Dear Younger Me,
Where do I begin?
If I could go back and fix some things, let me tell you, I would.
But first I need to tell you, it gets better.
You won’t always be stuck in this place of not knowing who you are or what to pursue. I’m not saying that I know what I’m doing (trust me, I don’t) but I am closer.
You will survive middle school. It may seem like hell now, but it’s nothing you can’t handle.
But I am going to warn you, people you thought were friends won’t be. As much as you try to be popular, you will get shoved out of your “friend group” not once, not twice but three times in the course of middle school. Part will be your fault, but you can embrace your mistakes and learn from them, which is what you do.
For awhile you’ll pray every night to a God you aren’t sure is even there that he will send you a best friend who you can do everything with, someday you will find your place and friends who are real.
It will take a long time, but that little acne-ridden girl who didn’t know who she was meant to be will grow up in time, and she will turn into a strong woman who knows her place and only that it is found through Christ.
High school will be better than middle school.
You will find two people you think are your best friends.
You will have boyfriends together and go to the mall to hang out. It will be fun, you will wonder why you hadn’t experienced this before. You’ll have lame little parties and drink soda and watch horror movies and feel like you belong. Even here is not your place.
People change, and when you give your life to Christ after sophomore year, these friends will continue to pull you away and eventually you are going to have to let go of them. They will worship other idols: drugs, their boyfriends, their bodies.
Speaking of that, you will give something away to a boy sophomore year. It will hurt alot and you won’t think you will ever be okay again. It will, I can promise you. It may be hard to trust men for awhile, I’m still struggling with this, but know that you can hold out for a man on fire for Christ – you are worth that.
It will be okay.
There will be some really good parts of high school, too.
You will make friends, some that may even last forever. You may not always get along, but that best friend you prayed and prayed for comes in the form of three amazing women you will grow close to your junior year and they will stay by your side throughout the rest of high school. Hold on to them.
Musical will be one of those good parts, too. You will learn to be more confident in yourself, something you are probably lacking in. Come age 18 when you no longer have that, you will miss those days of caked on makeup and showers at 1 am to attempt to get the hairspray out of your hair. It will be so worth it. And the summer after high school you will find yourself home alone watching the Sound of Music and crying on the couch because you miss it that much. Cherish those memories.
Band will be even better. It is one of those things that will annoy you sometimes, but you will miss like a piece of you is gone when it is over. When you think about it hard enough, your heart will start to ache and you’ll have to look at old photos to remember every moment. You’ll try out for colorguard your junior year and senior year will be dedicated to it. You will do as much as you can for your director because you wish with all your heart that even though she hides it, she wasn’t so stressed out. At your final band concert, she will even present you with her director’s award and when you get home that night you will cry happy tears because you didn’t even realize that your bossiness and organization was actually helping others. You will meet people, grow close to your directors and have lifelong memories from the mere four years you had in the group.
You will decide to go to college, and your senior year you will tour a few places. One you will love, one you will hate and one you will end up at. You are in the right place, so don’t worry. You won’t know what you want to “be when you grow up”, and it will stress you out a lot.
All the people in your life will be encouraging and you will find your path (hopefully, I am still stuck at this point). You will want college to be a time of learning about yourself and if you persevere, it will be.
Fast forward to today. You will be sitting near the cafeteria at your college, drinking a chai tea latte that you bought at Starbucks this morning and glancing up every once in awhile to see a wall filled with old photographs of former professors. A vending machine will be humming beside you and the sound of students playing ping pong echoes from a room near you. At this moment, right now, you are truly content.
You don’t have it figured out. Not even a little bit. Tomorrow you may not be so happy, that’s how this works. But right now, right here, you know that despite all your mistakes, all your screw ups and your falls, God has got you. It took awhile for you to figure out, but somehow it was perfect timing. That God you prayed to in middle school is real and true and he is there. He loves you and he has brought you to this point.
Trust Him with everything you have. When you are feeling lonely a week in to college, it will be okay to pour your heart out to the only one who can heal it, He will carry you through everything.
Every moment up to this point, every temptation and every tear, every moment you weren’t sure you wanted this life any more, every time you couldn’t contain your excitement and every smile – they were all worth it.
Continue to embrace a relationship with God, continue to be kind to people even when you don’t want to. It will be okay and you will be better for it.
Don’t settle for less or sell yourself short in any way. You are worthy of happiness, whether that means waiting or taking chances.
Dear younger me, it gets better. Don’t give up on God, or on yourself.
You’ve got this.