Doing something a little different today. Here is a letter to my younger self. Read it, ignore it, analyze it, do whatever you want with it. If you learn from this letter, amazing! I am so glad my experiences and advice can be of some use to someone. If you don’t learn anything from it, we are all living out our own narratives, it’s ok.
I have grown so much over the past few years, and so this letter is dedicated to me at 12 years old, before I moved to NYC.
This post is mostly for me, but I encourage you to write a letter to your younger self and reflect on how far you’ve come. You may not be where you want to be just yet, but you’re closer than you were yesterday.
This picture was taken just a few months after I moved to NYC on my (then) rooftop. It was the first time I had been in real falling snow and I was so excited. I may not look very different there to what I do now, but I can assure you, I am a completely different person.
Calm down. Seriously. Chill. You’re good. So good, and you have absolutely nothing to stress over yet.
Enjoy these years, don’t be in such a rush to grow up. Your life is about to become more beautiful, complicated, difficult, and unpredictable than you can ever imagine. Enjoy the routine while you still have it, you’re going to miss knowing what to expect.
Being a teenager isn’t all that you think it is, you’ll realize that eventually. Being 15 is not filled with endless fun and freedom; it’s stressful, it’s complicated, dramatic, hard, and utterly frightening. However, it’s also so exciting, adventurous, unpredictably fun, and more unique than you’ll ever know. Your life is about to become so beautifully chaotic. There will be times when you wish life would be what society considers to be “normal”, and there will be times when you will be more in love with the people and things in your life than you can ever express. Through it all though, the love of God remains constant. Remember that.
You’re about to step into the most excitingly difficult time of your life so far. You are about to begin to truly discover who you are, and who you want to be. You’re going to need to say goodbye to a whole lot, but just know that the things you pick up instead, are way more fruitful than anything you left behind. You can’t out-give God. It may take you a little while to believe this, but it’s true (trust me).
Work hard. So hard. You’ll be surprised at what you can do when you set your mind to it. It sounds cliché, I know, but it’s true. You’re way smarter than you think you are, and you are so much more capable than you are allowing yourself to be.
Loosen up. You’re expectations and passions are about to shift dramatically, and that’s ok. Just because your new ideas and plans are different to your original ones, does not mean that you have given up on anything. All it means is that you are growing, and so are your passions.
Speaking of growing, you’re going to mature quicker than you will anticipate, but it will all be for the better. You will outgrow friends, and that’s ok. No one expects you to spend your whole life with the same group of people. Similarly, some people will be in your life for a season, and then eventually leave. This is also ok. They still love you, despite all of the terrible feelings of abandonment you will feel (which by the way, are all completely false and unreasonable).
People will burn you. People will treat you like crap for absolutely no reason, but you’re gonna be just fine. Stand up for yourself. Don’t let people walk all over you. It will be hard to find the line between confident and cocky but you will figure it out.
Remember why you started. There will be days when you want to give up on everything you’ve been working so hard on, but please don’t ever give up. You’re closer than you think.
You are a work in progress. Always have been, always will be. And that’s the best way to be.
It’s not a bad thing to be picky when deciding who you will call friends. You become like those you surround yourself with, so be wise in your decisions (disclaimer: some people are not who you think they are. Listen to your family, they see this before you do).
I could spend hours giving you advice on what to say yes to, what to say no to, and how to prepare for the days ahead. But that would be giving you the answers, and in the process, robbing you of the wonder and excitement of figuring things out as you go.
Remember that God’s plans for you are far bigger and better than yours ever will be, and that He loves you more than you know (even when it doesn’t feel like it).
You got this.
A slightly more advanced work in progress. xo.
“For what it’s worth… it’s never too late, or in my case too early, to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit. Start whenever you want. You can change or stay the same. There are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you’ve never felt before. I hope you meet people who have a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of, and if you’re not, I hope you have the courage to start all over again” — F. Scott Fitzgerald