The holiday season always comes with a lot of reflection and reminiscing in my family. My mom will break out pictures, embarrass me, and bring up old drama. That’s just the holiday way with our family. It’s all in good fun- for the most part.
My husband and I also like to do throwback scenarios on long rides. We do a lot of what would you do with a billion dollars, but occasionally, we ask questions like, “if you could have one do over in the last 10 years, what would it be?”
I know stuff like that is pretty ridiculous. The past is something you can’t change, and we never mean it seriously. Stuff like that also always makes me think of what I’d say to the teenage Jenni. Would I yell at her, or would I be gentle in my approach?
This Monday Love to Hate post is going to talk about the pros and cons of bringing up those throwback situations, but it’s also going to include a list of things I might say to the teen version of myself. Also, if you haven’t been involved in the “Dear 15 Year Old Me” posts, find them and give them a whirl. Reflection can be therapeutic and pretty fun.
Side note: There will pictures of my younger self. It’s okay to laugh. I will be cringing and laughing at the same time!
What I Love About Throwbacks
Good Times. I love telling my husband stories from when I was growing up. Talking about the good times always makes the holidays cozy and can bring the family together. It’s nice to share the good memories from childhood.
Lots of Laughs. I have more than one embarrassing moment captured on film, so it’s a great way to lighten the mood on cold, gloomy days in the winter. Looking at pictures and talking about the memories that goes with them is fun. I always laugh looking back at the fashion and hair moments too.
Always Something to Learn. My husband and I know pretty much everything about each other, but when we get into reminiscing, we still find out new things. We love learning and hearing new stories. He still manages to surprise me occasionally.
What I Hate About Looking Back
Not All Memories are Good. Everyone has memories that they’d like to put in a vault and pretend didn’t happen. It’s life. Not every picture or story brings back butterflies and giggles. Sometimes, talking about old times isn’t fun at all. Things can take a dark turn, and it’s okay to stick to the present.
You Can’t Change the Past. As fun as those silly scenarios can be, you can’t change the past. We laugh and have a good time, but wanting to change the past in a serious matter isn’t always healthy. We try to keep our banter playful, so it doesn’t become negative. Remembering and reminiscing can be fun, but living in the past is never good.
Things I Might Say to Teenage Jenni:
- You don’t constantly need a boyfriend.
- You’re beautiful, but you might not see it. Trust that you are.
- It’s the quality of friends that matter, not quantity.
- Make decisions on what you want, not what other people want.
- If you have a crush, tell him or her.
- If you don’t want to do something, don’t do it.
- Stop walking around town at night. You’re not brave, you’re careless.
- Eat. Be good to you’re body. You only get one.
- Listen to your big brother more. He’s looking out for you.
- If you have to date, date people you like. Don’t just date someone, because your friends or family want you to.
- Keep writing. Write for you and not everyone else. If you love it, that’s all that matters.
- Join the team. Be in the club. Put yourself out there.
- It’s okay to cry. You don’t always have to hold everything in.
- Stop fighting so much. If someone is seriously bullying you and adults won’t do anything, I understand. But don’t just fight because someone said something hurtful. Mean people aren’t worth it.
- Speak up. If someone hurts you or does something you don’t want them to, speak up.
Moving On and Looking Back
You can have throwbacks and talk about the good times. You can reminisce and be silly. Just make sure you’re moving on and not living in those good times.
I love going to lunch with old friends and catching up, but when the meal is over and I’m back home, I’m focused on the now. Being present is very important. We all learn and can hopefully laugh from the past. Remember to stay positive with your throwbacks this season!
Enjoy a few pictures from the last 12 or so years up until now.