Another writing challenge, this one from a bloggy friend Emily, who writes at http://www.chattingatthesky.com. This challenge is anew/fun/introspective one…write a letter to yourself at 16. I know! Cool, huh? Anyways, here are my thoughts to myself–hope all of you enjoy. Maybe some time soon I find one of these 16-year old self pictures to post? We’ll see…
Dear me! How do you start a letter to your own younger self? And how do you, ahem, not sound really old and uptight like someone like a teenage me full of big sighs and rolling eyes would actually read?
Not sure. But what I do have to say helps, and it will help you navigate through the next 15 odd or so years, so I would listen closely.
First, let’s start with the good stuff: you are stronger than you know.
Your soul is stronger than you know. Sure, that doesn’t sound so cool, I know and no it’s not something you can wear, but let me tell you, though you cannot see it, it’s a big deal. Your soul is stronger than you think, and it’s stronger, even, than those legs of yours. Those legs, the ones that have run 5Ks and a marathon and kicked kicks high into the sky; your soul is mightier than those legs. And like your legs, your soul is about to go deep into a lot of muscle-building from here to 30, so buckle up. It’s a good ride, but it sure is a bumpy one.
Speaking of buckling up-do it. Every time you get in a car. Yes, you are lucky that you have one at 16, very lucky, so cut it with the eye rolling. But remember that little fact does not make you immune to problems, or, say, car accidents. Keep it safe.
And while we’re talking about matronly and other boring grown up stuff, by the way–gaining 10lbs will not kill you. I promise. Nor will you die of embarrassment. Something to note for the future. There are things way worse than gaining a little weight. Waaaay worse. Compared to some of the other stuff in life, 10lbs is inconsequential. Keep reality in check, girlfriend.
Also to note: the floor will fall out on you about five times from here to 30-ish. Yep, about five times. No, I’m not kidding. And every time, you will think you aren’t strong enough, good enough or that you just can’t. You just can’t. You will think this lots. And you then will realize that you aren’t strong or brave, until you are.
Other things to note about this life, this road ahead:
-Life is good. Even when it’s bad, life is still good. So is your God.
-The majority of people are kind and decent. And kinda fun to hang with too; I know it is easier and far more comfortable to be alone sometimes, but you need community, you need friends and you need people to be silly with. That last one especially, more than you know.
-Stay away from brown eyeshadow. Tuck this little tidbit in your pocket for the future.
-Likewise, yellow. Not a good color on you. And just say no to those Murphy Brown-ish glasses. In truth, Murphy Brown didn’t really look all that cute in them either.
-You will be one of the first of your friends that get married. This is true joy. And I know! Totally surprised by this too. Just wait until you have children!
-You will feel, most days, like a bright yellow highlighter in a sea of beautiful teal, and that’s ok. Just be you. You are wonderful as you are, just as you are. Even though you may need more silence and stillness than others, even though you do not love ice cream as much as the entire population. You love much, you love deeply, and you are kind. And those aren’t bad things.
But the brown eyeshadow: remember, just say no. But to love and life and the great imperfectness of life-say yes. Say a passionate yes.