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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I'm A Woman And You Can't Convince Me Breastfeeding In Public Is OK In 2019

Sorry, not sorry.

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Lately, I have seen so many people going off on social media about how people shouldn't be upset with mothers breastfeeding in public. You know what? I disagree.

There's a huge difference between being modest while breastfeeding and just being straight up careless, trashy and disrespectful to those around you. Why don't you try popping out a boob without a baby attached to it and see how long it takes for you to get arrested for public indecency? Strange how that works, right?

So many people talking about it bring up the point of how we shouldn't "sexualize" breastfeeding and seeing a woman's breasts while doing so. Actually, all of these people are missing the point. It's not sexual, it's just purely immodest and disrespectful.

If you see a girl in a shirt cut too low, you call her a slut. If you see a celebrity post a nude photo, you call them immodest and a terrible role model. What makes you think that pulling out a breast in the middle of public is different, regardless of what you're doing with it?

If I'm eating in a restaurant, I would be disgusted if the person at the table next to me had their bare feet out while they were eating. It's just not appropriate. Neither is pulling out your breast for the entire general public to see.

Nobody asked you to put a blanket over your kid's head to feed them. Nobody asked you to go feed them in a dirty bathroom. But you don't need to basically be topless to feed your kid. Growing up, I watched my mom feed my younger siblings in public. She never shied away from it, but the way she did it was always tasteful and never drew attention. She would cover herself up while doing it. She would make sure that nothing inappropriate could be seen. She was lowkey about it.

Mindblowing, right? Wait, you can actually breastfeed in public and not have to show everyone what you're doing? What a revolutionary idea!

There is nothing wrong with feeding your baby. It's something you need to do, it's a part of life. But there is definitely something wrong with thinking it's fine to expose yourself to the entire world while doing it. Nobody wants to see it. Nobody cares if you're feeding your kid. Nobody cares if you're trying to make some sort of weird "feminist" statement by showing them your boobs.

Cover up. Be modest. Be mindful. Be respectful. Don't want to see my boobs? Good, I don't want to see yours either. Hard to believe, I know.

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Here's What Happens When All Of Your Friends Have Babies

All of my friends back home are married with children. No, really, they are.

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Over the past few months, three of my friends have shared their pregnancy news with me, and I couldn't be more thrilled. Baby news always stirs up a range of emotions for me. I'm excited and crying happy tears (no joke, I started to cry when my best friend told me and showed me her ultrasound).

Being "Auntie Meg" brings me such great joy. You see, I absolutely adore children, especially my friend's kiddos. They can easily brighten up my day with their giggles, love you, and their goodbye kisses & waves. I absolutely love getting to be "Auntie Meg"; it could potentially be my favorite role to fill.

I don't think I've ever loved human beings more than I love these babies. These are kiddos I would do almost anything for; they truly have my whole heart and I couldn't be more thankful for each and every one of them. I've loved getting to watch my friends grow into incredible parents.

I love getting to be one of the biggest cheerleaders for my friends and their kids. Listen, I can't wait for the day when they are older and are asking to come over more and spend time doing fun things with auntie Meg. I can't wait to watch them grow and I can't wait to be able to come alongside them and be a shoulder to cry on and one of the loudest voices cheering them on (Next to mom and dad, of course).

While there is just so much good about your friends growing up and having children of their own, if you are not careful, it can also fuel a person's self-doubt.

It can bring up questions like, "am I good enough?", "what is wrong with me?", "why am I not where they are at?" I would be lying if I said that I have never thought or felt these things, but here's the thing: you are good enough, there is absolutely nothing wrong with you, and their path is not your path; you will get there when you get there.

Those things are so important to remember in times when you begin to doubt yourself or your worth.

Believe me, you are good enough, there is nothing wrong with you, and that is not the path you need to be on at the moment. This is a great time for you to focus on you and the things you want out of life. What are your goals? What is on your bucket list? Just because you don't have the things your friends have, doesn't make your life any less fulfilled than theirs is. Your life is just as wonderful and fulfilling as theirs is, just in different ways.

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