Advice to the young me

I am reminded of a beautiful piece written by Jean-Jacques Rousseau. From his book Reveries of a Solitary Walker:

… it is a melancholy science which I have acquired in twenty year’s experience, even ignorance is preferable to it. Adversity is, doubtless, a great master, but a master whose lessons are dearly purchased, and sometimes not worth the price we give for them. Besides, before we have obtained sufficient knowledge from such tardy studies, the season to profit by it is over. Youth is the proper time to acquire wisdom, age is the period when we should practice it. I confess that experience ever improves, but can only be of service for the future. Is it not too late to learn how we ought to live, at the very moment we are about to die?

I remember reading this when I was 20 feeling old back then. The struggles I faced back then seemed, at the time, no less desperate than those I face now even though they are totally of a different nature. If I could advise the young me I would say relax, don’t try to hard. You are worthy as you are. You have no need to try to overachieve. You don’t have to be a brilliant scientist, or a genius artist to be worthwhile, to be loved. Enjoy the moment, and always come back to your center, to your Heart. Listen to what others tell you, especially those you react to the strongest because they have the greatest lessons for you. You do not have to be better than everyone else. Be humble. Know that whatever is going on you are never alone, you are loved unconditionally. External circumstances reflect what has been going on inside you

The passion, energy, vigour of youth falls on fertile ground but with little knowledge of how to till the soil, how to grow and nurture those seeds. There are plenty who can advise but the arrogance of youth leads to things done on their own. The old farts don’t know about shit, why should i listen? Look at their pathetic lives. By the time you have the wisdom, the skills and knowledge to grow the seeds the land is no longer as fertile, and the seeds have withered to within an inch of their life. To the young me, listen to those who have lived more despite their outward appearance.

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