February 08, 2011

Ten Things I'd Tell My Younger Self

Patricia V. Davis
You may have been sent this great list from someone in an email recently. My friend Liz forwarded it to me this week and it got me wondering who wrote it so I did a little research. I was happy to discover it was written by Patricia V. Davis. Patricia is editor-in-chief of  Harlots' Sauce radio e-magazine and podcast and has just finished writing her second book titled The Diva Doctrine: 16 Universal Principles Every Woman Needs to Know which hits book shelves in May. Patricia has generously offered to give one Lines of Beauty reader a copy of the book. To enter the contest please see details below.

From an Older Woman to a Younger One" (AKA "Ten Things I'd Tell My Younger Self") by Patricia V. Davis.

I’ve learned some valuable things about life, love, and being female over the past half-century. Here is the advice I try to pass on to younger women in my life (family and friends) in the hope that it will save them some precious time:

1. You are at least ten times prettier than you think you are.
That holds true no matter how pretty you already think you are! Don’t believe me? Ask your mother/auntie/grannie if she thought she was pretty when she was twenty. She’ll say no. Then find a photo of her at that age. See what I mean?

2. The only thing you should be faking is confidence.
If you don’t have it yet, pretend you do. In every new situation, pretend you’re not nervous, pretend you’re not afraid. After a few times doing this, the pretend part disappears.

3. Want to try something new like painting, skiing, running your own business? Go to the library and borrow ten different books on the subject.
Skim through them all, find the ones that have the most vital information and study them. Then see number 2.

4. No matter how old you get, remember what it was like to be a nine-year old girl.
Remember the feeling of freedom. If you’ve already forgotten, do a cartwheel. You can so still do one. Savior that feeling. Wake up with it every day. You’ll stay young until the day you die.

5. In the same vein, cut or potted flowers are never a waste of money.
Because every time we glance at them, they remind us how much beauty there can be in the world.

6. Speaking of money, starting right this moment, whether you’re twenty or sixty, you can change your finances around.
Don’t leave someone else completely in charge, whether it’s your husband, partner, parents, or banker. Become financially savvy. Financial independence gives you the freedom to walk away from many bad situations. How do you know you’re in bad situation? See number seven.

7. If your stomach hurts and you haven’t got a virus, you’re in a bad situation.
Before you know what it is, your stomach always does. Give yourself some time to ponder what it might be that’s making your stomach hurt. Chances are you already do know, you just don’t want to believe it, for some reason. You can ignore advice from your friends, even your own brain, but you can’t ignore your stomach, because the stomach never lies. Oh, and by the way—drowning your stomach in alcohol won’t make it stop telling you the truth, either.

8. When meeting someone new and he or she seems to be behaving like an ass**le, show compassion first.
If after you display your sincere compassion, they are still acting like an assh*le, walk away. If they follow you, call the police.

9. Wear sunscreen on your face, neck, and hands every day, winter and summer.
I don’t care how dark your skin naturally is. Wear it. You’ll remember me when you look in the mirror at age fifty. Always keep in mind that Your body is directly connected to your spirit. Look after your body. Exercise, floss, and brush your teeth. Put nothing in your body that can permanently harm your spirit, including the wrong man.

10. And if you are in bed with a man and he’s the right man:
... meaning your stomach doesn’t hurt, he’s smiling at you, he knows your name, he’s not drunk, and neither are you—for godsakes—enjoy yourself. He is not at all thinking about how fat your thighs look.

If you could go back in time and tell your younger self one thing only, what would it be?  Post a comment by 2/28, and I'll put all comments in a hat and draw one. The winner will get a free copy of the The Diva Doctrine: 16 Universal Principles Every Woman Needs to Know.

Thank you Patricia (and Liz!)


  1. That I am ALWAYS enough. That I am responsible and accountable for ONLY my thoughts and actions, and I never made anyone feel anything they did not choose to feel. And, that being kind and considerate will always make you feel prettier, nicer, richer, and more deserving in all situations.

    God, I'm glad I'm almost 50 and don't have to go through all that again! ;)

  2. Thank you for posting my list and this wonderful contest. And I agree with Marci!

  3. I love this list! LOVE IT.

    I would tell myself this: There is no Answer and No One is Coming. Your life is not a problem that a man, a job, a weight loss product, a new hair color, fill-in-the-blank will "fix." Life is an experience to be lived and you don't need to be rescued from it.

  4. Marci and CF those are both so great. Thank you for your contributions.

    I've been thinking about what I would tell my younger self. I think it would be that each and every person has an entirely different tape running through their heads and comparing ourselves to other people is never a good idea. I think instead of looking around at everyone else, the thing is to ask ourselves if what we're thinking, or doing, or saying is okay with US. Every day we make decisions about this and who we want to be.

    When I say we all have a different tape running through our heads what I mean is that were all born with a different temperament,we were all born into different backgrounds and have all had different experiences and have different needs & desires. Each and everyone one of us is so unique. So I would like to tell my younger self and all those younger souls out there to listen to their hearts and do what feels right to them, and don't worry about what everyone is doing or thinking. Trust yourself.

  5. Lines o' Beauty, your comment reminds me of a quote from Plato that I love, "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."

  6. Savor. Just savor each moment and you will know the goodness in it. You are the one who lives your life, as everyone above has said.

  7. These are wonderful! I wish you gals had been around when I was writing this book!


  8. Marci you are the winner! Congratulations!