A Letter to My 5-Year-Old Self

A Letter to My 5-Year-Old Self

Words of wisdom to my favorite 5-year-old.
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Hi sweet girl,

I hope you’re doing well. It’s been a long time since we talked, but I wanted to update you on our life and share with you some words of wisdom because a lot has changed since I was a bright eyed five-year-old with unruly hair and pink skorts.

You’re going to move. A lot. To different houses and different states. And the first day is always going to be scary and intimidating, but there will be a person at every school who reaches out and invites you to sit with them and their friends. Hang onto those people because they will become your best friends.

You, as you probably have already figured out, will be an outspoken and confident kid. Do not let anyone take that away from you. It is not your problem if they don’t value a girl with a strong voice. It is not your responsibility to mold yourself into their idea of a perfect person.

The camp that was your second home, the camp where you accepted Jesus into your heart, is also going to be the place that makes you leave Christianity. But it’s okay because you’ll finally be able to love the people your big heart was always meant to love.

Your mom and brother will become your best friends and biggest inspirations. Spend every minute you can with them.

You will find peace in the sunshine and on the water, so take every opportunity to be outside.

You will have a love/hate relationship with your body. Please try to remember that your curves and tummy are beautiful, and take time out of your day to rub your belly. It helps more than you think it would.

You will feel every emotion so intensely, and that’s okay. Crying is good. Laughing is good. Being angry is good. Your emotions are valid, and you should never feel like they aren’t.

You will fall in love with a boy, become really good friends with him, and receive many mixed signals. And when he comes out to you because he knows you’re a safe space, you’ll be so happy that he gets to live honestly and fully and with the person that he loves that it won’t even matter that he didn’t (couldn’t) love you back in the first place.

Your life will forever be impacted by the TV show “Glee." And you will post an obscene amount of Facebook posts using all capital letters and too many exclamation points. But it will teach you that “being a part of something special makes you special," and you will join theater and choir to find your inner Rachel Berry, but you will end up finding yourself instead.

You will spend your senior summer around many bonfires with good people, good music, and good food, and that will feel more like church than your actual church did. Cherish those moments because they will go by quickly.

You will go into college feeling hopeless because your big dreams seem out of reach. Please know that you are capable of doing absolutely anything you set your mind to. You are so much smarter than you think you are, and I never want you to feel like you can’t pursue your dreams because you feel like you’re not good enough or that you don’t deserve it. You deserve the world.

Finally, please know that you’re going to be okay. I know that it may not seem like it right now, but I promise everything works out the way it’s supposed to.

I hope that you’re ready for these next thirteen years, Little Emma. They contain some of my favorite memories. Keep doing everything in your power to feel confident, proud, and strong, and I promise I’ll try to do the same.

Cover Image Credit: Emma Pinkham

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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In Real Life, 'Plus Size' Means A Size 16 And Up, Not Just Women Who Are Size 8's With Big Breasts

The media needs to understand this, and give recognition to actual plus-size women.

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Recently, a British reality dating TV show called "Love Island" introduced that a plus-sized model would be in the season five lineup of contestants. This decision was made after the show was called out for not having enough diversity in its contestants. However, the internet was quick to point out that this "plus-size model" is not an accurate representation of the plus-size community.


@abidickson01 on twitter.com


Anna Vakili, plus-size model and "Love Island "Season 5 Contestant Yahoo UK News

It is so frustrating that the media picks and chooses women that are the "ideal" version of plus sized. In the fashion world, plus-size starts at size 8. EIGHT. In real life, plus-size women are women who are size 16 and up. Plunkett Research, a marketing research company, estimated in 2018 that 68% of women in America wear a size 16 to 18. This is a vast difference to what we are being told by the media. Just because a woman is curvy and has big breasts, does NOT mean that they are plus size. Marketing teams for television shows, magazines, and other forms of media need to realize that the industry's idea of plus size is not proportionate to reality.

I am all for inclusion, but I also recognize that in order for inclusion to actually happen, it needs to be accurate.

"Love Island" is not the only culprit of being unrealistic in woman's sizes, and I don't fully blame them for this choice. I think this is a perfect example of the unrealistic expectations that our society puts on women. When the media tells the world that expectations are vastly different from reality, it causes women to internalize that message and compare themselves to these unrealistic standards.

By bringing the truth to the public, it allows women to know that they should not compare themselves and feel bad about themselves. Everyone is beautiful. Picking and choosing the "ideal" woman or the "ideal" plus-size woman is completely deceitful. We as a society need to do better.

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