What do you know now that you wish you'd known back then?

Illustration for article titled What do you know now that you wish you'd known back then?

Advice from the future is hard to come by, but if you could do it all over again, what do you know now that you would like to tell your past self?

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Whether it's something that you've learned over the years or just a useful fact that's only come to light recently, share with us in the comments the tidbits of wisdom or knowledge that you wish you had somehow been able to tell yourself in the past.

DISCUSSION

girard
Girard

I would probably tell teenage me that cleverness is not more laudable than kindness, and that being a bullied nerd doesn't immunize you from being a bully yourself - so tone down the sarcasm, think twice about those acerbic quips, and try harder to actually meaningfully communicate in conversation rather than think of the next 'clever' barb or bit of wordplay to interject with.

I wound up figuring most of that out during college when, surrounded by much more dire nerds than myself (a veritable forest of fedoras), I saw a kind of funhouse mirror that showed how alienating and off-putting my standard modes of communication could be. But I would probably be somewhat less socially awkward now if I had kicked those habits earlier in life. Or at the very least been a more thoughtful person sooner.