I’ve seen many people on Facebook recently write letters to their younger selves. Well, intellectually, I know I can’t ever go back; but it makes me think that if I had that kind of letter and foresight into my future that I might have done a few things differently. One of the things that I would have written is the following.
Dear Younger Me,
I know that you are scared because the future is left uncertain. I know that you let fear control most of your life. You see the people in relationships you crave, yet you don’t go for it because you don’t feel worthy. You try in school, yet the rich kids seem to make you feel insignificant because you are not of their caliber. You do so many things to please others, but you don’t come through for yourself, and in the process, you’ve learned to lie through it because it’s easier to lie than for people to see the real U. But this is where you’re entirely wrong.
Someday you will start to emerge from the cocoon that you’ve created for yourself. When you decide that you’ve had enough and want the world to see that you are capable, you will defeat your shyness. The questions you have longed to ask will finally make sense and come forth in ways you never expected. You will learn to dream and not hold yourself back and limit yourself to the opportunities you see in your mind. You will have the chance to make a difference in people’s lives but what you choose to do with those differences is entirely up to you.
You will have people who claim to love you and claim to be your friends and will be the first to stick the knives in your back. You will wonder what you did to deserve it. Sometimes it will be things you inadvertently did and didn’t even know. There will be instances where you instigated the pain on others and need to own up to your actions. Other times it will be based on jealousy. But when you’ve leaned on your faith and the people who are your true friends, you will find you can get through anything in life.
You will see additional weight pile on and become despondent because you don’t think there’s anything you can do about it. This scenario is where you’re wrong, and it will be critical for you to make the adjustments to live a healthier and more productive life. Before you take another drag off of that cigarette, think about this, you will start wheezing and having more difficulty catching your breath. You may think it’s cool now, but it won’t be great as you age. You will watch people that you love die before their time. It will change your perception of the world.
You like to live in the moment and be free, but those freedoms come at a cost. At this point in your juncture, you don’t see the consequences of your actions, but eventually, they will be an issue. Your lack of decisions is becoming a decision. In contrast, you may not understand that; please note that those decisions become irreversible with time at this moment in your life. You continue to settle because you don’t think you’re good enough, yet the world sees what you’re capable of doing even when you don’t. You believe you are invisible, but other people see you. At some point, you need to see yourself.
You think others are more attractive than you, and they may be to a degree. But you’re beautiful in your own right, and the day that you start to see that is the day that you can morph into what you can be. Your love of animals will take you far in life because animals see the good in people. You will go through many trials and tribulations before you get to the end of your journey. You will lose children, and it will shape you in ways you never thought. But you will gain more by the losses you have than you can understand. Not only will you gain perspective and appreciation, but you will gain a certain amount of wealth. I’m not necessarily talking material wealth. But it is the wealth of experience and circumstance that will mold you into your most extraordinary abilities.
You will travel to places that you never thought you’d ever see. What you once read about history books will be where you put your feet. You will witness firsthand various cultures and understand how things are so different in different atmospheres and places. You will learn to appreciate the soil from which food and other vital products are grown. You will get your hands dirty by mixing the dirt between your fingers while cutting wood to stay warm. You will develop a strength unlike any you’ve ever known before, both internally and physically. You will love and learn about love from people that teach you passion. You will endure heartache more than you can imagine. But it will make you appreciate a true partner. Those experiences will guide you to never settle for less than who you are.
You will fly in places that you never knew were possible. You will have opportunities to go up in a helicopter and a Lear jet. You will see that the world is not limiting you, but rather, you limit your world. If you don’t conquer the fear that is crippling you, you won’t allow yourself to grow as a person, which will be crucial to your prosperous life.
You will anger people by being direct and forthcoming. When you tell it as you see it, people will listen not because they understand but because you will become a force to be reckoned with, which will scare people because you will be correct. Sometimes you will be incorrect and need to admit when you are wrong. You will see things with a much clearer picture than other people do sometimes. You may not be a clairvoyant and cannot predict the future, but you will be able to predict behaviors based on your own experiences.
So as you continue your ventures into the world, I hope you remember three things. The first one is to love yourself because you are fully capable of loving others and showing that love to the world when you love yourself. It’s a lesson that too many people have forgotten along the way.
The second is to watch your health. You will have various health crises along the way that you could prevent, and it helps to have that knowledge ahead of time. You will lose your rock along the way, and when you do, your foundation will be shaky. You will have to learn to depend on yourself to get you through tough times. And there will be days where you wonder if it’s worth it. It is worth it in the end, but some days are more complex than others. You never get over the losses you’ll face, but you will learn to adapt accordingly.
And the third thing is to be very wary of who you trust. This item will be the most challenging concept for you because you see the good in everyone. You don’t like acknowledging the evil that exists, and the fact remains that there is a lot of evil in the world. Learn to test people along the way. Don’t just accept its face value that people are your friend. You don’t have to be rude or obnoxious to protect yourself. But you do have to walk into any situation with your eyes open and be aware of your blind spots.
I could put so much more in this letter, but if I spell everything out for you, you will not want to grow older and find out for yourself. No matter what happens, I hope you keep an open mind and open heart because this world is constantly evolving. Love is interpreted in so many different ways now. You will have to figure out your way to fit into those categories.
Time is only your friend when it’s convenient for you. To those who have shared in reading this letter with me, thank you. Maybe it’s a part of what many of you experienced. Perhaps it’s not. We all have different experiences growing up and many things that we wish we could change. But self-awareness is something that’s a valuable tool. Maybe I would have scoffed if I had read this letter when I was younger. But at least now I have the wisdom to understand what it categorically means. And it essentially means that I’ve grown as a person. I hope you all have a fantastic weekend.