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Ghost of Deena Past: Advice to my high school self

There are many things about high school that I would like to relive.  Most of them are petty things: the tiny waist and toned arms, the lack of real responsibility, the endless amount of time with friends or maybe the in-house chef, in-house life organizer and bill payers.  Life is so different to how it was 20 years ago that sometimes I have hard time remembering the person that I was.  In fact, I know that if I were to meet the ghost of Deena past and have a conversation with her that it would be a weird one as there are many lessons I wished that high school Deena would have learned earlier.   So here you go, this is my advice to my high school self:

Advice to my high school self: It's okay to be alone.

High school Deena was a social butterfly with a gazillion friends and a phone that rang off the hook.  So much so that my parents got me my own line...922-PARK..back when landlines and phones that attached to a wall were a thing.  That Deena was involved in everything school related from SRC to sports to keeping up with the friends- there was never a quiet minute.  Which kinda shocks me now as I'm becoming more and more of an introvert as I get older.  Or maybe I just people in a different way. Hmph.  I would love to tell 17 year old me that you'll be just fine if you stay home on a Friday night and that it's okay to just do what you want to do instead of keeping up with the cool crowd.  With that in mind, I wasn't a pushover as a high schooler- I never did drugs, smoked or drank excessively and I had no problem saying no to those pressures.   So in that case, I would totally high five my high school self.

[caption id="attachment_7845" align="aligncenter" width="600"] hmmmm...floral velour dress with a chunky sweater. I question my high school fashion.  With Leanne, Rae & Jenn[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_7847" align="aligncenter" width="600"] I gotta say- I love that we're all sporting one pieces and weren't the scantily clad types. With Kelly, Lauren & Alison.[/caption]

Advice to my high school self: Don't date bad boys.

I feel like I always had a boyfriend and in the earlier years of high school I was drawn to the bad boy type.  That was dumb, oh the shenanigans and stress I must have caused my parents.  I was naive and just wanted to be desired.  Ugh. I would love to squeeze 17 year old Deena's cheeks, tell her she was better than that and then slap her upside the head, which I'm sure my parents wanted to do too.  I wish I would have known it was okay to date the nice guy, the less popular guy, the not so cool but really smart guy.  And I did figure that out later on and dated a really great guy for most of my later high school years.  Obviously it didn't work out...but thank God I figured that one out when it counted the most and married my perfect man.  Dan was that guy in high school that I likely wouldn't have given a chance (sorry, Dano) but only because he was 2 years younger than me.  Dan was quiet in high school but the super athletic (and therefore sexy in my books) type who didn't date a lot and kinda kept to himself.  High school Deena probably would have steered clear and I would like to punch her for being that dumb.

[caption id="attachment_7846" align="aligncenter" width="401"] High school boyfriend drove a porsche, he was a good guy, my parents must have been relieved when I was done with the idiots.[/caption]

Advice to my high school self: Take risks and go on adventures.

Sorry to be hard on you, 17 year old Deena, but hey- you did do some really smart things.  Like that time in Grade 10 when you, on a whim, signed up to do a 6 month Québec exchange cause you were tired of things being the same old at home.  Little did you know you would be accepted and move to Montréal for 3 months in grade 11, also hosting your jumelle Québecoise for 3 months at home.  I can remember that being one of the scariest experiences ever: I had never flown, never been away from home for more than a week.  But it turned out to be one of those life-altering adventures.  Elle a détourné les lignes de ma vie.  High school Deena became braver, more sure of herself, crazy fluent in a different language and got to live a wonderful adventure with Annick and her family.  High fives to you, high school Deena, for doing something different.  And you know what, because of that experience, you fell in love with a language and went on to be a French major and teach it.  I wish I would have done crazy things more often.   For example, I loved musicals and being in them but was always too scared to audition for the big roles out of fear of rejection.  Face Palm.  Who cares if you don't get the part, least try. Ugh.

[caption id="attachment_7848" align="aligncenter" width="405"] Annick and I in Edmonton with that hockey hands are dangerously close to his statuesque crotch. Creepy.[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_7851" align="aligncenter" width="401"]
Me in one of my "classes" in Québec...haltérophilie...yup, I got to take a weightlifting class. C'est la vie.[/caption]

Writing this just makes me wonder what kind of high schoolers Willis and Lucia will be.  Living on an acreage, I have a feeling that they will come to appreciate the quiet and beauty of nature.  I would think Willis would be one of the good, smart boys who treats a girl well and that Lucia would have better judgement than me (otherwise I will be the one with a baseball bat when badassboy comes into my home) and lastly, I hope that we give them enough confidence to be able to take risks and enjoy a crazy life!

Linking up with here.


  1. Living on Cloud Nine21 August, 2016 21:36

    GREAT Post!! I love that you'll be the one with the baseball bat. I dated a couple bad boys for very short periods but the look on my dad's face when they came to the door~priceless!!

  2. Such a good post. I'd love to slap my H.S. self upside the head too. Sadly I did way more wrong than I did right. Live and learn I suppose, I just wished I had made more out of it.

  3. Really great post dee, but I liked high school Deena just the way she was :)

  4. Remember when I used to say, I want to sleep until you're 20, wake me up and tell me how you turned out ... You turned out good daughter!

  5. I've always wanted to write a letter to my high school self. Thanks for the reminder AND inspiration!


  6. Yes, but THAT high school Deena turned into today's Deena, which is a very wonderful Deena. Loved this!

  7. I love this advice! I need to do one of these!!

  8. OH man such good advice. Especially take risks...oh and the dating thing...yikes! How your parents just let you do your thing I don't know, it's going to be so hard to keep my mouth shut when my kids start dating...yikes! I fear for them, lol.

  9. I love this post! It certainly is fun to look back and think about what advice you would have given yourself. I hope to take that advice and give it to my daughter someday!

  10. This is such a great post - I'd offer myself ALL of that same advice!!!


  11. I loved reading this post and you have great advice! I didn't realize you taught French! My daughter switched from Spanish to French last year and loves it!

    Doused In Pink

  12. What a fun idea for a post! I think it's great to look back on your life and be proud of the things you did - even if you had moments you were less than proud of, its great to look back with fondness and see where the decisions got you. Gives you confidence that you'll be looking back on this stage of your life with the same fondness later! :)

    Away From The Blue Blog

  13. I 100% agree on staying away from bad boys. That was my downfall all through high school and part of college.

  14. I WISH I had of learned the bad boy lesson earlier... though I'm not sure it was 'bad boy' as much as it was 'total asshole'. Don't worry, Brent's excluded from that (for the most part).
    Love seeing your flashback pics... if I dig up some old pics I might just have to do a post like this some day... my cheeks are red with embarrassment even at the thought of it lol

  15. yup- already practicing my menacing swing.

  16. They tried to stopped me but I'm a little stubborn

  17. Thanks, Shauna! Would love to see what you would have to say

  18. I sure remember that. Thanks, ma

  19. C'est fantastique- est-ce que c'est français de base chez vous ou immersion?

  20. stupid to fall for their empty promises.

  21. I seriously love these pictures! So fun! And I had my fair share of "bad boy" boyfriends back in the day. In fact, I'm still convincing myself to find a nice one. Haha.

  22. I had a one piece then too! We were cool.

    I like this one. If I ever start writing again, I might visit this!

  23. I'm letting her respond below....

    Non, j'ai le cours de français au lycée.

  24. Can't remember high school well enough to offer my former self or my granddaughters sound advice. Might just borrow yours.


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