I have been loving a song on the radio from Mercy Me called “Dear Younger Me”, and I will put a link to an acoustic version at the bottom. It has really gotten me to thinking, what would I say to myself that I would have listened to and what would I not be carrying around with me as a result of that letter. So, I thought I’d give it a go…
Dear Younger Me,
I pray you will read this with an open mind and listen to the advice and warnings I’d like to give you. I promise to keep it short and not reveal all of the adventures you’ll experience. I believe you should be able to write your story without knowing the ending, but there are some pitfalls I hope you’ll avoid. One thing you should know is that you do have a good life with good people in it, and you are happy as an adult beginning your 40’s. Chin up and don’t let the hard parts drag you down. I’m only going to give you 5 warnings, so this should be easy right?!
- Tell someone right now about your grandpa. I’m going to assume you are able to read this, which means you’re older than 6, so you know what I’m talking about. This is not normal. The gifts he gives you aren’t worth it. He’s going to go after your younger sisters too if you don’t tell someone now. Say no to going fishing with him. I know you’re scared and you think people won’t believe you. He’s lying; they will. I promise. It’ll stop. He will stop. You won’t have to suffer any more, and it won’t get any worse. You don’t have to be ashamed, embarrassed, or scared. You don’t have to live with this, and you don’t have to see him ever again. Your parents will still love you and take care of you. Your family will be better without this happening ever again. Make it stop-tell someone now. Please.
- High School is going to go by faster than you think. I know it feels like you’ll never get to high school, but you will and it’ll be over quick. While you’re in high school, don’t be so quick to give yourself away to that guy you think is “the one” your sophomore year. He isn’t. While you’re at it, don’t take him to college with you either and for the love of God don’t get engaged to him your senior year! He’s a nice guy and will marry someone else and have beautiful babies, but your “one” is so much farther away from you in location than you can possibly imagine. And tell Rush what he means to you before it’s too late. Life is going to challenge him in ways he won’t understand or be able to handle, and you’ll regret it if you don’t tell him. Oh, and have lots of fun on your senior trip. Don’t be afraid to take risks…yes the horses are worth it…trust me. And fill out the paperwork for National Honor Society! You are “good enough” to be in, so don’t let anyone talk you out of it. Do it!
- College life is everything you dream it will be. You’ll go to parties, take easy and hard classes, keep playing the flute, dance and cheer, and meet all kinds of awesome people. Definitely audition for “King and I”, but do not go to the cast party. That party will bring you nothing but heartache girl, trust me. And go home to your family during the summers after your 1st and 2nd year. Do not stay on your college campus. This is really important. Go home.
- Finally, after graduation from college you should go home. It’ll be in a different place than you think and the adventure will be very different that you might expect. You couldn’t even comprehend it if I told you, but trust me on this. When you get home, get your education certification. It won’t take you long, and you’ll need it. You’ll be a wonderful teacher at this point, so do it. Something that will change the course of the entire United States is going to happen in 2001. Trust me, you’ll know it when it happens. This is going to have a major impact on everyone, and you’ll be dealing with the repercussions of this long after 2001. Pay attention. Find an Army National Guard office and be involved. Be supportive and rally the people to stay supporting our troops. Your “one” is among this group, and you won’t be able to meet him for a bit, but your knowledge and understanding is going to be important.
- This one is all about you: keep loving God. Stay close to Him and never doubt His love. His plan is so much greater than yours. Don’t stop running. You’re so good at it and it comes easy to you right now. You’ll want this easiness later for sure. Never settle in a relationship. You do deserve a good man, and he is for sure out there. You’ll meet him and he will make your heart pound in ways you’ve never felt before. Forgive him for his faults and mistakes, because he is the most loving and loyal human being to you once you get past a few hurdles. He’s worth it…he is SO worth it. Stay true to your dreams and keep dreaming big.
You’re going to have so many adventures and experience so many amazing things in this life. You are capable of more than you think, and you really are a very smart cookie. Your drive and determination inspire people around you, and you will have no idea of your impact at the time. That’s it. In spite of everything you think is so awful right now, you’ll be a pretty dang awesome lady (if I do say so myself).
Your older self