Letter To My Younger Self

I think of you now and recognize how precious you are, how young your heart is and I long to wrap you in my safe embrace. The world seems exciting and terrifying to you, a life ahead filled with great ambitions and even greater uncertainties. You put on a brave face with those defiant eyes, chin held just a smidgeon too high from that youthful delusion that ego equals true confidence.

You carry years of hurt from a childhood wrought with confusing extremes- violent abuse, supportive love, material luxuries, emotional vacuums. It touches me to see how desperately you want to prove your father right and your mother wrong. You are so certain of what it is you want before you even know exactly who you are.

I wish, I really wish, I could be there to hold you, assure you that everything is going to be better than ok, that you don’t have to have all the answers right now in order to achieve the life you want. All I can do now is tell you all the things I wish you could know…

  1. Your value as a young woman does not in any way whatsoever depend on how others perceive you. It especially does not ride on whether any one man decides you are worthy of his attention. You are worthy of love, respect and all the goodness that comes with. You are worthy.
  2. When a girlfriend has betrayed you once, she will hurt you again. Then you know, she is a girl but not a friend.
  3. Those dreams you are chasing so desperately, those dreams you are sacrificing too much for- I promise you it’s not the end of the world when they don’t come true when or how you wanted. Sometimes things don’t happen in life for reasons you won’t understand until years later. Then, and only then, you will be eternally grateful that those doors closed to open others that will bring you to brighter, bigger dreams you never realized were possible.
  4. You don’t have to be perfect all the time. It’s ok if your hair is a little messy today. It’s ok if you’ve got a pimple on your nose. It’s ok if you don’t fit that size 2 dress today. Weeks from now, years from now, none of that will matter one bit.
  5. Instead of trying so hard to fit in a group of friends who probably won’t even be in your life in the next few years, work harder to define who it is you want to be and walk in that direction.
  6. It’s good to make mistakes. They are necessary for you to grow and learn. But don’t make the mistake of making mistakes because you are simply living carelessly.
  7. Think carefully before speaking and doing. Treat others with as much caring and respect as you wish for yourself. Learn and live by this cardinal rule early on and life will be a lot smoother.
  8. Don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself, whether in school, work or relationships. If you go down a path of allowing people to treat you like a doormat, the person you’ll end up angriest with is yourself.
  9. Life is not a popularity contest. Shut out all the noise of everybody around, including people who love you because at the end of it all, you came into the world alone and you’ll go out the same way. Only you have the right to decide what your purpose is. Only you have the power to reach for what makes you happy.
  10. And finally, I hope you can take comfort in this fact- that as long as you live with compassion, kindness and a positive purpose, no matter what obstacles may come your way, no matter what heartaches you may experience, yours will be a rich and beautiful journey filled with love, adventure and success.