One of the blogs I follow is written by a guy named Jeff Goins (yes, for those of you who know me, I did originally read his blog because of his last name--but I keep reading for the writing). His latest post in which he writes a letter to his teenage self inspired my own, so here goes...
Dear teenage me,
I know how stubborn you are and how you are convinced that you need to figure everything out for yourself, but I'm going to give you some advice anyways.
See? That stubbornness thing doesn't go away any time soon...
First off, it's okay that you don't always fit in. You have a great group of girls you do fit with, though, and you need to keep them close. Trust me, you'll regret it if you let those friendships slip away.
Take the time to enjoy high school. I know you want to grow up and head off to college and just stop all this "kid stuff," but you need to realize that these days are good. You have been blessed in so many ways that you can't even see right now, and you need to take the time to enjoy it all.
Time for a biggie here--stop worrying so much about boys. It's okay not to have a serious boyfriend in your teenage years; it spares your heart in a lot of ways. There is one time your heart will actually be broken, but trust me when I say it will heal: you'll find that guy soon, the one you'll spend your life with. To let you in on a little secret, you'll get married at 19! Not quite the future as the "crazy cat lady" you expected, right? You'll even have two gloriously challenging children with him, right off the bat.
Don't stress out about what other people think of you. You aren't perfect, and that's okay. No matter what you see when you look in the mirror, you're going to look back and realize that your view of yourself was a bit warped. Your grades aren't the only measure of your intelligence, something you won't realize until you get to college. And you know what? That guy that you're going to marry? He thinks you're beautiful. And smart. And so much more that you don't see.
Despite what you may have thought, your life has been pretty much smooth sailing so far. Everything has been going according to plan, really. Yes, I know not making the cheer squad freshman year was a big blow, but look at how that year turned out. Use these times, these amazing days God is giving you, to build a solid foundation.
I debated telling you how this is going to happen, but I decided against it. It will be pretty obvious and incredibly devastating, but you'll make it through.
I promise (and you know me--I don't do that lightly).
You have an awesome family--grab onto them with all your might. Enjoy the times you get to spend with them instead of locking yourself away in your room. Most families aren't like this. The one you have is pretty darn special. They are all amazing people, and you should take time to really get to know them. You might be surprised by what you find out.
At the same time, though, it's okay to be a bit of a loner. Hide away and write when you get the chance. You may forget about it for a while, but seeing all those words forming on the paper (or screen, once you give in to advancing technology) is a pretty magical thing. It will help you through a lot.
And that secret dream you have that you don't tell anybody? That dream to write? Don't give it up just because it isn't practical and isn't something "normal" people do. Practicality and normalcy are overrated. Be yourself and chase after your dreams. It's not just a waste of time. It's where you'll find your voice and your heart.
Your life is going to take some unexpected turns that you will in no way feel ready for. When you go back to college when you're 23 (life will interrupt the first time around), don't freak out about your first physics test grade. It won't be the end of the world, and you won't need to drop out and find a job flipping burgers. Trust me. It will be hard, but you'll make it through. Even with a second baby being born right in the middle. Grad school will be harder, but I can't give you any advice on that journey because I've just started it myself...
On that note, learn to study and do homework. Really, okay? It would be incredibly helpful to me right now. Oh, and stop procrastinating!
Don't build walls around your heart. Yes, you'll get wounded. Those wounds will heal, though, if you let them. Let people in; you aren't meant to go through life alone.
Above all, seek God. You sometimes start thinking that you have this whole "Christianity" thing wrapped up in a neat little package with a bow on top. You know what?
You don't. know. anything.
God is so much bigger, so much more mysterious and amazing and magnificent than you can imagine right now. You're going to have some days in the future that make you think He's turned away from you. Realize that you're the one who moves, not Him. Draw close to Him. He isn't going anywhere, and He's waiting patiently for you to learn that.
P.S. I know how private you are, so just to give you one more taste of what you're in for I want to make sure you realize this letter is posted where anyone and his dog can read it. Kinda painful, huh? I know--still is.