Life is hard. There are times when we are constantly being put down by others or our ourselves, and we tell ourselves things that we shouldn't. We often go to the extreme and then take all the frustrations out on ourselves and in turn can ruin us down the road. It takes a while to realize the harm that we did to ourselves. It's also common that we write a letter to ourselves at some point in our lives, but sometimes it's just too hard to write everything down. As I turn 20 next week, I needed to take time and reflect honestly on what I wished I had told myself 10 years ago.
1. You're not a doormat.
You often let yourself make you feel like you're two feet tall. You let people walk all over you by yelling at you, controlling you, or putting you down in some way, shape, or form. You do not need to do that. You aren't something they can buy at Walmart for a cheap price. You are a human being, and you deserve to be treated like one.
2. Embrace your awkwardness.
You are not the most normal person on the earth and that's okay. You can be weird and crazy all you want, and anyone who has to say anything differently can just leave.
3. "Popularity" is not important.
I was so obsessed with the idea of becoming popular throughout school. This obsession started in elementary school. I always wanted everyone to like me and to have as many friends as possible. What I realized in high school is that "popularity" is not important. You do not need to have thousands of friends. Two close friends who love and appreciate me for who I am is all I need in life, not everyone having their eyes on me and my crew.
4. Beauty is within. You do NOT need to look like the women on magazine covers.
This is not necessarily focused on body size but what the women looked like on the front. They never had glasses on, they always had the smoothest skin, and every single one of them had perfectly straight teeth. I have glasses, acne prone skin, and spaced out teeth. I wanted to have the dark brown curly (not natural) hair with the big chest and most importantly the straight non-spaced out teeth. I was and am a good person. That's what should matter, not my looks, but I always thought that I needed to be beautiful on the outside for people to like me. That's not how it is.
5. For those who do nag you about being tiny, tell them to knock it off.
I always used to hear "you're a twig", "you look sick, I can see your ribcage", "you have skinny everything", "why are you so small?", I could go on forever. The fact that society pressures women to look a certain way (a Photoshopped way) is crazy. Body image is a tough subject to talk about in itself, you needed to just let it go, or tell them off. Your body is not their concern.
6. You work so hard. You work yourself too hard. Stop.
You're in everything. You put yourself in everything. That's good and you will love it when you remember all of the good memories you have made by working so hard in school and dance, but you need to allow yourself to tell yourself that you work hard and that it's okay to take a break. I am still learning this now. It's hard to do because there's so much out there to do and not enough time. Take breaks in between your work.
7. Be inspired, but don't become the inspiration, be you.
You tend to find inspiration in a lot of things and in a lot of people. The problem is that you molded yourself into that person or thing to become what inspired you. You need to take what inspired you and mold it to you, not mold yourself into whatever it is. Be your own person, don't become a number.
8. Acknowledge your leadership skills. Do not let people downgrade you.
You have great leadership skills. You were born to do great things and to help others do great things, not to be a part of the peanut gallery. People told you that because you were reserved that meant that you couldn't take charge. That's wrong. You can do so much better than that and one day you will help people in ways you can't imagine.
9. There are terrible people in this world. Do not listen to them.
People are mean. Recognize that. Not everyone is looking out for each other, and you cannot trust everyone. People will and are going to continue to say horrible things to you and about you. It doesn't stop throughout life. Do not listen to what they say because most times they were rumors. You know who you are, and take that into consideration. You aren't perfect but you need to stop trying to please those who have done nothing but be terrible to you.
10. Face the mirror. Look at yourself in the mirror. It's not that hard.
Why did you spend so much time hating how you looked? You spent so much time avoiding the mirror unless you were using it to cover your face in makeup. It's not that hard to look into the mirror and smile at yourself. Try it sometime.
11. If you're sad or angry do not be afraid to cry or yell it out.
You used to be so afraid to talk about your emotions. You still can be depending on the day. Normal emotions that aren't associated with happiness are okay to express. Do not be afraid to talk about your emotions. You are human, be a human.
12. After some time, reflect on your life, don't wait until it's too late.
You always hold everything in until it's too late and then you just break down. You can't do that. You have to take life as it is and take it one step at a time, but also set aside time to reflect on the good and bad life brings you.
Take a look at yourself and reflect. You spent so many years just leaving it all there and no talking about it. Write multiple lists of things you need to tell yourself but can't build up the courage to. Take your life by the reins and reflect. Look back and find yourself. Look into that mirror, and throw yourself back into reality. Learn from your mistakes. You got this.