A Wild Ride With No Regrets

What I would say if I could write a letter to my younger self, who probably won’t even end up listening to me.

Hey, you! The one with the chubby cheeks and dark brown hair with bangs that fall across your forehead. I know you think you already know everything and don’t need anyone to tell you what to do, but I’ve got a few things to say. First off, don’t ever try that hairdo past middle school, it doesn’t work for you when you’re older. At all. Trust me, your 18-year-old self will thank you. And don’t worry, you won’t always look like you’re storing an entire winter’s worth of food in your cheeks. They’ll eventually get slightly less chubby as you get older.

Don’t worry about not being able to reach the counter tops. Your growth spurt will come. It won’t help you out much, but I can guarantee you’ll be reaching counters and cabinets like a pro. But there’s no shame in grabbing a chair for that extra boost you’re going to need from time to time. There will always be someone taller than you, much taller. Don’t ever let them talk down to you. They’re just jealous about being excluded from the Fun Size club.

Your preschool years will drive mom crazy. You’ll try her patience when she teaches you the alphabet and you can’t, for some unknown reason, get your F’s and G’s right. You‘ll cry a lot. And mom will probably want to cry too. But even after you get those pesky letters straightened out, you’ll hate reading. You’ll hate writing. Well this may come as a surprise to you, but you’ll graduate from college with a degree in English, a degree that requires endless hours of reading and writing. You’ll eventually discover that writing has become your passion. So stop adding books to your elementary grade summer reading list that you’ve never even read! It may help you get ahead of the game and figure out your college major a lot sooner.

Kindergarten is going to be a lot to handle, between that annoying boy on the bus that always makes kissy faces at you — what was his name? Trevor? Travis? I feel like is started with a T. Well, between that, getting scolded for disappearing during recess, dealing with two boys crushing on you at once, and having an identical backpack to that of another girl in your class that you absolutely despise, being five years old is tough. Then hearing that you’re not going to be the baby anymore?!? I know! Your tiny head just might explode! But I have a secret for you, you’re always going to be the baby. Even when you turn a quarter century old, and your baby brother is nineteen, and you live in your own apartment three hours away from the rest of your family, you’ll still be the baby. It’s going to take some time to adjust to the new addition, but please don’t be such an asshole to him. You’ll grow to love him and actually become very close. At some point you’ll realize he’s not so bad and had no intention of taking over status as “baby of the family”.

Your openness and ability to make friends is impressive. Your desire to direct your peers in the “right” direction, whether that be informing your grandmother “that’s not how mom does it” or socking a boy in the face to defend a classmate, is admirable. Just know it’s okay to not always have the right words when a friend is going though a tough time or an acquaintance is looking for advice. This may come as a surprise to you, but you don’t actually know everything and you won’t always be prepared for what’s to come. When your best friend goes through her first heartbreak, it’s okay that “boys are stupid” is the only sentence you have to console her. Even though you’ll always feel like you need to say something more, sometimes all they need is a listening ear or a shoulder to cry on… I know you’ll want to throw in a satisfying “I told you so”, but save yourself the unnecessary argument and just don’t.

You’re going to hear a lot about “adult” related troubles that you know nothing about. Try not to pay any attention to it. You don’t want to spend too much of your free time worrying about nonexistent bills, never ending responsibilities that you’ve yet to accumulate and the all perplexing stock market. You’ll have plenty of time to stress over adult matters when you get there. But in reality, it sounds a lot scarier than it actually is. As you get older, paying bills and keeping up with responsibilities add on a little at a time. Eventually it’s just something you do. As far as the whole stock market thing goes, I wouldn’t even worry about it. It’s more of a life elective than a requirement. I still don’t totally understand it and don’t plan to any time soon.

You’re going to be told “ you’ve got to be ready for x,y and z, because once you’re in the real world…” You’ll hear that in middle school, high school, and college. If you want my opinion,”the real world” is a place that grownups tell you about just to scare kids and whip them into shape. Just work hard and keep your sass in check and you’ll be just fine. Also keep in mind that mom is totally right when she tells you that trying to take a short cut when completing a task will only make it longer. The sooner you figure that one out the better.

Every day you will have to make a decision. Every day, you’re taking one step closer to the woman you will become. Sometimes you will get frustrated and wonder when exactly you’ll get there, but have patience. It will come. Recognize your moments of greatness and take pride in them. Acknowledge your moments of weakness and learn from them. Some points of your journey may be very dark. You’ll lose your way and may even end up fighting yourself on certain decisions or situations. These are the moments that’ll teach you something. It’ll be tough, but you’ll always come out stronger than you were going in. Take every moment as a blessing to be thankful for or a lesson to learn from, but never a regret. And you may think that’s cheesy, having no regrets, and that’s okay. You’ll understand when you’re older.

Lastly, don’t forget to just enjoy your journey. You’ll meet amazing people, travel to incredible places, and eat all sorts of delicious foods. And you don’t really know it yet, but you are so blessed. You’ve got probably the best family in the world, with friends that are equally as awesome. They will have your back through the good years as well as those other questionable moments in your life. Don’t ever take them for granted. You have a wild ride ahead of you and you’re going to need them every step of the way.

PS. You’re beautiful! Never let anyone tell you otherwise.

Love,

Your Future Self

XxOo

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