Did you compromise in your career?  Your chosen field of study? Where you live? Or your mate?  Maybe you compromised on what you ate for dinner last night. We all do it, sometimes knowingly, other times subconsciously. I imagine no one moves forward without making some compromises or concessions; that is of course unless you have a bulldozer personality.


When I was graduating from high school my mother sat me down, looked into my wild, excited eyes and said, “You better study something in college so that you can get a job when you graduate.”  I was disappointed.  I wanted to be a writer.  But she gave me excellent advice.  My mother is a fiercely independent woman who knows how hard the world can be. Her reality said black women can’t make a living writing.  So like a good daughter, I followed her sage advice and my life has turned out quite well.  (Thanks Mom!)  But of course I can’t help wondering ‘what if’.

If I had studied journalism in college instead of business administration would I now be a published author or would I be a starving writer, waiting tables while penning my big New York Times bestseller?  I’m getting a late start on the whole novel-writing thing, but I’d like to think my experiences add depth to my writing.

I wanted to know if I’m the only one scratching my head and pondering my choices, so I asked several people this question:


“If you could talk to your 18 year-old self, what would you say?”


To my amazement many of the responses   A few of them are below:


LW:        Follow your heart.  Don’t do what you think you should, do what you want

PC:         Keep writing.  Write your heart out

KM:        You’re not a bad person. Don’t go through life depressed

KRH:     Stop, relax, have some fun. Enjoy life

GH:        Enjoy yourself.  Live life to its fullest

RW:        Don’t be afraid. Follow your dreams

EB:         Learn as much as you can and you can do anything

PB:         In one lifetime you can have several careers, don’t fuss over one too much

Now it’s your turn.  “If you could talk to your 18 year-old self, what would you say?”


  1. Live, Love and Learn

  2. My friend made a scrapbook for her 13 year-old sons; inside, were pieces of advice from the grown-ups who knew him. Much of those words of wisdom encouraged him to follow his dreams. I hope he heeds those well-intended adages!

  3. Hey Sister,

    The secrets will go with me to my grave.

  4. When I think of people following their dreams, I think of the American Idol contestants that have a dream to be pop stars and how truly awful some of them are. My heart breaks for them.
    I believe it’s possible to have a great life doing what you enjoy most in your non-working time. Sometimes when you make your passion your living, it stops being fun. Pressure to perform or meet customer’s needs and expections can be a real drain on creativity.

  5. I love the comment Steve Jobs made . To paraphrase ‘Don’t let the noisy chatter around you silence the quiet voice
    within urging you toward your destiny. Thats my new motto.

    Great job Cuz following your heart!

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