Dear 16 year old me (updated),

Mrs. B.  same the same year.  2001.  This was take one.  Somehow both pics made it in the yearbook.  Ha!

My junior year of high school (age 16 or 17).  Class of 2001.

(((I posted this one for my students who are learning about writing their own memoir via blogging and thought I would share here, too.)))

Right now, you think that 25 is old but soon enough you’ll be looking at 25 through your rearview mirror wondering where all the time went.

Being a grown up is hard.  It’s really hard but it’s better than you ever could have imagined.  You are in charge of everything.  When you move out from mom’s house, don’t ever go back.  It’s worth the struggle.  I know it doesn’t sound like it now but those months of hardly being able to afford Ramen noodles and other necessities will be reward enough.  You have your own space, your own place and your peace of mind.  You can’t put a price on that.  There’s something comforting about knowing that if the dishes aren’t done, they’ll still be there tomorrow (because you’re the only one who will do them).  There’s something comforting about knowing that every single thing that you put down will be in that same exact spot when you are ready to retrieve it.  It’s awesome.  It really, really is.

Truly begin to see yourself the way God sees you. If you have questions about that, see Psalm 139. Loving yourself now will make it easier to take care of yourself later. Continue to pursue your dreams.  You don’t want children or a husband now… but that will all change (at least the husband part will). Don’t worry about not feeling like a part of the family, when you get married, you’ll become a part of his family and you’ll feel as though this is where you were always supposed to be. When you go to college to study English, don’t leave. Don’t change your mind and pursue Mathematics. Work hard as a teaching assistant; it will land you a teaching job when you finally graduate college.

Don’t ignore the warning signs. When you start to feel sick, go see a doctor. It will save you lots of surgery, pain, and time in the hospital later. And when you feel sick again, don’t wait so long to see a doctor. Seems like common sense but sometimes you lack that.

When you join the track team in high school, run. You’ll love the way you look and you’ll feel great. Don’t waste time on boys that you’re not gonna marry, you’ll get your heart wrapped in it and then carry those hurts into your marriage… it’s not fair to your husband.

Give more. Without thinking about what’s in it for you.  Don’t be so fricken’ selfish.  It will make your marriage (and your life) go a lot smoother.

Enjoy your teenage years… don’t wish them away. Stay close with your siblings, it will be hard (but not impossible) to mend the fences later.

You’re great. You’re smart. You’re more than capable of achieving your dreams. Go after them!  Oh, and when you earn that scholarship to that community college that you don’t respect, use it. You’ll end up earning your first degree from there later, anyway, might as well do it for free instead of paying for it from your own pocket.

I really love who you are going to become. It will all be worth it.  I promise.

Signed,

30 year old me

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