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Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager reflected on a time in their lives they’d like to revisit.
They also shared the advice they’d give their younger selves.
The moment inspired fans to share the moments they’d love to relive.
If given the chance, most of us have at least one bit of advice we’d give to our younger selves. Of course, speaking to our past selves would require time travel—which is what Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager recently discussed on Today With Hoda and Jenna. In a fun game of “what if,” they shared what time they would go back to, and what they would say.
Kotb’s response was pretty serious. She was immediately taken back to a time when she was the most stressed, which kept her from living life fully—something she now prioritizes. “I would probably go back to a time where I was stressed and probably shouldn’t have been,” she began. “My first few jobs, I think I romanticized what it was like. Like, I was describing it as like, ‘Oh my god, it was like, me and all of these fun people!’ But I think, deep down, I felt not good enough. I was afraid. I was always in knots—am I doing this right?”
Looking back, Kotb wished she could tell herself to lighten up a bit and worry less. “I did that for years,” she said, “when I felt like I should’ve pulled off the corset and had some fun instead of being so stressed.”
Bush Hager’s memory was a little more playful and innocent, and that’s why she would gladly return to it. “I think I would go back to the ’90s—to high school,” she said. (High school? Really?) “Because, like, don’t you remember those moments of like, a Texas summer—I mean you don’t remember a Texas summer, but maybe you remember a West Virginia summer—with like, the windows rolled down and like, jeans and a t-shirt, and feeling free?” She continued: “And having boys having crushes on you and stare across from you in Spanish class?”
Kotb laughed and shook her head. “No,” she said. “I don’t remember the boys having crushes on me.” Bush Hager didn’t have much advice for her high school self—she simply misses a time with less responsibility and cherishes those fleeting moments. (Who doesn’t?)
The reflective conversation inspired fans and followers to look back on their lives and choose a time they’d revisit. “When my kids were little ❤️the best times,” one person commented on Instagram. “When I was growing up and my parents and grandparents were alive,” another added. “Definitely my college years!!” someone else wrote.
And although there are lessons both Today hosts wish they learned sooner, at 57 and 40, they have plenty of wisdom to go around. For example, the pair also recently discussed the importance of boundary setting and learning to say, “no.”
“Sometimes making a difficult choice, or having a difficult conversation, and you know you’re gonna disappoint somebody but you know it’s right for you, is the hardest thing in the world. It takes guts,” Kotb said on their talkshow. Bush Hager agreed. “This summer I’ve kind of realized that I say ‘no’ a lot. I’m not scared of no, but I don’t think my no is clear enough,” she added.
Kotb replied: “Yeah I think saying ‘no’ kindly like, ‘Oh I wish I could, but I just can’t.’ Period. Like that’s hard.”
Still, they’re learning to do it anyway—which is a big part of getting older: knowing things are hard, and doing them anyway. Now that’s a time travel-worthy piece of advice.
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