An Open Letter to My 15 Year Old Self

Dear Self, 4

Just so you know, in the future, you are going to screw things up. Like, ROYALLY. I mean,  really big screw ups. Lots of them.

And that’s ok.

You need to stop being so worried about failing all the time, because the fact is, it’s unavoidable. And I’ll let you in on a little secret: almost ALL of those failures make you BETTER, not worse. So please, stop beating yourself up about everything.

That’s not to say it will be easy. In fact some days, it will be unbearably hard, but you will make it. But, while we’re at it, here’s a few things you should probably know.

He’s Not the One – That boy you’re dating right now? The one who you love more than anything in the world, who is your best friend and boyfriend all in one, who you are absolutely CERTAIN that you are going to spend the rest of your life with? Well, he’s not the one. That’s not to say he is not a wonderful boy. As a matter of fact, he even grows up to be a very nice man with a beautiful wife, but she is definitely not you. And it’s ok. I’m not telling you this to break your heart, or make you hate him. Spend time together, keep your friendship, but don’t invest so much of your life in him. Hang out with the girls a little more often. Spend the weekend with your little brothers. Make sure your life is about YOU, not youandhim. Make your decisions based off what you want, not what you think you need for the life you think you will have.

Date More- In the same vein, date more. Learn what characteristics you like and dislike. Find out who YOU are. Figure out your type, and what it is that you want from life. While dating with the intent of marriage is a romantic notion, honestly, its just not realistic. Not when you’re in high school. This is the time for you to make mistakes (remember earlier, when I said not to worry about that? Yeah, this is why.) so you can grow from them. Give that boy in your Math Class a chance. Why not go to the dance with your friend from Middle School? Kick up your heels. Live a little.

Don’t be so Judgey- You’re smart, I’ll give it to you. And there are some things that you are doing that you should be proud of (keep that focus on school! It will help you in the long run!), but there are a LOT of things that you don’t understand. Yes, it is good to have a moral compass and DON’T EVER abandon your beliefs, but don’t force them on other people. It does not make you a better person, and it only makes other people think you are close minded, which, NEWSFLASH you are. You don’t have to like what they are doing or how they are acting, but you do need to respect their decisions in how to live their lives. Smoking, drinking, ditching class, sleeping around, WHATEVER. Not your problem. Your only job is to be kind.

You’re Enough – This may sound funny coming off the heels of being judgy, but honestly I think a lot of your judginess comes from your insecurities. AND THOSE HAVE GOT TO STOP. No, you are not the most popular, smart, beautiful or athletic girl at school, but you have your own gifts and abilities that make you YOU. You know you can sing, sing without fear. You love to write, write what is on your heart. You have AMAZING friends. They are funny, and kind, and talented just extraordinary. Think about it: if they like you, you must be pretty damn special. So PLEASE, for the love of everything that is good in the world, STOP worrying about being better than you are. YOU ARE ENOUGH. Your parents will still love you even if you screw up. Mom will probably give you her disappointed face, and maybe yell a little (OK, a lot), but it doesn’t mean she doesn’t love you or that you are a failure. You’re just a kid, trying to figure your sh!t out. Give yourself a break.

Make Memories – Ok, I don’t want you to think that we have a totally terrible life. Our high school and college experiences were great. We graduate with honors, go on summer trips, sing in a band, play sports, and lots of other great stuff. But a lot of those things you don’t have pictures of to look back on and remember. Don’t hide from the camera so much- you’ll want to remember that time you had a girls night and sang Disney karaoke, or when you hung out with everyone at the football game. And make MORE memories. Try out for a school play. Try out for cheer, you know you want to. Dress like an idiot for Spirit Week, the people who are decked out always have WAY more fun that week than the people who dress in normal clothes. Don’t be afraid to try new things, because if you don’t you’re always going to wonder ‘What If’ 6

There are a lot of other things that I could tell you, self, but that will have to wait for another letter. Spoilers, and all that. Don’t worry, you grow up to be a valuable member of society – you are a teacher, and you have a wonderful husband and three beautiful children. YOU EVEN LIVE IN ANOTHER COUNTRY! To be frank, we have a pretty great life, but in retrospect,
I wish I had known these 5 things when I was your age.
Make mistakes, don’t be afraid, have an open mind, know your worth, remember.

You only live once.

Make it count.

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