I wrote this story about 3 years ago and was going to repost it for Fandango’s One Word challenge which was “reasonable”. When I read through the whole thing, I couldn’t help noticing Fandango’s “like” at the end and a couple of comments we exchanged. Genius that I am, I quickly reasoned I must have submitted this for another one of Fandango’s word challenges so instead of going that route again, I thought “Why not share it with everyone?”. This is a letter from a mature me to a much younger me. I hope you enjoy what I had to say. PS: You’ll see I mentioned someone named Steven Tallarico; go ahead and Google him. I think you’ll be surprised to learn who he really is.

Top L: my family circa 1961 (I’m the shrimp)
Botton L: me all glammed up, maybe 8 yrs ago
R: me, 1974, Hampton Bays cool chic days

Did you ever wish you could go back in time to when you were five years old? That’s a reasonable age – old enough to grasp the difference between right and wrong yet young enough to be just a kid having lots of fun; not on the cusp of adulthood so it’s probably a good idea to try not to muck it all up.

If I, a seventy-something-year-old woman could write a letter to my five-year-old self, I might say something like this:

“Hey, you!

There’s a ginormous amount of ‘stuff’ that you’re gonna have to deal with in life so listen up:

• Everything you’ll ever need to know you’ll learn in kindergarten so pay attention.
• Follow the Golden Rule, obey the Ten Commandments and listen to the Beatles because life really is about peace, love and understanding.
• Mom and Dad aren’t the enemy; they’re doing the best they can so cut them some slack.

Right now you’re having the time of your young life. Your days are pretty much planned out. Mom does all the work and there aren’t a lot of demands on you. It’s mostly playing, eating, napping, doing a chore or two, sleeping; repeat tomorrow. Life is good and you’re a happy kid.

Sometimes, though, you’re gonna be so sad all you wanna do is cry and that’s ok; even big people cry. You won’t be sad forever. Other times you’re gonna get so mad you just wanna hit somebody, but that isn’t a good reaction – except if it’s Willie Casa; he’s the bully who lives three houses down. So when he hits you over the head with that plastic gun of his, you’re gonna bop him in the nose. And you know what? He’ll never bully you again.

Speaking of noses, yours is ok right now but in a few years it’s gonna turn into a real honker and you’re not gonna like it. You’ll get teased some and it’ll hurt. But hang in there because the most important guy in your life won’t care about that at all. He thinks you look like Sophia Loren and that’s a good thing. Besides, I know a good plastic surgeon.

Mom isn’t comfortable talking about a lot of personal stuff and you’re gonna wake up one morning to discover you’re body’s changing. It happens to all girls and while some of it is pretty yucky, most of it is really amazing. Let’s just say God knows what he’s doing and you’re gonna turn out ok.

When you’re about 13 somebody cool is gonna enter your life, coming and going for a couple of years. He’s a 16-year-old beanpole named Steven Tallarico – Google him. You might feel like kicking yourself because you didn’t run off with him but your whole life would have turned out differently and probably not for the best. Don’t worry. In 1968 you’re gonna go on a blind date and that guy will change your life forever and in the best ways imaginable.

You’re gonna make a lot of mistakes; everybody does. It doesn’t matter who you are in this giant world – you’re gonna screw up and believe me some of your booboos are doozies. You’re gonna hurt people and when the dust settles all you can do is apologize and try to make things right. The important thing is to own your mistakes and take responsibility.

Responsibility. Accountability. Big words with important meanings and so easy to overlook. They’re gonna be important to you and believe me, kid, there’s nothing wrong with that. People won’t always act the way you want them to; try to remember just because YOU think someone should act a certain way doesn’t mean it’s the right way for them. Let it go because it’s wrong to force people to do anything. And don’t let others force you.

Don’t be afraid to smile and make friends but don’t blindly trust people you don’t know. And if something doesn’t feel right, don’t do it. If somebody scares you, scream your head off and run like hell because there are some bad people out there. But there are also a lot of wonderful people and most of the time you’ll be able to see the difference. Sometimes you won’t and people will hurt you. Shame on them! Cut your losses and move on; it’s their problem, not yours.

Nobody’s life is perfect, not even yours. You can own a lot of great stuff but if you don’t have a loving family and friends then you don’t have anything. You will be greatly blessed in more ways than you can count – not by the wonderful things YOU do but by the wonderful people in your life.

Some things I’ve learned along the way:
• Listen to Mom and Dad; they really do know more than you (especially about Woodstock!).
• Go easy with the blue eye shadow; it’s not a great look. And watch out for sloe gin fizzes; they have a way of sneaking up on you and knocking you on your ass.
• Be a friend, lend a hand and don’t judge; you never know what someone may be going through.
• Be respectful – not only of others but of yourself.
• The popular thing isn’t always the right thing and the right thing isn’t always the popular thing. That’s a tough one.
• If you say you’re gonna do something, do it. Be responsible (see above).
• Don’t be afraid to show your emotions and let people know how much you care; it’s how you know you’re alive.
• Be flexible. Things don’t always go as planned.
• You’re gonna have your heart broken more than a few times and you’re gonna break some hearts, too. It sucks but that’s just the way life is.
• Don’t be late. Period. You can’t control the weather or traffic but you can anticipate it.
• Don’t lie or make excuses. Not only does it show poor character – it’s too hard to remember all your tall tales. The truth always comes out.
• Smoking is not cool so cut it out. It’s a disgusting and expensive habit.
• Listen to the Beatles as much as you can; not only is their music just about the best you’ll ever hear, you’ll learn a lot from what they have to say.
• Just be a decent person; it’s really not that difficult.

And in the end the love you take is equal to the love you make.

Love, You!”

NAR © 2020

37 thoughts on “HINDSIGHT IS 20/20”

  1. What a lovely letter filled with some great wisdom. I’ve done a similar exercise and it’s helpful to see what lessons we’ve learned, even if we feel like we have to learn them over and over. That’s crazy about Steven Tallarico! You seriously dodged a bullet there. Sometimes when things don’t work it, that’s because better things are on the horizon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I did indeed dodge a bullet! And yesterday my mister told me he always did like the blue eyeshadow! Yeah, no … that ship has sailed 😂 You are so correct about better things being on the horizon when other things don’t work out. Thank you for stopping by my site and reading my letter; I appreciate it. 🌹

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Nancy, this was a delightful read. I enjoyed learning more about you through your letter-to-self. The blue eye shadow note made me laugh. Steven Tallarico – well ain’t that something! Everything works out the way it is supposed to. 😁 You are beautiful! Inside and out. 💖

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I’m a firm believer that everything works out the way it’s supposed to. My mister read my post today and told me “Just for the record, I always liked the blue eyeshadow”. I guess a little couldn’t hurt. 😉 Thank you for your very kind and complimentary comments. I appreciate them very much. ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  3. alrighty so I google Steven Tallarico.. aerosmith?” what weren’t you thinking Nancy.. lol
    love this post and those cute pics of you and the fam!
    Your 5 year old self was pretty brilliant and life has been a wonderful gift with all of your creative endeavors.
    Oh man, I’m still late, what can I say…

    love this :And in the end the love you take is equal to the love you make.”
    Great post!!! 💗

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, girl! Could you imagine how different my life would be if anything but friendship happened between me and ST? It’s a very scary thought! Thanks for all your amazing comments, your friendship and your wonderful sense of humor. Hang tough, Cindy G.; it’s a jungle out there! ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, we would have some different stories that’s for sure and definitely I think you chose well! I’m delighted to support each other partners in crime, fun and laughter always!!


  4. Hahahahah
    Nancy – you threw up on the guy you later married. . . ?
    Tell him we want His side of this story ! That has to be good, especially if you were still under the impression that blue eye shadow is somehow a good thing.
    Another great read.
    I found myself wanting to write something similar but decided that I’d already done some of this with my ‘I Recall’ stories — many that you’ve read, so I think I’ve only come back to a conclusion I reached not long after we first met virtually, that being that you and I could have a long series of laughs around a fire pit with plenty of bottles of a good dark beer to lubricate the laughter.
    I can already visualize the scene, you and I laughing while our spouses shaking their heads while being thankful that you and I didn’t meet before we had the chance to grow up and learn some of the lessons you listed above.
    Now we know that social critical mass is a thing to be respected and avoided in most cases.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. As long as the beer is ice cold and the fire good and hot, you’ve got a deal!

      Yeah, go ahead and ask Bill; I’m sure the vomiting incidents are etched forever in his brain, especially when they happened inside his vintage ’55 Chevy! Oh, I’ve got stories to tell and tell them I will. Thanks so much for tuning in, Gary. Really nice to hear from you. See ya round the campus! 💫


  5. I wish I could send a letter to my 5 year old self too. My list would be a little different. I’d add, stop blaming yourself, its not you its them. hahahaha I hope your energy comes back tomorrow. Meanwhile, take it easy and don’t worry about the down time.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. “What-the-fuckedness!”
    Had to borrow ( for the first and last time) your phrase, Nancy…because I have no succinct way of saying how incredibly profound and awesome this letter of yours is!

    Friedrich is absolutely spot on that this should be included in school teachings.

    I could go on and on about the importance of each point made…
    But I have to pause at one of them:
    The blue eye shadow 😆
    Nah, not that…Steven frickin Tyler😯!!
    The weaving of Fates never seizes to amaze me!!

    “And in the end the love you take is equal to the love you make.” So true. So true.


    Liked by 1 person

  7. This is fabulous. You’re a beauty both inside and out, Nancy. I just followed the gin fizz links, and I think this is another trait we share (although I’ve never had a gin fizz, I do like a very spicy Bloody Mary on my birthday).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OMG!! I’m sorry but I was LOL reading your story. I can very well imagine what you went through. My “incidents” weren’t quite so dramatic but they were humiliating. Another time I blew chow all over some poor guy sitting in front of me at “Night of the Living Dead”. Obviously I can’t handle booze, a lesson I learned very quickly. What’s amazing is Bill still married me even after throwing up on him numerous times! Now that’s love!

      Liked by 2 people

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