Recently, while driving in the car, I heard the song "Dear Younger Me" by MercyMe and it got me thinking... what would I say to myself if I could write to the younger me? Although I could've written to myself at a lot of different ages, I decided to write to the 20-something me.
Dear Younger Me,
Where do I even begin?
There is so much I want to tell you, my fingers can't keep up with my brain. But, that's nothing new, right?
Let me start by saying you're gonna be okay. I know there may be times right now when you wonder if that's the case. Things haven't always panned out the way you expected them to. And sometimes, you feel like you're just flailing along, barely making it from day to day. But, that's okay. Because the truth is, none of us really know what we're doing in our 20's. So, I officially give you a pass.
But, there are a few things that I want you to know.
1. Your worth does NOT come from other people. I know you've spent so much of your life already trying to please other people. Trying to always do the right thing, be the good girl and have everyone like you. But in the end, their opinion doesn't really matter. Your worth comes from God and you were created perfectly just as you are. So, stop trying to compare yourself to others and don't ever let anyone else tell you you're not good enough because you are.
2. People are going to disappoint you. But, that's okay too. Because in the end, they're all just trying their best to get through the day too. Don't get yourself hung up on what you wish they would've said or would've done or could've been. You can't change anyone else, all you can change is how you react to them. If someone is toxic and draining in your life, let them go. Life is too short to have toxic people constantly bringing you down.
3. Don't wait to live your life. I know you grew up in an environment of fear and hesitation, of "be careful" and don't step outside the box... but don't wait until it's too late to realize you never really lived your life. Don't be afraid to take chances, to go after your dreams and to really live.
4. When people show you who they are, believe them. I know you always want to give people the benefit of the doubt and that is a good thing. But when someone shows you who they are, believe them. Don't make excuses for them and put yourself in bad situations. Just because you walk away from someone, doesn't make you a bad person. It makes you a smart person.
5. Take care of your body. Please for the love of Pete, take care of it now. Eat a vegetable! Drink some water! Do an exercise or two!
6. New Kids on the Block are coming back and they will be better than ever. But Donnie does get re-married. :(
7. The world is going to get scarier and I'm sorry for that. I wish I could wave a magic wand and say that it won't, but it will. Things that you never even had to worry about as a child will become normal everyday occurrences for the next generation. I know this is going to hit your heart hard, but just try to remember that God is still in control and do your best to love everyone and be a light in their lives.
8. You were gifted to be a writer. Don't be afraid to follow that dream. Don't put it off as a "side gig" or worry about having a "real job." You ARE a writer. You're good at it, you enjoy it and you can do it. Don't wait to pursue it.
9. Don't change who you are or what you like just to get someone else's attention or get them to like you. Be YOU.
10. You're going to go through a lot of loss and although I can't stop it, I want you to know, you're going to be okay through that too. There may be times when you feel like you barely have enough strength to hold on, but don't let go. You WILL make it through and I promise, even though you won't be able to see it, there will be huge blessings that will come out of it. The sun always comes back out, even after the darkest storm clouds. Just remember that you're not alone and that this too, will pass.
Take care of yourself now - physically, emotionally and spiritually. Love yourself. Love others. Take chances. Be brave. Kiss your dog and tell her you love her. Kiss your parents and tell them you love them. Appreciate the innocence you still have. Go after your dreams. And never, ever take a single day for granted.
P.S. Keep rockin' that red hair... it totally works for you.