What would I tell my younger self if I could go back and talk to her?
You are beautiful.
I was always bigger than everyone else growing up. I was at least 4 inches taller and many pounds heavier than my classmates. All I ever wanted was to be petite and "cute" like the other girls. I hated my body.
If I could talk to my younger self, I would tell her that not only does everyone feel insecure about the way they look sometimes, but that one day I would grow up to be a tall, beautiful woman.
When you're older, you will come to understand that beauty is not something that can be defined. Everyone--no matter what magazines or media says--is beautiful in their own way. Stand up straight!!! You are tall and be proud of it. Poor posture will only haunt you in the future.
DO NOT believe everything adults tell you.
Growing up in Springfield, MO (aka "the bible belt" of America), I wasn't exposed to much diversity. I attended a Christian school, and most of the people I was surrounded by were white, Christian, and Republican.
Let me first say, I am in no way slamming any of those categorical titles. I am saying that diversity and varying points of view were very scarce while I was growing up. I was given very strong opinions at a young age and it made me extremely ignorant and judgemental.
If I could talk to my younger self, I would tell her that everyone has their own perspectives and opinions and I should be open-minded and accepting of new school's of thought.
Just because adults share what's happening in the news does not mean their opinions are correct, FOX News is not the only news source, and understanding varying points of view on a subject actually makes you a more understanding and empathetic person.
You are not bossy, you are a bold, fierce woman.
My mom recently told me that many of my teachers during parent-teacher conferences notified her that I was "bossy." She knew that they intended for her to speak to me about my bad behavior.
She would look them in the eyes and say "good. That means one day she'll be a leader." I never heard one word from her about it.
I understand that as a little girl--and still to this day---I was and am a lot to take in. I did need to learn when to not say things, and I am still working on it to this day. My issue with calling little girls bossy stems from the fact that little boys are never called bossy. In fact, I've heard little boys called "strong", "bold", and a "leader" for acting the way I did.
I was told that "boys will be boys" and shown that boys are rewarded for being outspoken; however, I was looked down on for displaying the same qualities as my male counterparts because I was a girl.
If I could talk to my younger self, I would tell her to never let them put my fire out. There is nothing wrong you. You are strong, bold, smart, and your opinions DO matter. It doesn't matter who people want you to be, you will only be happy being the person you were meant to be.
Everyone who knew me when I was younger knows that I was not chill. I cared about absolutely everything. I'm sure a lot of it had to do with my anxiety and my unhealthy habit of being the most perfect human being I could be.
If I could talk to my younger self, I would tell her that most things don't matter in the long scheme of life. Your school notes looking perfect, you look perfect, your Instagram looking perfect, your texts and posts looking perfect, and everything else I obsessed over, do not matter.
You waste so much happiness and time worrying about things you should let go. I promise everything will be okay. Try to enjoy life as much as you can and CHILL.
Being weird is in fact much better than being normal.
I have always been weird. As I got older, I became very good at hiding that fact, but it only resulted in deep-rooted anxiety.
If I could talk to my younger self, I would tell her that embracing your weirdness only results in more fun, exciting, and fulfilling life. I know you feel like people don't want to see the real you, but you'll come to realize that people are actually more drawn to people who don't care about what other's think.
You may feel like people are judging you--and they probably are--but as soon as you become unapologetically you, I promise, they will be attracted to your beautiful light.
Other people do not define your worth.
Growing up includes a lot of discoveries about how cruel the world can be. I always assumed I was less than and took other's opinions of me to heart.
If I could talk to my younger self, I would tell her to look at things logically rather than feeling everything so deeply. Just because someone says or thinks something about you does not mean they are correct.
Some people will find you annoying. They will bring you down and you may never know why. Please, don't take it to heart. If someone doesn't like you, they don't deserve to know you. Stop letting others define your worth.
I love you. You can do this and you will be better than okay.