Nov 23, 2012

Day 4/30: Dear 16 Year Old Me-

Day 4 on the 30 Things blog challenge from Cherishing Hope is "10 Things You Would Tell Your 16 Year Old Self". I've decided to write this in letter form.

 I can't find a picture of me at 16 (WHY?!) so here's me at 17. That's close enough, right?

Dear 16 year old me,

It's 2012. I'm you. I've hopped on a Tardis to deliver this special message just for you (okay, not really. Don't worry, you'll understand that reference someday). I could save you so much heartache. I could tell you what choices to make and which don't end so well- but I'm not going to do that. Every decision you make is shaping you to be who I am now and I think you'd really be proud of who you grow to be. I will tell you, even in your 20's you don't have your life completely together. That's okay. I'm starting to wonder if anyone ever really has their life together. So, instead of telling you which decisions to make, I'm just going to give you as much advice as I can to help you deal with your journey from where you are at 16 to where you will be at 24.

Most importantly, stop being so hard on yourself. You are beautiful. Sure, you are quirky, nerdy, awkward, and quiet. I realize that sometimes people misunderstand that and that is hard for you to deal with. Stay true to who you are. Understand that you have a lot working for you. You are the only one standing in your own way of success. You can do anything. The possibilities are endless.

Remember that hurt people hurt people and that goes both ways. Treat everyone around you with kindness. Someday you will look back and be embarrassed by the moments where you let your pride or temper get the best of you. Remember that everyone has a story. Everyone has some inner battle (be it confidence or just a bad day, etc.) that they are facing. Sometimes people will take that pain and aim it at you (you are guilty of this too). Don't take it on. Accept that they are struggling and try to face them with the patience they need.

You will fail. There will be times when you don't get precisely what you hope for. You won't always win. You won't always shine. Take these moments and treasure them. These are learning moments. Let them motivate you, not to give up- but to work harder.

Choose the path in life that feels right to you. Your life doesn't have to match the idea everyone else has for what is a "perfect" life. If it is right for you, it will feel right. Don't worry about the judgement of others. Just carry on. If you want to write, write. Don't worry if you are the best in your class or not. If you want to study psychology/musical theatre then ignore that mean old career counselor and do it anyways. It's okay to make mistakes. No one expects you to be perfect. Just follow your heart. You will get to wherever you are meant to be eventually.

There are people who care so much for you. I know you think that you cant be who you are really, but you can. You are blessed with a family that loves you. The friends that matter will stick around. You will lose touch with a few of them but they still care about you just as much as you care about them.

Basically, my best advice is get messy. Make mistakes. Have some fun, kid. Life is short. Don't worry about always being right. Don't worry about what people will think. Just be you. Because I've been in your shoes. I happen to know you are pretty darn special.

Keep in mind, you don't have to be successful to be happy. Be happy and the rest will follow.
Learn from everyone around you. Learn from every moment- the good and the bad.

You have a bright future ahead of you and I hope I've made you proud. Stay beautiful.

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