Everybody’s bleeding ’cause the times are tough

"No matter what horrible thing you’re going through, when it’s all over it only takes three seconds to sum it up."

Bj Kada tagged me for a meme awhile back: What is something you’d love to say to your younger selves of 2, 5, 10 and 15 years ago?

The best thing I could say would be the above quote, which came from a Friend of Dooce. Basically – chill out pet, we’ll get through and laugh about it later.

I’d also tell myself to stop viewing the world through my fat goggles; that my size is not my most defining characteristic – but would I have listened? I think you have to experience all the wacky experiences and figure that out for yourself.

And a few other things…

2 years – 2006

  • Enjoy the 2006 MotoGP season while it lasts, because it’s going to profoundly SUCK from now on.

5 years – 2003

  • There are approximately 27 different shades of Scottish accent – they’re not all going to sound like Sean Connery.
  • About that vow you just wrote in your diary – how you’re ALWAYS going to wear sexy undies for your lovely new boyfriend and never let your standards slide? Ha ha ha, I say! And ha ha ha again!

10 years – 1998

  • Stop driving half a mile to uni. Walk!
  • Just because you work in the fish and chip shop doesn’t mean you have to eat all the fish and chips.
  • Generic cooking chocolate is not an ideal breakfast.
  • You’re not meant to feel permanently miserable, and you wouldn’t be a stinking failure if you asked for help.

15 years – 1993

  • The lyrics of Bon Jovi’s Keep The Faith album are not as profound as you might think right now.

Do you have any words of wisdom for your younger self?

34 thoughts on “Everybody’s bleeding ’cause the times are tough

  1. Hahaha…awesome and so true…especially the Bon Jovi…who knew song lyrics didn’t hold all the answers of life?

    Always a pleasure reading your witty blog shares. Carmine asked when you and Dr. G were coming back…he thinks December for your book launching in the states and can’t wait to hang out again. If we are so lucky, I should be singing in Die Fledermaus by then.


  2. How true!!! I used to listen to song lyrics and think how true they were (and actually get upset that no man loved me like Darius in Colourblind… Dont ask!)

    Sometimes I wish I could go back in time and tell myself that life is what you make of it and stop stressing. Do you think that my future self will want to say the same to present self?

  3. I don’t know. I’ve got some pretty long summations on some of the stuff in my life.

    The meme was interesting for me, because I’m older. 15 years ago I’d already made some of my biggest mistakes. We’d have to go back about 32 before I could make any REAL impact.

    But I did it anyway.

  4. That’s hilarious! Everytime I hear a Take That song I cringe at how poignant I once took those lyrics to be.

    Advise to my younger self: (and probably myself now actually!)

    To quote a Baz Luhrman song ” You are never as fat as you imagine.”

    Oh, and ditch any a bloke who tries to change you.

  5. Hmmm…words of wisdom for my younger self?

    Two years ago:

    Don’t be afraid to let go.

    Five years ago:

    You’re doing great. keep it up.

    15 years ago:

    Get your own place.

    Thanks Shauna that was an interesting exercise. I wonder what I’d say to myself if we were doing this 2 years from now.


  6. Hey thanks for your thoughts everyone πŸ™‚

    CatsPuke, amen to your “ditch any a bloke who tries to change you” line!!!! πŸ™‚

    It is interesting to think what you’d say in another few years! Like right now i think i am doing alright…. but i still have plenty of wisdom and warning for me of two years ago when i also thought i was doing alright πŸ˜‰

  7. 2 yrs. ago – Don’t feel guilty, take time to just have fun, and enjoy the kids. Stop fighting change.

    5 yrs. ago – Stop spending your money. Save it! You’ll be glad you did.

    10 yrs. ago – Don’t smoke, you idiot! You’ll wish you never had. Yuck! That’s sick. Also, stop spending your money! Save it ALL! You’ll be rich and happy when you have kids.

    15 yrs. ago – Don’t take no for an answer! Get counseling, and get lots of it! You’ll be so glad you did – it will prevent you from smoking and shopping and eating to cope with your problems later! Oh, and you’re worth it! πŸ˜‰

  8. 2 years ago – hold out for more money
    5 years ago – relax; he wouldn’t be dating you if he didn’t want to. don’t be so uptight about everything!
    10 years ago – Drink less, study more; you are so much better than you think you are right now.
    15 years ago – don’t go out with that guy. No – seriously, I don’t care how much he appears to love you, it will not end well. Also, pick a really good university.

  9. 10 years ago – Stop pining over the boy: he’s gay. Really.

    5 years ago – please find a job before you leave university. PLEEEEEEASE!

    2 years ago – It’ll all be fine. Honest.

  10. I think I would go back 15 years and convince my younger self that eating brownie batter and cookie dough could make me really sick. Self, DO NOT TASTE the cookie dough!!!

  11. I was going to ask what you thought Future Shauna would say to Shauna of Today.

    15 years (1993): Don’t worry about the wedding — it will be fine, and the marriage will be even better. But maybe you could stop stress eating and get to the gym now and then? (by the way, realizing I got married almost 15 years ago makes me feel OLD)

    10 years (1998): Yes, you WILL find a job better than this one. I promise.

    5 years (2003): Yes, you will be glad you got that degree. Stop stressing and just do the work.

    2 years (2005): Yes, you will be glad you got that degree. Stop stressing and just do the work. (took a while)

    Future me: Maybe you could stop playing on the computer and get some real work done instead?


    I am ashamed for you….

    Don’t you KNOW that Lindt 85% is what all the best people have for breakfast?

  13. I LURRRVE this post. Genius.

    2 years – moving out of London will not mean the end of life as you know it.

    5 years – the first year of marriage is ALWAYS the hardest (!)

    10 years – if you think being past 30 is old, wait until you hit 40!

    15 years – stop talking yourself out of trying and enjoying anything and everything. And crisps are NEVER the answer. Ever.

    I just love the idea that however much c**p is going on, it can indeed be summed up in three secs!

    Fabulous! xxxxxxxx

  14. I bluddy love this post!

    2 years ago: Even if you feel this is the most horrendous thing ever to happen, it will pass and you will smile again. Therapy works so flipping well go! (Crikey, I really needed the future me to tell me that!)

    5 years ago: Uni will be the hardest and best thing you ever do – don’t let the work pile up, you know how much it makes you panic.

    10 years ago: Hang in there, it’s only 1 more year til you can move out of home and never live with her again. But you have to do your own laundry, sorry.

    15 years ago: Your mother is not always right and letting her make you think so is messing with your head – TELL SOMEONE!!!!!! (I wonder if I had, the above ‘me’ wouldn’t have needed to give so much advice to a messed up kid…)

    Good therapeutic exercise Shauna! I may mention this to my colleagues tomorrow – at the psychiatric hospital I work at…

  15. Well, since I didn’t get married till the ripe old age of 48, I’d like to tell my younger self not to be so worried about finding a man, and not to spend so much money on dating services. On the other hand, since I met my husband indirectly through one of those websites (I was on a blind date with one of my matches, when my future husband saw us and decided he was better for me!), maybe I should just keep my big mouth shut! πŸ˜‰


    my high school self? go out more!


  17. hmmmmm…

    2 years ago: Gabrielle does not equal her exam results.

    5 years ago: Don’t hate yourself. Become something you can love.

    10 years ago: These girls are not your friends. Your only hurting yourself by pretending they are.

    15 years ago: Ummm… Have fun being 4. Man, that makes my realise how young I am. Not complaining though.

  18. Kathryn – Bed of Roses though, that’s profound AS!

    Dear Beck – I mean to reply to your comment yesterday – would LOVE to come back and see you in opera action! I have no idea if/when we’d be able to come over again… we’re saving up for a visit back to Oz next. You’ll have to do a European tour! πŸ™‚

    Curvy Catholic – now that sounds like an intriguing How We Met Story!

    Kek – I KNOW. i had no standards back in day. I was on a student budget so i got large on the cheapest of goods.

    Jen – Interesting question! Future Shauna would say something like… Stop standing in your own way.

  19. I’m another one who needs to go back more than 15 years to see most of the big decisions. There’s all kinds of advice I’d give myself about my education, the jobs I took, the house I bought… but when it comes down to it, you do things when you’re ready to do them, you change when you’re ready to change, so I don’t think any amount of advice would actually make a difference. When I missed opportunities it wasn’t because I didn’t see them, it was because I was scared of them or didn’t feel I was capable in some way.

    It may sound silly, but I suppose if I could go back 20 or 30 years, I’d try to get my younger self to be more physically active, to try out some sort of sport, whether it was cycling or martial arts or weight lifting – because the gains I made in self-confidence and the mental changes that allow me to “stop standing in my own way” so much have all derived from the fitness journey. At least I’m not pimping a particular product (talk about alliteration…) but I am a real convert to the active lifestyle and will lecture about it at the drop of a hat, it was so life changing for me.

  20. Marla – I love your answer!

    And Gabrielle! “15 years ago: Ummm… Have fun being 4.”

    I don’t write LOL very often but I am LOLing!!! πŸ™‚

  21. 2 years: you’re right about it this time, this is THE one. So stop stressing, he’ll call you when he says he will (co-incidentally, it was our 2-year anniversary the day before yesterday!).

    5 years: this is definitely NOT the one, and it is NOT your fault he’s not that into you! Stop eating out of frustration every time a loser dumps you! They’re not worth it!

    10 years: you are fine the way you are, stop pretending you’re someone you’re not! And stop panicking about planning stuff, they will all turn out alright in the end.

    15 years: enjoy that full head of hair while you can! (seriously, I am only 32, but when I look at pictures of when I was 17, I realise my hair is way thinner. And graying..)

    Way cool exercise, thanks! Funny that everyone’s advice are basically about stop stressing, which we all still seem to do.. Food for thought indeed!

  22. I haven’t laughed this hard in, well, since last time I checked in.

    The picture. Oh man. Those were the days, when you couldn’t tell whether it was a man or a woman from behind.

    Hey, I had the mall bangs and I’ve attended a Bon Jovi concert a time or two. Their words not profound? Oh man. Time to seriously reflect on this:

    You’re a loaded gun … yeah
    There’s nowhere to run
    No-one can save me, the damage is done

    Shot through the heart, and you’re to blame
    You give love a bad name
    I play my part and you play your game
    You give love a bad name
    You give love a bad name

    You paint your smile on your lips
    Blood red nails on your fingertips
    A school boys dream, you act so shy
    Your very first kiss was
    your first kiss goodbye

  23. Great idea:
    2 years (2006): Wait for the right job offer and then you can leave the crap job and be MUCH happier.
    Stop stressing about getting pregnant – it will happen faster than you think.
    5 years (2003): Stop stressing about the wedding – it may never happen (didn’t). Buy the house – you will not regret it.
    10 years (1998): Take a change on the cute scottish guy who chatted you up in that dodgy pub in London – it might just work out (10 yr anniversary today!)
    15 years (1993): Just get on and finish the degree and stop worrying about all the extra curricular stuff (still haven’t finished the degree)

    Puts things in perspective!

  24. My encouraging words? “Get out there and don’t be afraid!”. There’s been way too many times when I didn’t do things because I wasn’t independent enough…

    I love your words to your younger self! And that’s a great quote.

  25. 2 years: Yes, walking up and down the street WILL make a difference. Honest.

    5 years: Don’t wait until you are “settled” in a place to “have a life.” Also? Cut up your credit cards.

    10 years (these are going to conflict with each other, but either would have been good advice at the time): You finally have health insurance–GO SEE A DAMN DOCTOR–you CAN afford it. Or, MOVE away from [nameless tiny town in the middle of nowhere]! Borrow money if you have to! You will never find a worthy job here! And it is not your fault!

    15 years: For God’s sake, do NOT start smoking; it is better to be without boyfriend than to give that Douchebag a second chance (your current opinion of him is the correct one); stay in touch with your friends; (And Finally)–Sweetheart, you are capable of so much more than you think you are. Seriously.

  26. 2: You are not, in fact, unemployable. Things look up after Christmas.

    5: You know how you’re having doubts about doing a PhD? They are very well founded. Don’t worry, you’ll find something else constructive to do.

    10: You’re about to meet The One. Yes, I know it seems unlikely. Relax and enjoy it. And university, because you’ll love it and people will in fact talk to you.

    15: Stop worrying about being fat. You’re not. Maybe a bit socially inept, but you’ll grow up and it won’t matter. Oh, and it’s going to take four years to grow that fringe out, but it’ll be the right decision, honest.

  27. Oh my goodness I loved all of these and there really is a pattern there, isn’t there? I am going to think about this and then, selfishly, blog about it myself when I am stuck for a topic. Probably by Monday.

  28. Having had a think about it:

    2 Years Ago: Yes he is the one! Chill out and enjoy it. Oh and pay your council tax…

    5 years ago: He really isnt the one (however it does lead on to bigger and better things!) Stay in uni – it will be the best time of your life.

    10 Years ago: Revise and do your homework, you have less than a year left. Playing Frenchy isn’t the part you hoped for but for you it’s perfect. Make a move on Andy at Sheena’s party – trust me πŸ˜‰

    15 Years ago: You wont be bullied when you go to big school!!!

  29. 2 years ago – I am SOOOOOO HAPPY I could burst! πŸ™‚
    5 years ago – I am so HAPPY
    9 years ago – Found new love
    10 years ago – I like me and my life
    11 years ago – Thank goodness.. I feel so much better!
    15 years ago – How do I get out of this marriage?

  30. Love this post.

    The only advice I have for my younger self would be that time is WAY more important than money. Well, and to my much younger self I would say “lighten up!” because life is way to short to be soooooo serious!

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