Dear Younger Me, It's Me

Dear Younger Me, It's Me

I've finally come to terms with who I am as a person, and my younger self should know that everything works itself out in the end.
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Hey Elisa, it's me, just a few years older and just a bit wiser.

I've finally found peace within myself and I'm rather happy with who I've become. But it wasn't easy, and you don't know how much you have to go through before you get to where I am today. You're thinking about growing up, and how amazing it's going to be when you're on your own and living a life you've always dreamed of, but you have much to learn before then.

There's a lot of obstacles you're going to overcome. You'll face adversity and learn that as long as you push yourself, you'll always be better than you were before. You're going to fall in love, get hurt, and think that you can never love again. But you will, and it's amazing. You just have to wait for Prince Charming to finally work a shift with you at the restaurant, and trust me, it's well worth the wait.

People are going to step on your toes, a lot, and it isn't because we didn't hit a growth spurt. You're going to learn to stand up for yourself and put your foot down, and when you do, people will start respecting you. It's going to take practice. You're so used to giving and putting others first, but when you realize that enough is enough, you'll become selfish -in a good way- and put yourself first. No one will walk all over you or take advantage of your kindness. At first, it will seem mean of you, almost too unfair to others, but it's going to help build your character and strength.

Scary things are going to happen too. I wish I could have avoided them or tell you how to stay safe, but it's something that we can't run from. When it happens, you'll cry and scream and feel like the world is coming to an end, and want to rid yourself of all the pain, but I promise you, we make it through all of this. It isn't the end- merely the end of a bad chapter in our book.

You'll form new friendships with people from work, and they'll love you after only knowing you for a few months. It sounds strange, but these people will become like family to you, and you'll be lucky to have them by your side.

You'll cut ties with everyone from back home. When you come home from college for the holidays, it will seem like you have no one other than family to visit. That's okay. Not everyone deserves your love and friendship. That's something you will learn later on.

School will only get harder. High school is a joke compared to college. Stay focused and stay on track with your studies. It will pay off in the end. Don't slack and make sure you dedicate more time to school than you dedicate to being lazy.

You're going to do some stupid shit when you get older. I'm sorry, but that's just how we are. The repercussions are going to suck, and you'll feel that pain in your chest when you get into trouble, but it's a part of learning. Once you learn wrong from right, and morally wrong from right, things will get easier, and your stupid decisions will be less frequent. It takes a couple of tries before you get the hang of it, but you'll pull through.

Growing up will be challenging. You'll laugh a lot, cry even more, and complain about almost everything. You're not alone. Not ever. Your family will stand by you and support you and tell you when you're wrong, but they will always love you. When you grow up and look back at everything you've lived and experienced, you'll realize that every single event has shaped you into who we are today.

It's all going to be worth it, Elisa. You just have to wait to grow up and see what I mean.

Cover Image Credit: Elisa Nunez-Rodriguez

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To The Girl Who Had A Plan

A letter to the girl whose life is not going according to her plan.
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“I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.” - William Ernest Henley

Since we were little girls we have been asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” We responded with astronauts, teachers, presidents, nurses, etc. Then we start growing up, and our plans change.

In middle school, our plans were molded based on our friends and whatever was cool at the time. Eventually, we went to high school and this question became serious, along with some others: “What are your plans for college?” “What are you going to major in?” “When do you think you’ll get married?” “Are you going to stay friends with your friends?” We are bombarded with these questions we are supposed to have answers to, so we start making plans.

Plans, like going to college with our best friends and getting a degree we’ve been dreaming about. Plans, to get married as soon as we can. We make plans for how to lose weight and get healthy. We make plans for our weddings and children.

SEE ALSO: 19 Pieces Of Advice From A Soon-To-Be 20-Year-Old

We fill our Pinterest boards with these dreams and hopes that we have, which are really great things to do, but what happens when you don’t get into that college? What happens when your best friend chooses to go somewhere else? Or, what if you don’t get the scholarship you need or the awards you thought you deserved. Maybe, the guy you thought you would marry breaks your heart. You might gain a few pounds instead of losing them. Your parents get divorced. Someone you love gets cancer. You don’t get the grades you need. You don’t make that collegiate sports team. The sorority you’re a legacy to, drops you. You didn’t get the job or internship you applied for. What happens to you when this plan doesn’t go your way?

I’ve been there.

The answer for that is “I have this hope that is an anchor for my soul.” Soon we all realize we are not the captain of our fate. We don’t have everything under control nor will we ever have control of every situation in our lives. But, there is someone who is working all things together for the good of those who love him, who has a plan and a purpose for the lives of his children. His name is Jesus. When life takes a turn you aren’t expecting, those are the times you have to cling to Him the tightest, trusting that His plan is what is best. That is easier said than done, but keep pursuing Him. I have found in my life that His plans were always better than mine, and slowly He’s revealing that to me.

The end of your plan isn’t the end of your life. There is more out there. You may not be the captain of your fate, but you can be the master of your soul. You can choose to be happy despite your circumstances. You can change directions at any point and go a different way. You can take the bad and make something beautiful out of it, if you allow God to work in your heart.

SEE ALSO: To The Girl Patiently Waiting With An Impatient Heart

So, make the best of that school you did get in to. Own it. Make new friends- you may find they are better than the old ones. Apply for more scholarships, or get a job. Move on from the guy that broke your heart; he does not deserve you. God has a guy lined up for you who will love you completely. Spend all the time you can with the loved one with cancer. Pray, pray hard for healing. Study more. Apply for more jobs, or try to spend your summer serving others instead. Join a different club or get involved in other organizations on campus. Find your delight first in God and then pursue other activities that make you happy; He will give you the desires of your heart.

My friend, it is going to be OK.

Cover Image Credit: Megan Beavers Photography

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Should We Put An Age Limit On Trick-Or-Treating?

My thoughts on the question.

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Recently in the news, there has been a discussion about an age restriction with trick-or-treating, and in some towns across the United States, there are already laws in place that say those who trick-or-treat above the said age restriction will be fined and/or face jail time.

Once you dig a little deeper and actually read up on this outrageous law, you will learn that this law is rarely ever enforced, and it is mainly in place for the ghouls and goblins that use Halloween as a free-for-all to destroy pumpkins and cause mischief. However, this does bring up a good question: should there be an age limit to trick-or-treating?

Many articles use 12 years old as being the age where trick-or-treating stops. Others say once the child is in high school, it should stop, and a few said that nine or ten is the cut-off age.

What? Crazy!

Personally, I do not think there should be an age limit. Anyone should be able to trick-or-treat. However, I think people should use common sense if they are an adult and choose to take part in trick-or-treating. Stay in your neighborhood or offer to take a child you know out to trick-or-treat. If you are questioning whether or not it's time to stop trick-or-treating, then maybe it is.

But for those who say 12 years old is too old to be out trick-or-treating, I think you're missing the point of Halloween. Halloween is a childhood tradition, and taking it away from someone who isn't even becoming a teenager yet is like taking a part of their childhood away.

My little cousin was placed in a program that gave her an extra year in elementary school due to her learning disability, so technically, this year she should have been in 6th grade. But instead, she is 11 years old, soon to be 12, and is in 5th grade. She'll be 12 in November; therefore, if the trick-or-treating age limit was a law that was enforced here in New Jersey, this would be her last Halloween trick-or-treating.

So could you imagine not allowing a 6th grader to go out trick-or-treating with her other 6th-grade friends over something she can't control? I think if you place an age limit on trick-or-treating, you're asking a child to grow up too quickly. Kids already grow up fast, so we should let them enjoy this fun tradition for as long as they possibly can.

But that is just how I feel, and I'd love to know your thoughts! Do you think there should be an age limit with trick-or-treating?

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