Dear 4 year old Mini-Me: What I would do to start over, to be in your shoes. To open my eyes each day.. or after each nap… to a bright, colorful, and unlimited world. To only be capable of thinking of myself with each motion, each mumble, and each mimic. Pure excitement. Pure selfishness. Enjoy it simply because you don’t know any better. Enjoy it simply because you don’t know how not to.
Dear 11 year old Me: Hug mom. Don’t let go. Make her understand how unrivaled she is. Don’t take your pain out on her. Hug her and never let go.
Also, enjoy each and every Disney movie. But don’t take them too seriously… there are some pretty misleading messages about gender and romance that will lead you astray if you’re not careful.
Dear 17 year old Me: Don’t smoke the spice. It will introduce you to an entirely new world filled with hallucinations and anxiety. It will take years to recover. Don’t smoke the spice.
On a similar note… choose your company wisely. But more importantly, be in a relationship with yourself. Let that be “your first serious relationship.” Not the high school boyfriend. He can be the second.
Dear 19 year old Me: Learn the difference between your gut and your anxiety. Why is it that fear and instinct are so easily confused? Trust your gut, not your anxiety. Whether it’s the boy who can’t make up his mind to be your man, or the girl can’t find the time to be your friend….. trust your gut, not your anxiety. The cost: your vulnerability.
With that being said, forgive. I might say a quarter of my life is complete, but that’s assuming I’ll live to be 90. Regardless of the percentage or ratio, I have a good chunk of my life under my belt and I have the scars to prove it — both visible and invisible. The visible ones, well maybe I should add in my 17 year old Letter to be better about applying Mederma 3x daily. The invisible ones, though, are the only scars capable of being healed – so heal them. Don’t carry their weight around for the rest of your life. They only get heavier over time and they will ruin everything that matters. Scars are ugly for a reason. Forgive those who’ve hurt you. Forgive even those who’ve betrayed you. Especially, forgive those who’ve betrayed you.
Dear 22 year old Me: Understand that bad things happen to good people because bad things happen to every people. And thus, bad things will continue to happen to you and to those you love. Develop the strength to stand back up every time life brings you to your knees.
Master the co-existence of independence and affection; understand it’s difference from co-dependence. Remember that, in reality, the most romantic way to love someone else is to love yourself just a tiny bit more.
Dear 30 year old Me: Take these lessons, don’t forget them. Remember the feeling of opening your eyes at 5 years old and know that it can be achieved with saved up money and a plane ticket. Travel, see the world, and be in awe. Choose the man who will travel it with you. Settle down with this man, but don’t ever settle.