When you told your stylist to give you a perm and a mullet in the 1980s • "Your future kids are going to mock you whenever they look at your pictures."
When you decided not to buy tickets to the U2 concert because they were too expensive • "FOR THE LOVE OF EVERYTHING THAT IS HOLY, JUST BUY THE TICKETS!"
When you decided to drive down Second South instead of South Temple • "Choose South Temple! That way you won't get T-boned by that lady who will run a red light when you drive through the intersection of Second South and Fifth East!"
When you had three dogs living at your house the first time • "Three dogs is too many."
When you had three dogs living at your house the second time •"Three dogs is too many."
When you had three dogs living at your house the third time • "OK, fine. Just go ahead and keep on being an idiot."
When you first saw that menacing-looking boy with all the facial hair at the end of a dark hallway in high school • "Guess what! That's the boy you're going to marry one day! And you'll be happy that you did."
When you were angry with your grandmother as your family pulled away from the curb and headed to New York in a U-Haul •"Tell her you love her. You don't know it yet, but this is the last time you'll ever see her."
When you stopped writing for a long time because an editor's remarks discouraged you • "Don't let anyone take you out of the game. Most of all, don't take yourself out of the game."
About that grudge you nursed for decades • "Knock it off. Grudges are a waste of time and energy."
About the boy you had a crush on in junior high school • "He's never going to feel the same way about you that you feel about him. The good news is that you'll survive anyway."
When you realized the school didn't honor your placement request • "It is NOT the end of the world when your kid doesn't get the kindergarten teacher you wanted. Seriously."
When you and your friends decided to do the Hadrian's Wall Walk from the east to the west coast of England • "You'll be glad you did it. But it's going to be a lot harder than you think."
When you decided to run a marathon • "You'll be glad you did it. But it's going to be a lot harder than you think."
About the summer you moved between the fifth and sixth grades • "I know. Moving is hard. But you're about to meet a girl your age named Gigi Ballif who will be your friend for the rest of your life."
When you were losing your mind chasing after toddlers • "Believe it or not, you'll miss this time of your life. Not always or even often. But some days you'll miss it so much you can taste it."
When you planted myrtle as a ground cover in your garden • "Ooh, Honey. You're gonna be soooooooo sorry."
But whatever. Drop me in the exact same set of circumstances, and I'd probably make the same choices all over again. That's how I learned what I know now.
Ann Cannon can be reached at email@example.com or facebook.com/anncannontrib.