19 September 2012
Dear Me: A Letter to My Teenage Self
In a long list of my favorite blogs, one of my top read is Chatting at the Sky. Emily Freeman does a wonderful job of putting into words those difficult moments, happy memories and reminders to just be ourselves. I really enjoy her peaceful tone, in a world that seems over stretched it is a breath of fresh air. She is launching a new book: Graceful and wanted to celebrate by having women write letters to themselves. I am hoping on board with 277 other women this week and telling myself a few things.
Dear Teenage Me,
You once wrote a letter in 1st grade to your 12th grade self. That letter, sealed away in your "boxes of life", will be only the beginning. There is so much you are going to learn in the next 6 years!
Even though your teenage years seem to last forever, they will be fleeting. And even now I am not that much older than you but so much will change. And no matter how it looks from the outside sometimes, everything will come as it may.
The long nights spent swooning over heartthrobs, like Freddie Prince Jr., with your best friends will be some of your favorite memories. Spend more time with your girlfriends. They will become amazing women who share so much more than high school memories with you. Your need for them later in life will be great. You will miss them when you move away to college, loose touch with some that don't share your values, but the ones that stick around will be so important.
Stay away from some of those boys. Become friends with them. Don't date them all. Enjoy being a flirtatious woman but don't let any of them hold you down. They won't last (I am sorry to report) and they will treat you like crap some times. Find guys who support you as a friend, not those that need your support. Your ability to help others is not meant to keep you in a relationship where you are doing all the work. Leave him now and never look back. I know this seems harsh, but it will save a lot of heartbreak. Trust me.
Oh, and if something a boy does is against your morals, drop him like a bad habit. I don't care how sweet or cute he is, it is not going to work. You will lose yourself in ways you never imagined. Get out now.
In the meantime, travel as much as possible. Visit every place you can. Take a road trip. Become a part of a mission team. Travel to help others that need it more than you can imagine. Don't let someone or some event stand in your way. You are making your own life plan. Do what feels right. Don't let money or boyfriends stand in your way.
Their will be some very trying times to come. Your faith in the word "family" will become tested. Time and time again you will ask yourself "why is this happening to me?". Do not doubt your gut. If you are scared or lonely or lost, just pray harder. Things will work out because you make choices that are right for you. Even though they seem hard, backwards or just plain suck, make this life yours. Cry your heart out. Then stop. Look around at all that is wonderful and pick yourself up. Do exactly what is best for you, what you want and what you need. Everyone who can't see that will need time. Let them have their space while you build the life you want.
With all that goes on around you in the next 6 years, just remember that there is someone exactly special for you. That man will lift you up and bring you right where you were suppose to always be, next to him. It will always be this way, even when he tells you some hard truths and pushes you to become a better person, he just wants to support you. Support you have been looking for all your life. His words will make you realize that a successful life is not one built with money but with happiness. If you are happy you will be successful.
He will be the man of your dreams and together you will create a life that is everything you could have hoped for (and oh so much more). He will love you like no one has and will treat you with respect you can only imagine. He will be your best friend.
Don't dye your hair right before Easter. You will look like a sickly blond for many months. It is not your best look.
Make each day count. Spend extra time with your friends. Drive a little further than you need so you can listen to your favorite Yellowcard album. Go to all the football games you want. Eat that hug piece of chocolate cake and love it.
Don't be mad at things you cannot fix. Don't hate your roommate because she struggles with so much. Pray for her, find a new roommate and continue to help where you can (listening is fine, partying with is not).
Those high school things that matter will fade with time. Enjoy them now but keep them in their place. Don't drag the should have, could have, would haves with you. They are great memories but they belong in photo albums not in your current life.
Train a little more in high school. Your running career is just started and it will bring you so much happiness followed with success. You will learn to love it, I promise.
Work hard but not silly. Make all the friends you can. Smile more. Your smile lights up a room, don't let anyone put that down.
Buy a few less pairs of shoes and jeans. Save a little more.
Above all, do not let other people tell you how to live, what was a good choice or what went wrong. Take advice, think deeply about it, and do what is best for you.
I love you teenage self. You are a truly remarkable woman. You will grow into your own skin eventually, I promise.
(And some day when you are a mother-to-be, write a letter to your unborn son and tuck away until he is a teenageager. I think he might need some advice too.)