What You Should Know About Your Life
There is some stuff you should know, and now is a good time to tell you. After seeing the #DearMe video on YouTube, where women spoke to their younger selves about what they should have known, I was inspired to write to you, to tell you things that I know now but wish I knew then.
- Dear 10 year old me, don’t worry about how Mom dresses you. Everybody’s mom gave them poofy bangs, neon clothes, and funky leggings. Just look at Full House episodes. You were cool. It was the style then, and quite frankly, some of it is coming back into style now. Scary, yes.
- Dear 13 year old me, don’t rush to grow up. It’s okay to still be a kid, to still want to play like a kid. Boys can wait. Driving can wait. Getting a job and moving out can wait. Be a kid.
- Dear 16 year old me, yes, it was true love. It was real love. In fact, it still is. Don’t let them tell you otherwise. Don’t let them fill you with doubts and anxieties. So what that he’s going away to school. So what that you’ll only see each other a few times a month. Want to know a secret? He comes home to you.
- Dear 18 year old me, you’ll miss high school someday. I know it was torture, being THE nerd and a girl jock at the same time, being bullied by the ‘popular’ kids, feeling the pressure to always have straight As…but you’ll miss it. High school was a simpler time. A time when you could grow up without having adult responsibilities. A time when you could find out who you are. Embrace it.
- Dear 20 year old me, remember when it was so important to have a lot of friends? Not so important now. The few friends you have now will be friends for life. Now that’s important.
- Dear 22 year old me, trust me, everyone’s first year as a teacher is the worst. You graduate from college and they leave you alone in a room, responsible for the brains of 20-35 adolescent, hormone raging kids at a time. Even though you stumble, even though they test you and challenge you, you’ll make it. You’ll cringe someday at all of the first year teacher mistakes you made, but don’t forget: it’s the mistakes in life that help us to learn.
- Dear 23 year old me, welcome to you first year of marriage, one of the biggest responsibilities you’ll ever have. They (you know, the collective old folks) say that the first few years of marriage are the hardest. Boy, they weren’t kidding. But you’ll get to know him, the real him and you’ll figure it all out. And he’ll get to know you, the real you, and again, it’ll be alright. Just wait until you have kids…
- Dear 25 year old me, don’t ever, ever let them tell you that having a c-section is not really giving birth. It was a very, very long 14 hours of labor you endured. It was excruciatingly painful (thank the high heavens for the epidural..and then curse the skies when it wears off). You pushed with everything in your being, but it wasn’t enough. To think that precious little baby was stuck that whole time, and facing the wrong way to boot! You knew the doctor wouldn’t make you get a c-section if it wasn’t needed. When the time came, the baby was born, healthy and howling (those mighty little lungs!). You become a mom. Your husband becomes a dad. A family is born.
- Dear 27 year old me, I know becoming a stay at home mom was never the plan. It was always the plan to be a teacher for life. Being a teacher meant so much to you, didn’t it? Being a stay at home mom will mean even more. It’s going to be very, very hard to walk away from a job you loved. It’s going to be hard to live on a small budget. It’s going to feel lonely at times, even. But, while your students may now be smaller, the lessons you teach them they’ll retain for life. Just look into your toddler’s eyes. Into your baby’s eyes. Could you really leave them now?
- Dear 29 year old me, thirty isn’t old. It may have seemed old when your parents were that age, but it’ll be one of your best years so far. Just think: you’re about to be a mom of three, and he’s supposed to come right around your birthday! Best. Gift. Ever.
- Dear 31 year old me, it’s okay to grieve. It’s okay to mourn your loss. It was completely unexpected, and caught you off guard. But you’re not alone. In fact, miscarriages happen to many women. According to your doctor, it can happen in 1 out of every 4 pregnancies, and this pregnancy was your fourth. Cry when you need to, but appreciate what you already have. If it’s meant to be, it’ll happen again.
- Dear 32 year old me, four kids. FOUR KIDS. Was that ever in your plan? You know better now not to plan your life that way again. You never thought you’d be here, at home, raising four kids, but they’re all here, and they’re all yours.
- Dear 33 year old me, PTSD after a miscarriage and a difficult pregnancy is real. Very real. You’re not imagining things. Raising a rainbow baby is not all rainbows and butterflies after all. You’re blessed, but you’re terrified of what could have happened or what could still happen. But no worries: all works out for the best.
- Dear 35 year old me, remember calling your mom ‘old’ when she was this age? You may not feel old, but now your kids are calling you old. Karma has a way.
Wow, you’ve been through a lot, not all of which is even touched here. But here you are, alive and well. Knowing what you now know, how are you going to improve your life?
How can you make life better for others? You have a lot of life left. Make every moment count.
Leave a Comment!
Tell me: What would you say to your younger self? What lessons have you learned in life?
Rachel Alba says
That was just beautiful. The Amish have a saying, “we get too smart too late.” You got smart young. I wish I was a lot smarter then I was. If I wrote myself a letter, I would have to scold myself for being so stupid at times. Now you know how to talk to your children when they get older. Great letter.
Don’t we always wish we could use the “Back to the Future” car and let ourselves know things like this!! I love the list…brings smiles, tears and laughs! 🙂
That would be great!! 😀
Awe, this is great idea for my journal. I’ve written a litter to myself before, but I like how you break it down by age. Great idea. Thanks.
I wish I still wrote in a journal, but I guess this is kinda my journal.. 🙂
Wisdom comes with age. Some beautiful thoughts.
I like this idea and think I need to do one of these posts.
You should, and share!! 🙂
This was great. I’m not even sure what I’d tell my younger self. But as a Mom who ended up staying home with my three kids also, I will just say you’ll never regret it. Life goes by so quickly. Remember to try to appreciate even the challenging times, for they will pass. I guess I’d tell myself, “hey, don’t sweat this kid thing so much. If you’re there for them, provide lots of love and guidance, they’ll turn out fine”. And they have so far, I have three pretty amazing kids.
Words of wisdom! And wow, are there a lot of challenging times, but you’re right, they’ll pass. 🙂
Jennifer Rogers says
What is the syaing “Youth is wasted on the Young”? This saying is somewhat true as we gain so much wisdom as we grow older and much of what you told your younger self holds true for me as well; I did not think I would survive my first year teaching and wondered what I had gotten myself into!, I had three Cesearian sections, I wanted children very much, I tell my daughters now when they say ” Mom, those bangs were just bad”! it was the style at the time! I was more than happy to be a stay at home mom and I was more than happy to return to teaching after my youngest entered college, you will want to do that too, you love kids!
Maybe someday I’ll go back to teach. Time will tell!
Glenda Cates says
WOW< how beautiful and I would tell my younger self to make time for those you love as one day they may not be here and you can not go back. Also money isn't everything and loving someone does not mean it will last a lifetime.
All so very true!
That was pretty cool and touching. If we could only go back….
It’d be nice, wouldn’t it?
I would tell my 40 year old younger self to allows appreciate the age you are, that the challenges faced with your children are short lived, that time really does go by fast, so be in the moment and live life to the fullest! thanks for sharing your thoughts.
I couldn’t agree more with “appreciate the age you are”! So often we want to be a different age, whether older or younger, but we really do need to learn to live in the moment. 🙂
Heather M says
Whew! You had me in tears by the end. Dear 16….YES! Young bride here and was told I should date more first. I wish 19 year old me knew that that person had best intentions but it was based off her life, not mine, and would have let it go as her loss that she didn’t show up for my wedding.
Dear 25…..oh girl, that one is a STRUGGLE! Nothing like being made to feel inferior because you “wimped out” and had labor then major surgery, then horrible recovery, then THE SCAR.
Dear 31…I’ve walked that dark path. 1 in 4 are odds barely anyone knows about until they walk it. I don’t know how long ago 31 was but it gets easier. It never goes away completely but it does get easier.
Didn’t mean to make anyone tear up! But honestly, thank you for your words of encouragement!!
I loved this! It’s so sweet. I almost cried when I read your last one. I can’t even imagine. Also, to tell yourself now forget the chores play with those little blessings!
Trust me, I try to forget the chores, but they always find me.. 🙂 Thanks for your comment!!
Sometimes I wish I knew what I would tell myself 10 years from now!
Amazing post! I wish it was possible to go back and talk to my younger self! There are so many things that I have to tell her. I would tell her that it is ok to make mistakes, they are part of life. I would tell her that she is beautiful the way she is, and she can do whatever she wants and sets her mind to. Thank you for this!
Those are great things to tell your younger self!!
Karen @ Crafty Commons says
Such a touching letter to yourself! I will tell you that you have not giving up teaching; you are now teacher to some of the best kids in the world – your own! And it sounds like they have a very wise and caring mom!
Aw, thanks! I try my best. 🙂
Jeryl M. says
I would go back and tell myself to worry about a lot of things a lot less.
Wouldn’t have less stress just made life so much easier?
Wow, this really touched me because I can relate to so much. Married at 23, teacher, c-section, miscarriage….we’ve lived a lot of the same things. Stay strong!
Thank you, and same to you! 🙂
Betty Bite says
I love the idea of this post. I don’t honestly know what I would say to my younger self. I think I would just tell myself to never give up and everything eventually works out, even when you think things will not. I would tell myself to go to the doctor sooner when the weight started to fall off. Honestly, I think that is all I would say. This is something I would love to try to do on my blog. Love how honest you were. Much love
To never give up is a mantra that all young people should adopt. It’s unfortunate that we don’t think of that until we’re older! If you do try it on your blog, please share!
An elderly uncle used to say often “youth is wasted on the young”, I thought is was the silliest thing I had ever heard every time I heard him say it. haha, guess who uses that phrase all too often now. Yep, this one 🙂
Your letter to your younger self is beautiful, you are a smart one. Mind would be full of scolding myself for being so stupid and making horrible choices. But then, age with wisdom finally catches up with us, and I am so thankful for that.
Thanks for sharing
There’s so much to be learned from the elderly! I loved to sit and talk with an elderly aunt of mine. Oh, I wish I could talk to her now!
Your letter to your younger self is beautiful. Mine would have been full of scolding myself for stupid choices. Age and wisdom have a way of catching up with all of us, and I am so thankful for that.
Thanks for sharing.
Age and wisdom sure do catch up with us! Thanks for commenting. 🙂
I love this! I wish there was a way to visit our former selves and just be there to tell them that everything is going to be okay. I’m so sorry to hear about your miscarriage. Hugs to you.
Thank you. It has been a rough few months for me, but I’m pulling through. 🙂
Wonderful! I would repeat many of the same things to my younger-self. Wouldn’t it have been wonderful to know these things then? Hindsight…
Hindsight is always 20/20, right? 🙂
Lalia Frolick says
Goodness, I don’t know where I’d even start. I think it would take me a really long time to think about, and even longer to complete. Strangely enough, it was only several weeks ago I was thinking about this very topic and considering writing about the things I wish I could have told myself about what I was going through at the time. I have relatively little to complain about these days, as a whole, I feel I have everything I could really ask for and more. But the first 18 years of my life were not without a great deal of pain, and there’s so much I wish I had known that would have helped me get through it with fewer bumps and bruises. Thank you for sharing this very personal post.
If you do decide to write it, please share! 🙂
What a beautiful piece! As I was reading it, I was remembering myself at those stages of life, nice walk down the memory lane. Thank you for that! 🙂
You’re welcome! 🙂
I love this – and I love that you looked at so many different stages in your life. Isn’t it crazy how what seems like it will last forever never really does?
I know! As a very emotional person, I would dwell on events in my life as if they’d never end and drive myself insane thinking about it all. I wish I knew then not to even think about it twice!
Very touching letter you wrote. Wouldn’t it be great if we really could go back and give our younger selves these messages. I would have so much advice to give me. Sometimes I wish I would have done things differently but then I think…would I be here now if I had? I made so many mistakes and life was hard but it made me the strong person that I am now, so maybe it was all meant to be anyway.
I’d like to think that everything happens for a reason. Perhaps that reason is to just help us grow up!
That was very very moving, and really makes me think. I’m so sorry for your loss. I know you loved that baby with all that’s in you. I pray for your peace.
I turned 50 this year and did a little decade in review thing on Facebook. It was mostly humorous. I would love to think more about this privately and journal about it because I think it would be very therapeutic. Reading yours makes me realize how we worry in our moments a lot instead of live in them. Right? It’s always in the looking back where we have perspective and wish we wouldn’t have sweated small stuff or focused on things that totally didn’t matter in the long term. We also see how those experiences have made us grow and that we appreciate so much what’s come in spite of the really hard times. Thank you so much for sharing.
Thank you for your kind words! Finding humor in my past would definitely be therapeutic! I joke all the time that I’m going to write a book, and everyone in my life is going to have a chapter dedicated to them, lol.
Wonderful letter. Unfortunately, many things you may want to pass on, the younger generation won’t listen to. Some things you just have to experience to understand.
That’s true. If someone had said any of these things to me back then, I probably wouldn’t have listened..
Wow, I feel like you were writing to me! Very relatable…my fourth pregnancy was actually a miscarriage as well after three successful…it was really difficult at the time, and still comes back to me, but now I’m writing this with our five month old on my lap…bless your grieving, it is an important part of the journey and bless you 🙂
I’m glad to know that there’s hope! Thank you for your comment!
Julie S. says
This was beautiful and inspiring. Thanks for sharing your story in such a way 🙂
Anne Campbell says
I love this post! This is a wonderful way to document your life, and I’ll bet your kids will enjoy reading it some day. I’m a sahm/wahm to 3 kids, and time does fly by so fast. I cherish each moment with them, and it is definitely worth the monetary sacrifice to be at home raising them. I’m sorry about your miscarriage–I’ve been through that, too, and many people don’t realize how difficult it is. Sending hugs your way!
Dawn @ Reveal Natural Health says
Wow! I am almost crying as I am thinking about myself at each of the ages you mentioned. I would love to do a post like this on my own blog, but thinking about what I would honestly tell myself during each of the wonderful and rough moments in my life is hard to think about and scary to think about making public on my blog. I commend you for writing such an honest post.
I have to admit, I did cry as I was drafting this post, but it was very therapeutic for me!
This is beautiful! I recently wrote a letter to my 16-year-old self, but I really like the format of this one and how much it tells such an astounding story. Thank you for sharing this!
I’d love to read that! I’ll have to go look for it. 🙂
Your letter is thoughtful and beautiful. When I think of things I worried about or went through when I was younger I chide myself for dwelling on those things at the time. But hindsight is 20/20 you know, and we grow and mature every time we go through experiences and situations that challenge us. Thanks for a very thoughtful post!
I know what you mean. We spend so much time and energy worrying about some things that don’t matter as much as we age. It’s all about growing up, I guess!
So much I have to say but perhaps for me the most important thing is to tell my current self to forgive my past self. I wouldn’t be where I am with who I am with if I had made any other choices.
On a side note, a miscarriage is rough. Mourn as you need to mourn.
Thank you! Our choices shape us into who we are, even if they’re the wrong choices at the time.
This was inspiring. It was like you wren’t just writing to yourself but to me. I was a teacher, now sham and I had a c-section too. There are so many things I want to say to my younger self. Starting with: you are beautiful! Cherish the friendships you have. Don’t let anyone take your confidence away…Ok i’m going to make a list now and I’m sharing this with my sister and best friends. Thank you.
If you write a post about it, do share!! 🙂
This post definitely made me tear up, I love it! Such a good post, definitely wish we could have known some of the things we know now then.
Cortney Hogan says
Wow! This made me tear up! I love how at each age you came up with things that were so appropriate. Would love to share this with my students as I think many of them struggle with the 13-18 year old struggles. Thanks for sharing! Love this!
The teenage struggles can seem like the worst. When I think back on those things now, it’s seems so silly!
Lori Hart says
Wow.. a lot of that I could have written to myself. Thank you for sharing
I have been thinking somewhat similarly. Thinking back over certain years of my life and thinking about things that I could have done differently (or things that I wish I could repeat!). I love your reminder about having each day count. Because soon today will be the past and I don’t want to look back on it and have regrets!
It’d be so nice to have no regrets, wouldn’t it?
I love your little notes to your past selves. I wonder what we will have to say about our current selves 5-10 years from now lol
I love your little notes to your past selves. I wonder what we will be thinking about our current selves 5-10 years from now 🙂
Ooooh! New post idea!
Your post was so heartwarming! It makes me think what I would tell my younger self. Mostly, it’s that things aren’t as bad or scary as they seem! Thank you!
That’s true! Things just aren’t as scary when you’re older.
We stopped using canned soup long ago, but all the recipes I found so far called for flour. Love your recipe, thank you!
Love this! Life lessons are sometimes so slow to reveal themselves…..if only I had listened to my mom! 😉
I know, right?
Pamela M. M. Berkeley says
Aw, this was really sweet. I hadn’t seen these youtube videos you’d referenced but honestly I was touched by this post. <3
As the years go by we seem to get wiser don’t we?
Nikki Renee says
The times that I remember my past, I tend to cringe over how I freaked out in the stuff my Mom dressed me when it wasn’t even that bad, If it was possible to turn back time, my present self would tell my past self to chill out and just enjoy the moments.
This is a beautiful letter. I think we could all do with writing a similar letter to ourselves. It’s really made me think about what advice I would offer myself. Thank you for sparking the thoughts. I think it is important to take a retrospective look at our lives so far and what we can learn from our mistakes and successes.
Best wishes for the future
Andrea Kruse says
Hmmm… I would probably tell my 16 year old self that true love will come… heartbreak goes away and your true love is closer than you realize.