Dear Younger Me.
I haven’t ever wrote a letter quite like this. One that speaks to the person I thought I was, from the person I really am. I say that because I think at a younger age, you always picture yourself as a certain way. But now that I am older, I don’t. I have learned that life creates changes in the paths you thought you were going to take. And those changes aren’t always bad. I want to speak to you in quotes. In quotes so maybe I can stay on track and make sense.
“If you wanted it, you would have it.” This is the number one quote I think is the most important. Because its the one I am just now learning from myself. And if I could tell this to myself in a way I would understand years ago. I would. If you wanted it, you would have it. That means anything in life. Because if you want something bad enough, you work for it. You push yourself to get it. You get what you want out of life, and if you don’t have something, well you just didn’t want it badly enough. People chose the lives they live no matter what obstacles they face. If you see something, you think you might want, but never got, you didn’t want it badly enough, because if you did, you’d have it. And if you do want it, go fucking get it. Don’t stop until its yours.
“The ship may sink, but the voyage will be remembered.” I think I made this quote up for myself that was inspired by the titanic. But, it still remains true. Things come to an end, but that doesn’t mean the memories won’t be there. That doesn’t mean it didn’t make its mark on the world. And so, even when something is gone, it doesn’t mean it is forgotten, and neither will you. Let yourself sail though life, understanding that although you might not be here, or in someone’s life anymore, you will not be as forgotten and you think you will. You leave marks with everyone you touch. A breadcrumb trail of the person you are, that will be remembered. Make sure they remember something good.
“Sticks and Stones can break your bones, but WORDS can break your heart.” Remember what you say to people, and listen to what they say to you. Understand that people don’t realize the amount of hurt they cause you from their words, but also choose your words carefully because you can inflict just as much pain. I think people forget you don’t have a heart of stone. That’s your own doing I suppose, not letting anyone know when they have hurt your feelings. You try to look as if it was water off your back, or you make a joke out of their insult so you don’t show the pain, but it hurts nevertheless. Words are powerful things. They can break someone down into insecure shells, or lift people up into confident beasts. You control the words that come out of your mouth. Make sure you pick the right ones.
“When someone shows you who they are, believe them.” You always try to see the good in people, although you have a good judgement in character. And so, usually you see someone for who they are very soon, but you for some reason, give them the benefit of the doubt. You always allow someone to prove they are exactly who you thought they were. Sometimes they fool you, if for a little while. You think they aren’t as bad as you originally thought, and then, BAM, they prove your initial assessment of them right. And for some reason you are always more disappointed than you are mad, or hurt. Just because you had hoped they wouldn’t be who you thought they were, and you disappointed yourself when you didn’t believe them the first time. People change, this is true, but they sometimes are exactly who you think they are. As you get older, you will learn, you can write someone off without letting them hurt you. You don’t have to give them the chance if you don’t want to. And when someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.
“Find your tribe, love them hard.” It takes you a while to find the friends that accept you. You find that friends don’t always stick by you. But! You will find people that stick by you no matter what. You learn that quality is better than quantity. You don’t need to be popular. You don’t have to change yourself, to have friends. You will find that if people don’t like you, well that’s only because they have bad taste. Don’t let the opinions of someone else alter your own. You might be an orange, and some people love oranges, but some people don’t. And that’s okay, because the people that don’t will have scurvy anyways, you don’t want to be friends with scurvy people. But when you do find the people that love you. Love them back. Don’t take them for granted. Be the best friend you can be. And let them know you appreciate their friendship as much as they appreciate yours.
“It’s not the end of the world, just the end of the day.” I know, sometimes things feel like they are just falling apart. That you don’t know what you are going to do. That you aren’t ever going to get passed this. But you are. Life is a living thing. It changes, it moves. You will never step in the same river twice, and you will never live the same day twice. Remember that when things get rough, the next day won’t be the same. There will be a brand new day.
“You don’t have to be your best all the time, just be your best when its time.” You don’t always have to be perfect. You can allow yourself not to be okay. You don’t have to have everything together all the time. You don’t have to be your best every single time. You just have to be your best WHEN its time. And you’ll know when its time for you to be your best, or to shine your brightest. You don’t have to struggle to maintain 100%, just give it your 100% when you are supposed to. Don’t put so much pressure on yourself to be perfect all the time. Women are raised to be strong, put together, but its okay to not be sometimes. Its okay to fail. Its okay to not be okay.
I’m sure I have so much more wisdom I am leaving out. And I’m sure I could write this post again in a few more years and have more things to say. I guess the last thing I want to say to you, is I’m proud of you. Even if you didn’t turn out the way you thought you would, you will be happy with the life you have. You will be proud of the person you are, and I think that’s the most important thing.