Dear Younger Self,
You’re not going to believe this, so I’m going to start off by telling you something that only you would know – to prove to you that I know you, and can validate what I’m saying to you is true. I’m not just some freak off the streets making this up. 1) One of your fondest memories is going to Grayson, KY and Grayson Lake as a kid. You and your whole family went every summer. You learned to swim there, and you learned to dive there. 2) You got your first migraine in Nashville, and puked your guts out for three days. 3) During this same vacation, your house was broken into – when you found out the mower was stolen, what was your reaction? NOT NORMAL. That’s right weirdo…you were HAPPY that the push mower hadn’t been stolen. The JUNKY push mower. The John Deere small tractor was gone, you were fine with that…but WHY did you have such emotional ties to that stupid push mower?!
OKAY – so, now that we have established you can trust me. You really need to listen. What I’m going to tell you can literally save your life. There will be more than once in the future that just want to end it – DON’T. Things get better. Always remember, you always have a choice. You may not like the choices but they are there.
RELATIONSHIPS – Now, I don’t you’re a teenage girl, and you are crushing on a couple guys. Completely normal. But here’s where it’s going to get tricky. That one – the one you’ve been dating. He’s toxic. Look at how he treats his mom, his family. Is he nice to them? Respectful? I didn’t think so. What makes you think he will treat you any better? As his wife – he’s going to treat you worse! MUCH WORSE! And your future kid…imagine the implications that could have if you just sit back and analyze his relationships with people now. What he is is an abuser, his abuse will haunt you, and your future child(ren) for many years to come.
If you do make a bad decision and marry someone who treats you badly – remember, you have a choice. You always have a choice. But once you’re out of that relationship – give yourself time to heal, to find yourself, to get yourself together before you even think about dating again. Believe me – if you don’t, you will regret it for many years to come.
And if by chance you don’t listen to the above advise – know these warning signs. He can’t hold a job down. He has a car his dad gave him, it’s falling apart, and he can’t afford to fix it. He says he’s never had his own car. He’s always been on “government help”. His mom will no longer help him. He is known for his bad work ethic. …GIRL…all of THESE are FLASHING RED HOT WARNING SIGNS…you better RUN. In case you didn’t get that… RUN, RUN, RUN. Because let’s say you marry this guy. Let’s say the day you guys are going to elope that his car breaks down (sign #932 that this is a bad idea?!), he loses his job after a month, you raise his kid, you spend $18,000 of your own money helping him get custody of his kid….he goes through even more jobs, utilities get shut off, there’s never enough money….are you getting the picture? 7 years of this…is that enough yet? RUN. Because when you finally leave him, 7 years later – you’ll never see that kid again that you raised for 8 years. You will get shunned from your church from the lies he has spread. Your own daughter will get shunned from her own youth group. Even years later, you are not over the trauma of all of this.
Please younger self – listen to me, please make better choices than I did. If nothing else, people who know I tried. I gave it my all – but it wasn’t enough.
DEBT – Please try your best to avoid it. Debt is nasty. Do you really want to spend your whole life paying things off? You don’t. Find ways to not be in debt. Talk to people you trust who do well financially and get sound advise from them. Then just do it.
Seek God first of all, and above all else. If you seek Him, grow in Him – you will be fine. Make Godly decisions. Make decisions that will not shame you or your family. Be honorable, be trustworthy, be a good friend. Help others who are in need. Don’t judge others based on their outward appearance – see their hearts. See their potential, see past what others see.
Younger self – you will makes mistakes, we all do. It’s fine to make mistakes. Don’t be afraid to fail. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. When you mess up – you pick yourself up – dust yourself off, and keep going. Do it again, and again, and again.
Younger self – on those bad days, in those bad times – sometimes it will seem as if you are all alone. It will seem like no one cares. It will seem like God has abandoned you. That is not the case. It is in the valleys of life that we grow. Sometimes we can see God in the smallest of details, when we least expect it.
Live happy. Live free. Live joyfully.
Your future self.