Dear past self…
You seem so far away now. I’ve come a long way from the middle school girl with chunky highlights, chipped black nail polish, and wire in my smile. I want to tell you a few things I’ve learned along the way.
Embrace all the things about yourself that you don’t like. Worried about your weight, comparing yourself to magazines? You’re going to be remembered for the creativity you showed in your honors writing class, not the size on the tag of your jeans. You hate your bad skin? No one will remember a stray pimple. They’ll remember the girl who broke out of her shell when she came onstage. Trying to tame your southern accent? Don’t. Be proud of your roots. They’re part of what makes you who you are. Worried about talking to people? Smile instead. I won’t lie. You’ll never be a social butterfly. But, lift your head from the books and smile every now and then. When your surrounded by friends in college, a whole group who call you sister, you’ll find a smile is an easy habit.
As you get older, your interests will change. You’ll try to read Nicholas Sparks or John Green because that’s what is popular. Don’t. You’ll be bored. Read those history books you love. Watch nerdy movies. Collect all those weird little fun facts (your college essays will thank you later). It’s okay. Nurture those interests. They’ll shape you for the rest of your life, starting with your college major and minor. So your idea of a fun day is wondering an art museum or touring a historic site. Who cares? Conformity will never be your style. Don’t try to force it.
You’re going to make mistakes. You’ll lose friends and gain new ones. You’ll have a career plan picked out and then change it a year later. You’ll doubt yourself one day and feel bulletproof the next. I won’t say life is easy, because it’s not. It’s scary to think of the future when you don’t know what it will bring. But, don’t worry. You’ve got this. Hold your head up and look the world in the eye. You made it this far. Who knows what you’ll do next?