Seven Lessons to my younger self 

  by ABF Board Chair, Laura Fingerson

Laura Fingerson is a fifth-year board member of the Ann Bancroft Foundation, who, in 2023, began her role as board chair. Below, Laura reflects on seven lessons she’d give her younger self.

1. We build our own lives through choices we get to make every day.

Sometimes it feels we do not have choices, but we nearly always do. Choosing to study math tonight, choosing to cheer on a teammate, choosing to check in with a friend, choosing to give your parent a hug. They are small choices, but this is how we build our lives.

2. Most choices are not permanent; life is long and there is lots of time to do many different things.

Choices seem scary and permanent! My daughters are juniors in high school and are thinking about what they will do after they graduate. So many choices! But, whatever they do, it might not be permanent, they can change their minds, and they have time.

3. Mistakes are how we learn and grow, and learning and growing is the point.

I still remind myself of this! We are all works in progress. No matter how old or young we are, we are all works in progress and we are all doing our best.

4. You are enough.

Yes, we are all growing and learning and making mistakes. Yet even so, each of us is enough, just as we are.

5. Change is hard, but it is what makes life more fun.

In my own life, I am in the midst of a career change plus planning for when my daughters move onto their adult lives after high school. It is hard because we are in the boat in the middle of the sea, we don't know what is on the other shore, and we actually do not know where the other shore even is! But, this is what makes life fun and interesting. When I look back at my life, I want to have done the things, and doing the things generally means change.

6. Everyone does things differently, and this makes the world an interesting place.

How boring would our world be if it were full of the same type of person? Everyone arranging their bedroom the same way? Everyone with the same basketball skills or dance skills? Everyone telling the same jokes? We need everyone, all the variety, all the different ways of doing things.

7. There is so much life after high school, such an amazing world to explore, so many people to meet, so many ways to impact the world in your unique way.

Being a kid and a teenager is hard, and it is hard to see all the opportunities and communities in this big world of ours. They are out there!