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.
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Tell me: What would you say to your younger self? What lessons have you learned in life?