I don’t know about you, but I love to listen to older women share their life stories and lessons. Whether they are everyday women or professionally accomplished, obtaining nuggets of wisdom from someone who has been there and done that can be so invaluable. It is always especially nice when you realize that the lessons that these women had to learn are the very same things that you may be struggling with now. As the saying goes, “there is nothing new under the sun”.
This is what drew me to the book, What I Know Now by Ellyn Spragins.
What is it about?
What I Know Now is a compilation of letters written by well-known and very accomplished women to their younger selves, sharing ‘the wisdom they wish they’d had when they were younger’. Some of the more well-known women included in the book are: Madeleine Albright (former Secretary of State), Ann Curry (news correspondent), Eileen Fisher (clothing designer & entrepreneur) and Phylicia Rashad (actress).
Each letter (there are forty-one in total) provides its own takeaway, but one of the things that really resonated with me was the fact that none of these accomplished women had it all figured when they were younger (and ‘younger’ is relative – Madeleine Albright wrote to younger self at forty-four). They all had bumps in the road and things they had to figure out along their journey.
Write your own letter.
Writing a letter of your own, to your younger self, is a great way to recognize the many lessons you’ve picked up along the way. Instead of spending energy focusing on what you still have to figure out, take a few minutes to see how far you’ve grown already.
I did this exercise last year and shared it on this blog. To this day, it was one of my favorite blog posts – Check out my letter to my younger self.