Dear younger self, (And All Young Ladies)
You are ignorant, yet smart. You have a lifestyle and freeness that will fade with age and time. You have a free calendar and an open schedule. One day this will disappear too. As busy and chaotic as life will become, you’ll love it. One day you’ll look back and smile at the freedom, the fun, and the spontaneity of your younger years. Enjoy them. Soak them up.
You display confidence, but you aren’t confident, not even close. Don’t let your insecurities drive you to boast the insecurities of others. Be kind, even when others aren’t kind to you. One day you’ll look back and wish you’d have done things differently. One day you’ll be a woman who celebrates other women, rather than competing against them. You’ll wish you had been the same when you were younger. You’ll learn kindness is the most beautiful quality you can possess.
Your friends will change. Look around, some of these fun, energetic souls will be with you for the long haul, but some won’t. It’s ok, these people have things to offer you now that won’t matter later. Enjoy them for what they are worth, you’ll look back and remember the fun times you had, and they’ll bring you a smile. You’ll have grown separate, but all of you will have grown uniquely beautiful.
You enjoy silly guys with not much to offer. Have fun with them, but smile and laugh knowing you’ll never talk to most of them again. You’ll never know if they ended up being the next McDonalds drive-thru employee or the next CEO of a major company. It won’t matter. Those guys were meant to provide adventure, they weren’t meant to have your heart. They weren’t meant to occupy a space in your future.
You can drink more now than you ever will again, enjoy it. One day you’ll be counting down the minutes until you can enjoy that glass of wine you’ve been dreaming of for days. You’ll learn that quality is better than quantity in this department.
Your pant size is the smallest it will ever be, enjoy it. But know that when you are older (and possibly larger), you’ll learn to love every ounce of your new body because it was created by love and little humans that you didn’t know you’d be blessed with. Your pant size will be larger, but so will your heart.
You think your parents’ rules are ridiculous, follow them anyways, at least most of them. Later in life, you’ll wake up, and you’ll be just like them. In fact, you’ll become a parent and wonder how on earth they ever let you drive, move away to college, or travel out of state. One day you’ll realize you’ve turned into your mother, and it will make you proud.
You think you know love, but you don’t, and that’s ok. One day a man will walk into your life and increase your entire capacity to love. You’ll know when you meet him. He’ll be better than you hoped and nothing like anyone you’ve been with before. Until you meet him, have fun and stop searching for love. It will find you. I promise.
Right now you appreciate freedom, independence, and fun. Eventually, you’ll enjoy quality time with the ones you love, the occasional date night, an 8:30 bedtime, and glasses of wine alone.
Most of all, be you, even if that means being different. Worry more about the quality of people and things versus the quantity. All of your mistakes, accomplishments, heartbreaks, and adventures will lead you to a one-of-a-kind path.
Be proud. In the future, you turn out to be a pretty blessed woman.
This piece was originally published as a piece for Indianapolis Moms Blog. See the original post HERE.
A thirty-something wife, mother and educator who has Indiana roots and a passionate spirit. Chelsea is a sappy romantic, coffee junkie, book collector, and person who wears her heart on her sleeve. She’s sarcastic, full of jokes, full of tears, and enjoys writing most when life gets messy or complicated. In 2017, Chelsea's mother passed away. Through her grief journey, she decided to take her mother’s advice and share her writing with the world. One day she gained the courage to honor her mother's wishes and write. It turned out to be one of the best decisions she's ever made.