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What Would You Change?

A column by Pearl Gannon, Ms. Wheelchair Illinois

This is me with my friend Scheri, posing with the entire MercyMe band and our newly signed CDs!
This is me with my friend Scheri, posing with the entire MercyMe band and our newly signed CDs!

I’m not sure who out of my readers, if any, are in touch with their spiritual self or believe in a Higher God, but I most definitely do.  I believe that my belief in God has made me who I am, and the music that I worship to has led to many nights of lying awake wondering what my purpose here on earth is.

I recently went to a concert held at Judson University in Elgin, IL in which MercyMe was playing.  K-LOVE held the event and it was all-acoustic set.  They played some of their old music, but there was one of their new songs, “Dear Younger Me,” that really hit home with me.  I bought the CD and listened to that one track, the very last one on the CD, the entire hour-plus drive home.  The song basically talks about if you had a chance to talk to your younger self what would you say?  How would it affect who you would be now?  The debate of whether or not to tell yourself to take advantage of life or make the best choices possible is discussed.

It really started the wheels in my brain to begin to turn.  If I could go back and tell myself something, a fact that would make my life easier or smoother, would I?  I thought of all the things I would’ve changed growing up, but I’m sure each and every one of those events has made me grow in a different way.

I can easily say that if someone would have told me that in twenty years my grades wouldn’t matter as much as I was making them my school years would have been a lot easier, and a lot more fun.  I worked so hard seeking approval from everyone around me and in the end it didn’t make a difference.  People move on, go to college, have families, and it should have been an internal appreciation of myself instead of external that I was striving for.

I feel that high school was a very bumpy four years for me and there is so much I wish I could have told myself, such as how worthwhile and loved I was, despite not feeling that.  If I could have just whispered in my ear to open my eyes and look around me and see how lucky I was life would have been a lot different.  In not so obvious ways I was punishing myself all the while my dad was slowly developing cancer, and by the time I graduated I had a premature sister that was fighting for life.

 Again, despite all of what has happened in my life, the ups and downs, poor relationships, self-pity and self-hatred, I’ve learned so much.  It’s made me so much more grateful for what I have now.  I’m aware of the people who love me, and I try to never let myself forget to let them know.  You never know what a simple “I love you” can do for someone.

Sal April 16, 2014 at 08:12 AM
Our younger selves would also have to be willing to accept the advice. Often easier said than done.
Pearl Gannon April 16, 2014 at 10:47 AM
I believe both of you have very good points. @Sal, who's to say that we, as younger children or people would actually listen to that advice that we were given? We want to be free, do the opposite of what our parents say, etc. And @Bob, I wish more people realized that they can be THAT PERSON for others. We can be that for our children, friends going through rough times, strangers...you name it. The possibilities are endless. I just hope people learn that!
Willie Wilmette April 16, 2014 at 12:29 PM
Sal is so right. Younger me would not have listened to me.

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