Have you ever thought to yourself, if I knew then what I know now I would have been a very different person and made different choices? My mind ran on this recently when I realised how much I have changed and grown over the years. I decided to write a letter to my younger self to give myself this pep talk. This letter might help someone on their journey or give them food for thought.
“Dear 11 year old me
You’ve just left the safety and familiarity of your primary school where you had a few close friends. You’re still shy but you were comfortable in your surroundings. Lots of things are changing, you’ve moved to a new area, a new house and you are about to go to a new, much bigger secondary school. It’s scary.
The shy introvert girl feels overwhelmed at first, you will get that feeling a lot in your life, but there is an extrovert hiding beneath the surface. I know you were brought up to believe that children should be seen and not heard but you don’t need to take that literally or into adulthood. You are allowed a voice, you are allowed to be. The extrovert in you comes out when you feel comfortable in your surroundings, like at your new school, it’s fun! (Remember you have to work hard too).
Life isn’t like the fairy tales you read or the musicals you watched. It has many twists and turns, ups and downs. The goodies and the baddies aren’t obvious in real life. Sometimes the baddie looks and acts just like the goodie (at first), so beware of wolves in sheep’s clothing. The quick and easy ‘happy ever after’ doesn’t happen like in the fairy tales either.
Don’t get your hair processed – years of curly perms, relaxers then Brazilian Keratin treatment does so much harm to your hair and guess what? When you return to your natural hair it ends up looking like that first perm your mum will pay for.
Your potential is limitless. Don’t listen to the careers teacher who steers everyone in the school to aim for an admin or a shop job. You don’t even need to work in an office at all. Do you know that you are creative? You don’t discover this until much later on.
Take your health into your own hands – unfortunately the doctors and medical system are not holistic they only treat symptoms not the cause so don’t keep relying on them for solutions. There’s a thing called the internet that is invented when you’re older where you can find out anything about anything. Most of your health questions will be answered there.
Eat a more healthy, balanced diet – you don’t realise it yet but what you eat is connected to your health and wellbeing.
Be confident! You will surprise yourself. You have a lot to say – speak up, contribute – people will be surprised and interested in your thoughts and your insights. You will surprise yourself.
Don’t be a people pleaser. The more you try the more they will demand and expect of you and the less they will value, respect or appreciate you. Set boundaries, be comfortable in saying no and walk away from people and situations you are not happy with. Treat yourself how you treat others – self love and self worth are the foundation for all other relationships.
Choose friends wisely. Why are you friends and what do you want and expect from each other? Some friends are for a reason, a season or a lifetime – learn to judge where they fit into your life.
Don’t judge other people by your standards or take them at face value – just because you would or wouldn’t do something doesn’t mean they are the same. Most people put on a persona that they project out to the world. You learn a lot about someone’s character when they are upset, feel threatened or when times get hard. Everyone has a story behind why they act the way they do. Everyone’s journey is different.
Be careful what you say and think – positive affirmations can change your world. Anything you want you can have, life is not happening to you it is responding to you. Be humble, grateful and thankful.
Life goes by faster than you think. Don’t procrastinate, take chances and don’t be crippled by fear. All the things you want to do, do them as soon as you can because before you know it you’re grown up and you are one of the ‘big people’ even though you will still feel young in your mind.
Life is a journey – I believe we are all here to learn and to teach life lessons in order to develop and grow. You can only do this by experiencing ups and downs, good times and bad. You will have many, many ups and downs in life but you know what, you’re strong, very strong and you get through them. So hold on tight and be prepared for the journey of your life.
You are significant, you are good enough, you have as much right to be on this planet as anybody else. Be yourself, believe in yourself and nurture your self esteem. No one is you and, believe it or not, that is your power.
I am you, and you are me, your older wiser self
(who is still learning and growing)”
Do you relate, has this given you food for thought? What would you say to your younger self? What would you do differently? I’m curious …
© Elise – Cinnamon & Brown