I turned 27 yesterday.
It just doesn’t seem possible that I am 27 yet. Do you all feel like that sometimes? You get confronted by your actual age and think “that’s not right, I just turned 22!”
Just me? Ok, that’s cool.
Maybe it’s this disparity that allows me to so vividly remember what I was like 10 years ago. There is so much I wish I could tell 17-year old me, so much wisdom to share, so many life lessons to teach.
Dear 17-year old me,
You’re pretty unhappy with the world right now. You’re bitter because you had to move in the middle of high school, leaving your friends, your school, your budding romantic life, everything. I get it. I was there, remember?
While I wish you would embrace your new high school a little bit more, I get that all you can think about is going to college and how great it will be and how different you’ll be when you get there.
Well I have to tell you the truth: college is great, but you won’t be any different when you get there. Sure you’ll try, but at the end of the day, you’ll revert back to who you really are: quiet, studious, shy and very focused. And you know what? That’s ok. The real you is the right you and throughout the next 10 years you’ll meet an entire group of people who appreciate you for that.
One of those people you meet will be your future husband. Unfortunately, it doesn’t happen in college. I know. Bummer. There will be lots of cute boys, but none that meet your exceptionally high standards. But don’t worry, after a little bit of looking and an even smaller amount of heartbreak, you’ll find that person. And he will exceed all of your expectation and you’ll feel lucky every day that he found you. No, I won’t tell you anymore than that. Ok…he’s really really really cute. But that’s it.
You are cautious and that’s ok. But sometimes I wish you’d step out of your comfort zone a little bit more. Don’t go crazy and party all the time, but recognize that you don’t need to be afraid. You are capable of so much more than you imagine. Embrace that pool of ability and try all the things you’re dreaming about.
You are so incredibly lucky to have a family who loves you and I wish you’d tell them more how much you appreciate and love them. Life is short and things change suddenly and you can’t take it for granted. Please, if you listen to nothing else I tell you, listen to me when I tell you to hug them tonight.
In the next 10 years, you will have many days that you consider the best day of your life and a few that you’re pretty sure will keep the title of worst day ever. I wish I could tell you about them all so you’re ready for them, but you know what? You already are ready for them without me warning you. Throughout the next 10 years, you impress even me with your strength, your resiliency and your ability to continue to see the world as full of beauty and good.
So much is ahead of you, 17-year old me. Accept each moment, both good and bad, as something that is shaping you into the pretty stinking awesome 27-year old you. And more than anything else, enjoy the next 10 years.
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