don’t think I’m the only one who wishes she could go back in time, look her younger twin in the eye, and explain those mysteries of life that, of course, have been opened to us as all-knowing adults.
But in honor of my newly acquired sageness, here are some tips I wish I could tell a younger me:
• You won’t become the first female president/ballerina/rock star/baseball player. You will become a journalist, which is, let’s face it, pretty much the same thing.
• You will never be able to do a cartwheel. And no one will admire you for attempting to do one in public.
• Patience is not one of your virtues. Courage might be.  
• Just when you believe you can cup your small world in the palms of your hands, you realize there’s no way you could ever contain it.
• You think coffee tastes good now?  Just wait until your first job. You’ll be drinking coffee by the gallons.   
• Your parents and sisters are the best and coolest people on the planet. Keep that in mind for teenage Meaghan.
• Rapping is not one of your many talents.
• You will never understand the game of tennis. Even Wii tennis.  
• Don’t throw away those overalls. They’re totally going to come back into style.
• You probably shouldn’t admit that you love Britney Spears.
• Grandma makes the best pumpkin pie. Hands down.
• As much as you want to, you will never master dance moves like “the running man” or “the worm.” You’re pretty good at the “macarena,” though.
In time, we put away those childhood dreams floating just within reach.
But even when I’m 22, 42 or 72, that doesn’t mean I won’t hope for the impossible.
You see, I’m not big on New Year’s resolutions.
Welcoming the new year with more Nebraska blizzards never seemed like an encouraging symbol of renewal.
Birthdays, however, celebrate the anniversary of life. What’s more renewing than that?
Forget promises of strict diets or sacrifice. My only resolution is this: to view the world through the eyes of that bookish 10-year-old, unlimited and enthusiastic.
So as I watch the pageants at the fair unfold before me this week, hear the laughs and screams of children on carnival rides, I will give in to the temptation to get that delicious, deep-fried funnel cake.
It’s what the 10-year-old inside of me would have wanted.