Letter To My 16-Year-Old Self
About a year ago, a CBC radio show asked two celebrity guests to write a letter to their 16-year-old selves and read it on air. The idea inspired me to write a letter to myself.
It’s May 2010, a long, long time from where you are right now, and there is a lot that I want to tell you.
The first, thing I want to tell you, is that I love you. You might think that this is a crazy thing to be telling myself, but it isn’t. It is the most important thing, because without that. Life will be very difficult.
I haven’t always loved you, and I’m sorry to say that I have actually hated you. I’m only just beginning to understand how to love you now, but please, please, know that I do and I promise never to stop.
I, your future self, am not crazy, or stupid, although I have done some crazy, and stupid things. Don’t worry about that. We all do. Please try to keep an open mind here.
There are no rules, only cause and effect. Don’t hurt people. Don’t hurt the planet. If everyone got this, the world would be very different. Unfortunately, you can’t change other people, so focus on doing the right things yourself. Maybe it will catch on. Don’t get yourself all caught up in trying not to make mistakes. It’s how we learn and learning is what we’re all here for. You will make many mistakes, but you need to forgive yourself. Don’t be afraid. You will be alright.
You are much, much smarter than you think you are, so don’t sell yourself short. Stop thinking that you’re less than all of your friends because they get better marks than you do. Marks don’t mean as much as you have been taught to think.Every single human being on this planet is as important as any other, and that includes you. It doesn’t matter what kind of marks you get or what you’re good at or what you accomplish. Try your best, but remember that you are valuable and loved, and worthy… even when you fail.
Money, cars, clothes or any other possessions don’t really matter that much, but people do. What matters is what you contribute to the world, not what you get from it. And since I know you think I’m nuts now, let me clarify with one sentence. “Give, and you shall receive.”
Not having a boyfriend is not the worst thing that will ever happen to you so don’t be with anyone unless it feels right. You will learn how to wait, and waiting will be worth it. I’m certain of that.
I’m sorry to tell you, that life isn’t going to be easy, but what you learn from it will be your greatest gift. A lot of your dreams might not come true, but whatever you do, don’t stop creating new ones. You will get better at it, and not dreaming is not living. You won’t get anywhere without your dreams.
Don’t be angry. I know that’s a tall order, but no matter how right you are, being angry will only hurt you.
Learn to forgive. I wish I could tell you some magic formula to make this easy, but there isn’t one, and I’m just starting to figure it out myself. Just try. Try as hard as you can to forgive everyone and everything that ever hurts you, but most of all forgive yourself. It’s the only way you’ll ever truly be happy.
Be kind. It is your nature. No, people will not always be kind to you. But being kind feels better than anything, and maybe, you’ll set an example. Do it. It’s important. People can be cruel, but this magical Universe that we live in isn’t. It might seem that way at times, but there is always beauty to be found. Make a constant effort to find it and you will know how to find peace.
Being kind doesn’t mean you have to make everyone happy. You’ll never be able to do that, and you need to learn when and how to put yourself first. You will never be able to give the world your best if you don’t take care of your own needs, so learn how to do that too.
You know how, when you stare at clouds for a while, you can make pictures with your mind? Well, don’t ever stop looking for the pictures in the clouds. Take the time to pay attention to the birds, and the trees and the flowers, and all of the animals that you pass every day. Stop and smell the lilacs,they only bloom for a short time. Be grateful for what you find. This is another important part of how to be happy.
On a lighter note, (you’ll see the humour in this one day) I have to break it to you that George Michael is gay. Really, really gay. This is not just some high-school rumor created by insecure boys. You’ll get over it, but your family will never forget it. I assure you, you’ll learn to laugh with them.
Ok. I’m done now. I could go on forever, but I’m laughing because I know you and you probably don’t believe a word I’ve said, especially the George Michael Thing … don’t worry, you will. So, in parting, I’d like to tell you one last crazy thing. (I swear to you, there are no lies here.)
40, IS NOT OLD!
See, I knew you wouldn’t believe me. But I still love you.
I’m curious; What would you say if you wrote your 16-year-old self a letter?
Want to read more? Check out missmom2u at The Motherhood Umbrella.
And Bethan Stritton’s This is What I’d Say at Grow Your Own Gorgeousness.