Monday, August 6, 2012
Advice for My Younger Self
Although her sexuality is not at the forefront of her book, the fact that she openly addresses her lesbianism and the challenges that she faced as a young Midwesterner and aspiring actress is encouraging. While her journey as a member of the LGBTQ community was fascinating, the part of the story that really resonated with me was her advice to her "younger self."
She states, "If I could give my 20-year-old self some advice, I would say, 'Janie, don't take yourself too seriously and stop drinking Miller Light Tallboys in the morning. It will all work out.'"
In the book, Jane discusses at length her struggles with perfectionism as well as her alcoholism. As a result, there were parts of her story that were both heartbreaking as well as incredibly encouraging.
Frankly, though, as I read the book, I realized that the advice I would give my younger self (and still today) isn't too different than Jane's.
The first thing I would tell my younger me would be to stop beating myself up and to find ways to love who I was/am. There was a time that I was one of the kindest, happiest, and freely loving people I knew. He's gone now and in his place is a bitter, cynical, prematurely-aged queen. I wish I had never lost myself and I am working ardently to get him back.
The second thing I would tell myself would be to stop self medicating - specifically over drinking. When I was at college, the only thing I thought I could control were my "sins." So, I started "sinning" in the most severe way I could without getting potentially kicked out of BYU: I started drinking. Heavily. It got to the point that I started drinking every weekend just to stop feeling the pain and loneliness inside. It wasn't healthy and it isn't healthy now. I still enjoy a drink now and then, and yes it can help dull the pain, but I believe that I have my self under control and out of trouble again.
The last bit of advice I would give myself and that I hope I actually believe today, is that it does get better. It has to. Some days are better but LIFE will get better. It will take time and a lot of patience, but I know that I have the power and the resolve to overcome and enjoy the good times that lie ahead.
I hope that you get the chance to read Jane's book. It's got some great, entertaining lines in it, but it isn't written as a comedy. It is purposefully honest and open and I loved it.
Similarly, I love you. What are some of the things that you wish you could have told your younger self? What are you telling yourself today?