To My Younger Self,
I’m getting ready to turn 33. Another year around the sun. As I sit here, I’m feeling grateful for the woman I’ve become, and I owe that to you. You are one TOUGH cookie. You’re so many things that I still am today: strong and weird, silly and emotional, stubborn and relentless, quiet and kind.
You’ll find your passions early. You’ll write stories and take pictures and make music with your friends. You’ll make your dad chase pigeons around the city to get the perfect photo. Play time to you is making up business plans for pretend restaurants, magazines and design firms. That early interest in business is no accident.
Someday, all these passions will be the building blocks of your life and you’ll be happy you started young. Make no mistake, a life of passion will be fulfilling, but it won’t always be easy. You’ll be tested time and time again and feel like giving up. But you’re also the girl who will start a successful business in the height of an economic recession. When no one will give you a job, you will make opportunities for yourself. That’s what kind of person you’ll become.
Life won’t always be kind. Kids can be cruel, and you’ll spend years being quiet and invisible to survive it. They’ll pick on all the things that make you different, but in time you’ll learn that what makes you different is what makes you special. And some day, those kids will want to be different and special, too.
You’re romantic at heart and figuratively speaking, you’ll kiss a lot of frogs. Over and over you will think you’ve found the one, and over and over you’ll wonder why they didn’t love you back. Be patient. That real, extraordinary, one-of-kind love will find you, and someday you’ll know what all the heartache was for.
There are heartaches and there are heartbreaks. And you’ll experience a heartbreak so devastating life will never feel the same. It will make you question your worth and you’ll spend years wondering what you did wrong, replaying a lifetime of memories in your head. The truth is, there will be times when people leave you, and you’ll never know why. It’s nothing you did or didn’t do. Their part of your story is over and the hardest thing you’ll learn is to move on.
Every plan, idea, poem and feeling you’ve ever had in your head will fill pages. You’ll draw a map of your life, and your heart will act as your guide. You will dream BIG, amazing, unimaginable things, and they’ll come true because you believe in yourself.
You may never fully understand your faith, but have faith that everything happens for a reason. People will come into your life and make you feel understood. Others will say goodbye. Learn that taking a step back sometimes means giving yourself the opportunity to take a giant leap forward.
And as hard as it is to say, there will be days when life knocks you down, when your plans unravel, and you’re not sure how to carry on. But the hardest falls will be where you find your greatest strengths. Don’t forget that.
So with that, I’d like to say thank my younger self for always being so tough and for learning how to persevere through anything. What a gift you have given me to be standing so strong today.