You are dough eyed and full of life. Your excitement for each day never ceases to amaze me. You are vibrant, outgoing and innocent. You believe people when they tell you things. You also believe that you can trust others when they give you their word. You live for your friends and your boyfriend. You make damn near perfect grades and pour hard effort into almost everything that you do. You're a waitress at Bob Evans and you drove a grey pearly Volkswagen slug bug that you named Penelope at 16. God you loved that car. Imperfections and all. She was your baby.
You care about your friends, your family and your boy toy more than anyone I know. You love hard, you work hard and you play hard. Your mom often tells you that you burn the candle at both ends (by the way, she never stops telling you that). You have been to over a million basketball games. You're a giver more than a taker, but we all take from time to time, so that's not to say you never take. You're a lover more than a fighter but you have no qualms fighting for what it is that you love.
While you are in the pursuit of your life you will hit a few bumps that will change you. They will alter your perspective on life and love. Living will take new meaning and love will be more scary than exciting. You will be all right though. Maybe a little broken, but they say all the best are. You will gain so much knowledge and experience in these next precious years that will better prepare you for what lies ahead. If there are three things I could tell you they would be:
1. Don't forget to love yourself.
Simple words with tremendous meaning. The minute you forget to appreciate yourself you've hit rock bottom. Above all else love yourself. There is no greater feeling than being completely complacent with yourself. If you love yourself than no other opinion matters. The second you let someone else's opinion of you matter more than your own you have faltered. Let anyone in this world think what they want because you know who you are. Stay true to yourself. Your mishaps, your quirks, your flaws; they all piece together to make you who you are. There is no person greater than that. You will make plenty of mistakes. Learn from them.
2. Know when enough is enough.
Quit making excuses for the people in your life. Stop spending hours convincing yourself of something that you know in your heart isn't true. Trust your gut, instincts are instincts for a reason. When you feel like something is up then it probably is. Stop letting people tear away at your heart. People become bitter this way. Don't let people stampede all over your heart. Be able to say no. Be smart enough to know when someone is taking you for granted and be strong enough to stop it.
3. Don't let life make you cold.
Life can seem unfair at times. The only thing that makes life fair is the fact that it's unfair to everyone equally. Don't allow yourself to be caught up in the "poor me" routine. Don't let what has happened take the fall for what hasn't happened. Take initiative. Take the good with the ugly. Life can make people cold and bitter. Please remain warmhearted. Never forget the imprint of a smile across your face. Your journey as a young woman has just begun. You're embarking on the adventure of a lifetime every single day; your journey, your own story. So, be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.
If you can remember these three things and keep your smile on then all will be okay. Your heart may be a little guarded, the fairytale life may seem more distant than it used to but fairy tales are far overrated anyway. So strap on your big panties, flash your smile and take on the world full fledged. Better yet kick the world's a**. Because you are an amazing, smart and talented young lady with the potential to crush whatever life throws at you. There are times where you're going to forget that, but try your damnedest not to. Stay positive. Learn from yesterday's mistakes. Grow as a person. Grab at the opportunity that lies ahead of you.
Your future self