A Letter to Teenage Me


Dear Younger Me,

I’m writing this letter to tell you that I am still muddling through the messes you made.  I’m still trying to become that person you dreamed you would be all those years ago.  Here is some advice I wish I would have taken when I was your age.

Respect yourself.  You were so full of insecurities, you never learned about respect.  I know that is why you did so many stupid things. You were trying, at all costs, to fill the hole in your soul. You just went about it in the wrong ways.  Every person should show themselves respect and give respect to others. 

Forget about boys and hit the books.  Girl, boys will come and boys will go, but education is yours forever.  I’m not saying give up boys all together. Just wait for the right one to come along. The man who compliments who you are. He is worth waiting for!  In the meantime, learn all you can about everything.  You used to think being smart was stupid (not great logic there), but knowledge opens the world to you.  You can travel to places and times, meet amazing people and explore avenues you never knew existed.  You should have paid attention in school, life would have been easier for us if we had learned a little bit back in the day.  

Don’t give a hoot what people think of you.  You were always so afraid of other’s opinions of you that it paralyzed you to the point you could barely function in any kind of social situation.  You never really learned to talk to anyone.  Once we learned to do that, we got to know people and heard their stories.  Life became much richer and a lot more interesting.  Not caring about what others think helps you grow as a person, an authentic person.

Take care of yourself.  You never learned good eating or exercising habits.  You can get by on that at 14, but at 54 it is a real issue.  Eating Cap’n Crunch for dinner was easy then but no so good for us now.  These are tough habits to learn this far down the road. I’m still working on it but you maybe should have considered it sooner.

Turn off the television and go outside.  Your hatred for all things nature has been a hinderance all these years. Bugs are not all bad.  Worms can’t penetrate your skin (I know you used to think that).  Nature is actually quite nice.  Living your life through Marsha Brady did absolutely nothing to help you as a person.  You should have gone outside more.

Quit being afraid of everything. You spent way too much time locked in that over-active imagination of ours.  The outlandish things you feared amaze me.  Did you know all those fears followed us in adulthood and only got worse.  Overcoming the fears and the insecurities has taken all of our life.  I wish I would have been more fearless at your age.  It would have opened up so many more doors for us.

Things will not make you happy and learn to save money.  That gapping hole in your soul will not be fixed by buying things.  Stuff will just end up owning you and bringing more unhappiness.  Learn to save money, give to those in need and live with less….lots less!  You cannot buy happiness.

Have faith in God’s grace.  You were so busy being mad at Him that you replaced His peace with your own brand of chaos.  You knew no kind of peace most of your life. Worry was your god.  That is very sad.

I know that I have been a little rough on you.  I just wish I had actually gotten this letter at your age.  Life would have been completely different. Guess what?  It hadn’t been all bad.  Yes, you made monumental mistakes but you learned….eventually.  All the problems served to make you who we are today.  I guess that’s not so bad.  I give you a lot of grief and blame a lot on you.  You were just a lost kid trying to find your way.  I get it now.  

We are getting better and that’s what counts, right?  Glad you hung in there. I don’t know what I would have done without you. Take care and be strong.  You are going to need it.

Love,

Your Older Self

P.S.  The world does not revolve around you.  Look outside yourself…that’s when the magic happens!

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