Dear My High School Self,
I’m sure this letter finds you totally absorbed in high school life and yourself. You probably have practice and homework and social plans. I hope you will set aside your know-i-tall attitude long enough to read this letter. You think you have all the answers, but you don’t. I’m writing you (me) this letter to give you hope. In the midst of everything you think is so important at this moment, you may lose sight of what really is.
Be kind. You’re a generally nice person and you definitely have a compassionate heart. That’s not the same as being kind. Kindness is when you put your compassion in action. Too many times you have, and will, step out when there is something that can be done. Remember when you went to volleyball camp the summer before your freshman year, and the people you thought were your friends, hurt your feelings pretty bad? Remember how sad you were when you felt like you had no one in your corner that you could count on? That’s a feeling you quickly forgot. Stop watching while others experience the same thing, sometimes because of you. Care a little less about others’ perceptions of you and a little more about being kind to people. Life will always present you with opportunities to be kind. Choosing to do it usually wont be easy, but do it anyway. You can change someone’s life by being kind to them. You can change YOUR life by being kind. Open your heart to your ability love.
Don’t waste your time being angry or holding on to grudges. I get it, people hurt you. Haven’t you hurt others? We all make mistakes. We all do things we wish we could take back. Unfortunately, the only option is to move forward. Forgiving others, family, friends or otherwise, will allow you to be happy. Holding on to the past will bring you down. It’s impossible to walk forward when you are looking back. Give everyone a second chance, whether they deserve it or not. Trust me, you are going to do some things you will spend your whole life being thankful that the person you hurt forgave you for and offered you another chance. Pay it forward. This is a lifetime commitment. It’s not about what happened or getting forgiveness from the other person. It’s about allowing yourself to move on. Give out forgiveness like it is going out of style so you can live a life free of the heavy shackles of anger.
Don’t let something ridiculous come between you and the people you care about most. Make the most of your time with the people that are important in your life. I know you’ve experienced loss already, but there is more headed your way. That’s just life. While it is still in your power to spend time with people you care about, do it. Tell them what they mean to you. Don’t just tell them, show them. Spend whatever time you have with those people. Never leave the door open to wonder if they know what they mean to you. Make sure they do. Go visit Grandma Masel more than you do now. Sit in her room with her. Ask her every question you can think of. Hug her. Tell her you love her. Make time for your sister. She is going to grow up so fast. There will come a time in her life where she will wonder if you love her. Make sure she knows you do. Give mom a break. Yes, your hormones are raging, but cut her a little slack. She does a lot for you. Let her know she’s important to you. The list goes on. Just do what you can to let the people who matter to you know that they matter to you. Our days on this earth are limited and our last day is unknown. Don’t assume you will have tomorrow.
There is so much to do in this world. Say yes more. Get out of your comfort zone. Push yourself to experience more. If you don’t take a chance on something, you will never know what could have come from it. Don’t be afraid to get hurt or make a fool of yourself. Try something new. Let yourself experience everything this life has to offer. It’s easier to say no, and that’s the reason you should say yes. Don’t throw all caution, reason and judgment to the wind, you’re an intelligent person. Like mom always says, make good choices. Get out there and live your life. Don’t sit around waiting for the world and all its excitement to come to you. Go find your adventure and live your life fully. You’re constantly writing inspirational quotes in your planner. Stop reading them and live them.
Your life is, and will be, wonderful. Life is hard and messy. It’s imperfect and unpredictable. It’s fulfilling and fun. It’s heartbreaking and beautiful. Try to live in the moment, happy or sad. There is beauty and wonder to be found in every situation, but you may have to search for it. Try to find that shining moment regardless of what you’re experiencing. Some things are going to be out of control, that’s OK. I know that sounds crazy. You’re a control freak, a planner, a perfectionist. Those things will serve you well, but they can also hold you back if you aren’t careful. It’s great to plan ahead, but don’t forget to enjoy your life while you’re living it. There are so many little moments that will change your life. You will never be the same age, in the same situation, as you are right now. You’re going to want this time back. You’re going to miss this time, and every time after it, even if you don’t believe that now. Don’t forget to enjoy your hard work and the scenery of your journey. Being in college, being out of college, being older isn’t going to be better. Worry less, laugh more. Every day is a blessing full of it’s own excitement, adventures and mystery. The grass isn’t greener and life doesn’t get easier. You will never have it all planned out or all together. That’s part of what makes life so great. Trust that things will work out. Make the best of whatever situation you find yourself in. Your life will not be perfect, but it will be the perfect journey for you.
There are a million things I could tell you, but you will live them soon enough. I wouldn’t want to spoil the surprises waiting for you! Enjoy every moment. Just know when it comes down to it, I wouldn’t change a thing. Except the perm. Don’t get the perm.
Love, Future You.
If you could tell YOUR past self 5 things, what would you say?
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