stacy benedict

Advice For My Younger Self

A number of bloggers have shared the advice they would give their younger selves if they could travel back in time. This reminded me of a high school exercise in freshman English class where we wrote a letter to our future self. The class was told to keep these letters and read them after college graduation. As everyone else, I discarded mine when we moved on to the next assignment. If only blogging existed back then, maybe I could’ve seen what I had written. I certainly don’t remember now.

Well, dear readers, I’m joining my blogger commandos. I’m grabbing my laptop, shanghaiing a TARDIS and diving into the blogosphere time warp to post advice to my younger, even cuter, pigtail wearing self.

Join me…

The doors to the time machine bang open. Thick, white fog stream through the doorway, momentarily blurring our vision. A car horn’s blast and an angry yell startle us out of our confusion. We’ve arrived in a strange land. Adult women wear baby doll dresses. Giant, neon logos adorn the front of men’s shirts. The locals growl in a language we think is English, but we’re not sure. Their coarse accent garbles every word. After a while, we learn we had landed in the right place…Staten Island, NY.

There isn’t much time before the machine is programmed to return to 2017. We run to my former Catholic junior high school. Sneaking in is easy since this is before the Columbine High School massacre. We dodge leather faced robot nuns and racist Heathers to get to the girls’ locker area. I slip a handwritten note inside my old locker. The letter says:

Dear Stacy,

This message comes to you from the future. Take heed! Whatever you do, don’t watch CSI: Miami. It’s a terrible, terrible show that you will hate yourself for watching. The plotlines are Tartarus awful and don’t get me started on the acting. Trust me. You’ll never make good the time spent watching this bloody turd, no matter how many community service hours you rack up in college.

Invest in Apple and Amazon stock. Start saving ten percent of your lunch money for retirement right now. Few jobs offer pensions in my era. The way the country is headed beginning the year 2017, social security maybe privatized and you’ll have to work into your late eighties.

I’m obligated to write: Read more. Exercise for an hour, at least three days per week. Watch less TV. Practice writing stories daily. Don’t let anyone make you feel less than, ugly, dumb or unworthy. But…Who’s kidding who? You’re not going to do any of these things and people will make you feel like a slime mold no matter what. Learning from our faults, failures, and frustrations made us who we are. The good news is we didn’t grow up to be an actor portraying a Mala Noche gang member on a brain cell nuking farce of a police procedural TV show. Seriously, CSI: Miami does not deserve you.

If you don’t take any of the above advice, please, you must do this one thing, be kind to Mom. She’s a single mother raising two children on a salary that isn’t enough for one person to live on in New York. For years, she’ll teach nights and tutor kids on weekends to put food in the fridge, clothes in our closets and gifts under the Christmas tree. Right now you think you’re not so bad, but that’s not good enough. Mom will be tough on you, push you, console you, annoy you, support you and hand you her beating heart and soul. The least you can do is be understanding. She isn’t perfect but she is the perfect mother for you.

Stacy from 2017

PS: Carbs are Hades’ minions so stay away from cupcakes. Okay, just don’t eat so many.

PPS: Don’t be fooled by the song “Toxic” by Crazy Town. That’s the only hit on the album. You’ll regret trading Tool’s Ænima for it.

We flee back to our time machine. Inside, lights flash and the engine whirrs. Everything shakes. Then, a light blinds us.

We’re back home to our cozy post-911-invasion-of-Iraq-Sandy-Hook-murders-Boston-Marathon-bombing-Orlando-nightclub-shooting-Donald-Trump-presidency time period. You know, modern times where we feel safest.

Hope you liked this week’s blog post and weren’t too horrified by my past musical tastes. What advice would you give your younger self?

You can read the first chapters of my urban fantasy series The Children of Ekhidna and Typhoeus on the books page.

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