Stop and Smell the Peonies

Don’t you think its funny that the older we get, the less of a know it all we become? When I was a teenager, I thought I had it ALL figured out. I laugh at myself looking back. having every detail of my life planned to a T. I even had my kitchen-decorated…boy would I learn quickly. My almost 24-year-old self has some harsh advice to share with my 18-year-old self. Some people think of health as being just about dieting and exercise, but it has many more dimensions. The psychological aspect of who we are, our mental health is very important. In the world we live in, there are many type-A personalities running around (me being one of them). We have checklists, to-do lists, planners the size of Africa, and with all of this planning, we just realize that most things don’t happen the way we want them to. 

They always say hindsight is 20/20, so I am going to pretend like I can go back in time, and give my 18-year-old self some solid advice. 

    1.     You will find out you have food allergies this year, so eat a few donuts while you can. Also, try all the foods. Your future foodie self will thank you. It is very annoying that you haven’t gotten to try so many different types.

    2.     You will not get a pink Cadillac for your first car, and believe it or not, that is a good thing.

    3.     Lift weights. Just an FYI, you cannot get bulky. 

    4.     Your dad is right about Georgetown, and you shouldn’t go waste your money there. School debt is real, even if it doesn’t feel real when you don’t understand what real money is. 

    5.     Your heart will be broken, but it’s all good. God has a plan, and it all works out. You get through it. 

    6.     Don’t let yourself be so overwhelmed by stress in undergrad. It isn’t healthy, and you let yourself miss out on a lot. Perfect grades are cool, but everything always gets finished in the end. Live a little. 

    7.     Don’t always be in a hurry to the next phase of your life. You are missing the beautiful things happening in your life right now. You have plenty of time to be a grown up.

    8.     You are wrong about almost everything you have planned, but it is all for the better. You are exactly where you need to be. 

    9.     You will get through all of your doctors appointments. You will be a tough mamma jamma. I can promise you. 

    10. Always have a plan B, C, and D. Be flexible. Always. Even when it kills you. 

    11. Its okay that you don’t get married before your 20, waiting a little longer isn’t a big deal. 

    12. You should have been a swimmer. Don’t waste your time playing basketball. You suck. 

    13.  Your future dog will be way better than a Siberian husky named Thunder. It will be a precious Italian Greyhound/Rat Terrier named Mia, and she will be your angel.

    14. You never thought flowers were that cool, until you fell in love with Peonies. 

    15. Don’t let your sickness jade you, let it soften you. Let it make you feel more compassion for others situations. 

The snow day/week and the fact that I turn 24 in two days has led me to reflect on all of the good/bad things that have happened since I have seemingly become an adult (whatever that means). I am thankful for it all. I couldn’t have always said that, but looking back on all of the twists and turns life has taken already, it has prepared me and changed me in a good way. I don’t plan as much anymore. I actually kind of enjoy it; I just pray and believe that everything will be okay in the end.  I’m thankful that the person, who I thought had left, has come back. I am even more thankful that the people who I know I can count on, have always been there.  So stop and smell the Peonies. 

Stay warm, everyone 


Blaine MenkeComment