Dear Younger Me,
I will not sit and pretend that I know it all or have all of the answers now that I am adult. Know that in each phase of life, so far, what I have figured out is that we are all just faking it until we make it. Seriously. Yes, we have guides in parents, grandparents, teachers, siblings, mentors, etc., but if you really talk to people they are just figuring it out, so rest easy and “do your best.” What can future you tell you? Well get ready to be disappointed…I am not going to reveal any great knowledge or event so that you can possible change your actions or go win the PowerBall, as nice as that could be. This is not because I have no regrets or because I do not want a redo on some things, but it is because each of those incidents – good and bad- made you into the person you are today. But what I can tell you is that I will give you a few pieces of advice I wish I had known or followed…..
First – the guys your dad doesn’t like? It is for a reason. You won’t see it and won’t understand, but just know he is RIGHT. He is SO VERY RIGHT. I promise you eventually meet the man you are supposed to spend your life with, but don’t waste too much time on the duds.
Second – talk to someone about that anxious feeling. You do not have to suffer through those times alone. It is ok to not be ok. You are not alone, not even close. Just for an awesome fact – mental health becomes a big talking point and much attention is focused on it starting in the 2020’s!
Third – Remember to thank your teachers from PA and UA. (I’m not ruining a big surprise by saying UA….despite your jokes of going to AU to annoy Dad, you go with bells on to UA!!) So many will have a lasting impression on you and although you show appreciation, it will not be enough – it is never enough. These people help educate and mold you into a successful adult. They deserve all the praise and thanks.
Fourth – Keep a journal. You will not believe all of the things you forget. Write it all down. The places and people, events and feelings. When you want to look back on memories of loved ones that are gone, you will want something to help jog those special times.
Fifth – Do a study abroad program. Once you graduate and enter the real world, life comes fast. Use this time to travel and experience new cultures in person. It will also help with part of your future career!
Sixth – Don’t stop trying to do everything your sisters do. They might find it annoying now, but it will make for funny stories. They are also going to push you to do and be better, so follow closely. PS – they actually both really like you later on in life!
Seventh – Learn how to make homemade biscuits from Nanny or Maw. If not them, then ask Granny Beck or Barbara Ann. This is something you will miss as an adult and lack this skill in the kitchen. Add gravy to this list too…..
Eight – Take the pictures. Stop rolling your eyes and just smile. You will want them later.
Ninth – Embrace your weirdness, all the quirks. Trust me everyone is weird, some just hide it better than others. You will find a tribe that loves your weirdness and your corny jokes!
Tenth – Do your best. Do what is right. You will hear this countless times from Paw Joe, but it is the best advice you will ever get. Do YOUR best and do what is RIGHT. Your best is not the best of your sister or classmate, but YOURS. Doing what is right is not always going to be easy, but you were not made for easy.
You are stronger than you think little lady. Keep your head up and your shoulders straight. Keep rocking your red lipstick, it is great with our complexion. Do your best always, this will help you be proud in all that you do. Most of all, love yourself. As RuPaul says, “If you don’t love yourself, how the hell you gonna love anybody else?”