As a teenager, I never took life seriously. I was busy trying to manage my emotions and hormonal changes. I was angry, rebellious and I instantly yelled at the slightest irritation. Then I started working and later joined a club. I got lost with whatever everyone else was doing. For example, if a few of my friends went to play a sport I did not play or enjoy, I would hang around watching until it was time to go home. I would fight with my mom so I could stay out late and do nothing with my friends on the beach.

There are many things I wished I had done differently back then but back then there were no blogs to guide me at the time. And I was definitely NOT the listening-to-mom types. Online reading was not an option; and, all we had were the television and newspapers to lead us.

Therefore, this article is dedicated to my 18-year-old self as well as my daughter when she comes of age. It is something I wish someone had told me back then. It is something I wish I had experienced back then. And it is certainly something I wish I had done instead of wasting time back then. The biggest example: If I had followed the below points, I would have probably written a book during my first pregnancy instead of watching television shows from 5pm to 1am every single day! I mean peace and quiet time were mostly what I had while I was expecting.

So, I want to travel back in time and tell my 18-year-old self, and my daughter, this:

  1. FOCUS NOT ON BOYS – As I mentioned in my Birthday Special blog, I started dating young. It was probably the attention that I got and the feelings that came along with it that pushed me to that phase. Talking on the phone for hours was exciting but, I would still go back there and tell myself to “do something more productive with your time instead. Perhaps, learn a new skill or just make artworks while you chat with friends?”
  2. FIND YOUR PASSION – After my first born, I realized I wanted to write. But getting accustomed to being a mother did not help much. I had no time, no sleep and no peace. It was only when I found calmness while writing (at age 32) that I realized 3 things. a) I have always loved to write, b) but, I would only write in my diary since I was 7, c) my mother would always ask when I would publish those diaries, therefore, d) I was a born writer. So, I would like to tell my 18-year-old self to “find your passion, pursue it and never stop for any reason.”
  3. FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS – I have always wanted to be a model or actress but was never confident about my looks. If I found an opportunity, I would never take it seriously. So, I would like to tell my 18-year-old self to “always make use of the opportunities that come your way. Don’t worry about your looks because make-up does wonders and hard work does pay off. So, whatever your dream is, follow it and work hard until you fulfil it.”
  4. FAMILY LOVES YOU – My mother, brother and I used to hang out quite often until I began exploring life outside the family. One day I realized I hadn’t had a proper conversation with my brother for a long time. In the midst of growing up, we forgot to check on each other though we lived under the same roof. Also, because I thought I knew what life was all about, I never listened to my mom when she tried to correct my wrongdoings. So, I would like to tell my 18-year-old self that “your parents and siblings will always love you unconditionally. Do talk more about emotions with them and keep doing so forever. Sometimes, it’s also good to listen to their experiences of life.”
  5. FINANCIALLY, BE INDEPENDENT – Though I began working at a young age, I was never aware of how to manage my finances. Right now, as I am not independent, there are many instances where I have to compromise or adjust. Therefore, I would like to tell my 18-year-old self to “be financially independent before making any huge life decisions. Yet, do not make money your main priority in life.”

Moreover, do not be afraid to make mistakes, instead, learn from them. Life is not a bed of roses, as it may seem while living with your parents so, be grateful for whatever you have. Sometimes, it’s better to keep the ego aside and listen. There may be plenty of heartaches and heartbreaks, but you have to stay strong, get over it and move on. Take life one day at a time. Be humble but learn to say no when you have to. You are going to come across many obstacles and people who will put you down in many ways than one, but you will one day become an inspiration to many, only if you learn to get around those hindrances and still smile bravely!

With lots of love and encouragement,

A 38-year-old Cindy, and your mom!


Is there anything you would like to tell your 18-year-old self? Do mention it in the comments below!

This blog post is part of SpeakEasy Blogging Challenge by Dipika and Ruchi.

Cindy D'Silva
Cindy D'Silva
Cindy D'Silva, besides being a mother of two angels, is a belly dancer, writer and photographer. She loves partying, bowling and eating sushi. There is a detailed biography about her on the ABOUT ME page in case you would like to know more. :) You can like and follow her Facebook page to get all updates on the latest blogs and more: https://www.facebook.com/blogaberry/


  1. Dipika Singh says:

    These are healthy vices to your younger one, glad to have read such nice and very reasonable tips. Thank you for joining SpeakEasy 2.1 with us.

  2. Rakhi Parsai says:

    I really loved all these things that you have written for your 18 yr old self. In fact I think we all do things that we want to rectify later. Or for the fact that we do realise later in lives what we did in past and how we could have behaved better. I think its only human to feel this. Loved this post of yours.

  3. Mandavi Jaiswal says:

    Reading your post made me ponder what I’d say to my younger self. And I think I’d say, let yourself a little free and explore the world a little more beyond academics !!! Probably I’d also tell myself to be a bit of an extrovert

  4. Manisha Garg says:

    Reading your post I thought what will I say if I could go back again – I want to tell myself just one thing think for yourself and live life to the fullest.

  5. The blog took me back to time when I was young; i too made many mistakes but that made me who I am today:)

  6. We look back in time on our lives and want to say so much to our self. I would love to give some pointers to my young self too. Many things might have been different. Our kids might do it the same way or different. Such a well thought and well written post.

  7. Lovely to know you, Cindy. We all have come of that age where we wanted to be better than what we were. But well, time plays its own magic and things happen at their own pace.

  8. A completely different and well written post on how you want to travel back to the days of being a teenager.

  9. Hema says:

    Woah .. I totally love this one . Brilliant write up . I so wish I could time travel and go back when I was 18 year old. Finding passion is something which I also wanted to start early.

  10. Neeta Kadam says:

    Hi Cindy, the post take me back too. We all did something which we are regretting now. Yes, time has changed and we sometimes laugh n sometime cry on our each deeds. Your post is really amazing. If time rewind I also want to do so many productive things.

  11. Beautiful blog Cindy. Wish we could really turn back time and change things back. There is always something that we wish to change in our past. Good take on the travel promot.

  12. It is such a heart warming post. Also, the main problem is we always realize quite late and we want our childrencto not repeat those mistakes which we committed. However, you have beautifully depicted flaws too which makes it more real.

  13. I wish someone would have held my hand and told me these things when I was 18. Our times were different, though. Our parents used to think that their kids will magically figure out everything. Yes, we did, I don’t know how much magic was there in the process of discovery. I shared your post with my 15 year old son and he also loved it as much as I did. Thank you Cindy for such a heartwarming post.

  14. What an heartfelt post Cindy. I am sure this is not only you, but also many of us who would resonate with the rebellious, high-on-hormones teenage selves. Kudos to you for being so candid and making us all travel back to our teenage-selves. Just can’t stop thinking how much is there to rectify, now that its been a long time

  15. Appreciate for an honest confession of an 18 YO daughter, who is now a very sincere, hard-working, source of inspiration, and a proud mother for her daughters. I am so sure we all have made endless mistakes in our young days but as a writer very few shares their honest confession, Kudos to an amazing writer, These are the pointers we all want to share with our kids, I believe as a mother we all are sailing in the same boat.

  16. Bhawna Shah says:

    Cindy, I seriously went back to my teenage and thinking of all that time which I wasted in useless things. But definitely I don’t want my son to go on the same path. Life is beautifully crafted with difficult tasks and it’s all about how we deal it. Its useless, if we live without any goal.

  17. Aditi Kapur says:

    Loved your take on the prompt. You know it’s human to regret what we all did in the past. Changing the past may or may not help, but this is my version 🙂
    Enjoyed reading 👍🏻

  18. you have taken a unique take on the prompt. Time travel. There are few things which even I would like to do in a different way and see how life turns out then. Family is very important and they always love unconditionally, is the truth for life.

  19. Disha says:

    The post makes me want to travel back too! I will tell myself to be less rebellious and be more patient. To be vary of people who seem extra nice.
    Surely, your daughter would follow these pointers when time comes. 🙂

  20. Loved the take on this prompt, Cindy. It was so relatable. I travelled back to those days while reading your post. I was absolutely opposite of what you have described but now I think I should have let myself to enjoy my life more. Kudos to your efforts to confess your mistakes.

  21. Suha Vijay says:

    A very unique take on the travel prompt. Liked your F’s.

  22. Aesha Shah says:

    As teenagers, we always feel our parents nag us and though we know that they are right we try and ignore their advice. I guess that is the natural growing up process. I think every teenager goes through this. I also feel I should have planned my life better but I have also learnt that age is just a number and all these are life lessons so just start the day you realise your mistakes. Some are successful at 25, some at 80, everyone has their own journey. It’s never too late to start. So, I learnt swimming at the age of 37 which I had given up as a child, much to the disappointment of my parents at that time. I studied at the age of 40. And I am now pretty excited to restart my career after a break of 11 years. And I know my daughter doesn’t like it when I give her advice but she is watching me and she is learning from me.

  23. payel says:

    Wow… That was so brave you know.. it’s not easy to speak of our mistakes especially the ones we wish to change or wipe off from life.. hats off..

  24. Hi, Cindy. I felt so connected while reading the entire blog post. It felt so personal as if you are just sitting beside and talking about yourself. I understand, life just goes by, and when we look by there are so many lessons we miss out. But I think this is what life is. It is supposed to be lived and maybe not correct. But having said that I totally related to the points mentioned. All the points start with the letter F.Wonderful take on the prompt. totally enjoyed it. All the best.

  25. Nitisha says:

    Beautifully written! I could relate to almost all the points there…But I guess all we can do now is live the way the future “Us” would appreciate 😊

  26. Ishieta says:

    Indeed, if only we could give advice to ourselves what a wonderful thing it would be.
    I would definitely tell myself to focus more on the boys! lol! I mean no one asks me what I scored in college, they all want to know about my adventures 😉
    Lovely advice, all of it, and some of it, still very much valid today too!

  27. I loved the post Cindy for so many reasons. first your unique take on theme travel. second your heartfelt confessions. I know it takes lost of guts to express your confessions or mistakes through write up. I agree that we all done so many mistakes in young times and now as a mature grown up, we can understand things better for sure. loved the point of family love. indeed family comes first and sometimes it take times to realize this.

  28. Ruchi Verma says:

    I really want to tell so many things to myself and want to travel back in that time…loved your take on the prompt!!

  29. Neha Sharma says:

    There have come many instances in my life when I also wanted to go back to my younger self and do things differently. And then I think do I really need a different life than the one I am already living and the answer is always no. But what if we get such a power where we can move to & fro and change few moments and still have the same life & people with us. That would be interesting, no? I loved your take on the prompt travel.

  30. Cindy, dear don’t know why, from the first line to the last, while reading your post, I felt a lump in heart and frozen teardrops in eyes. This post felt so personal. Loved your take and the journey is something that’s worth travelling. Love and hugs to you and the younger Cindy too.

    • SwatiMathur says:

      Such a beautiful post.. I am sure your kids will appreciate all the pointers. There are certainly few things which I want to redo and undo

  31. Beautiful take on the prompt, Cindy. On hindsight we all wish we had known better. However all that we did, or didn’t do are what make us who we are. You are such a passionate writer and a fearless woman . You did good.

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