A Letter To My Younger Self

152 Comments
woman-writing-letter Image via Shutterstock

To my younger self;

You probably don’t recognize me with these little lines around my eyes and a figure that went south after giving birth to five children. There’s nothing to be ashamed of here; these lines by my eyes came from years of laughter and the scars on my belly are a badge of motherhood I proudly wear.

When you get into high school, stop worrying so much about what other people think and be who you want to be, not who you think your peers expect you to be. Embrace your individuality—it will be the ticket to your success one day.

Although the school years feel like nothing more than a popularity contest, in the end you’ll be happier sticking with a small circle of friends who love you for who you are. They’ll be the ones holding a catcher’s mitt when life throws you some curve balls.

Forgiveness. This is a tough one for you, but the bitterness will only weigh you down. Let go of the anger you feel towards those kids who poke fun at you. What you don’t realize is how unkind their life is. Their spirit has been broken and they’ve learned the hard way how to protect themselves by preying on vulnerable people like you

You waste too much energy berating yourself in front of the mirror. Society has fed you a warped perception of beauty—don’t let its definition convince you that you fall short of everyone else’s expectations. Stop punishing yourself with starvation diets and binge eating to mask what is really bothering you. The people who made you feel stupid and small inside were wrong. I know how much you’re hurting; you just haven’t figured out yet that inner beauty outlives physical beauty every time. The mirror is not your enemy; see yourself through your own eyes and know that others love you even though you don’t love yourself.

There will be some unimaginable losses in the years to come—don’t be afraid to face them head on. You’re going to walk through a valley of grief but you’re going to come through the other side a stronger, braver woman. You’ll need these experiences to hold up the others when life knocks them down.

I know you feel as though your parents are judging every move you make and you hate living under a microscope. Strict curfews, lost phone privileges and being grounded from social activities may seem unreasonable, but your parents really do have your best interests at heart. If they didn’t love you, they wouldn’t care what you did. Boundaries and rules are a sign of good parenting and tough love. You’ll figure this out once you have kids of your own.

Appreciate the time you have with your family. Those summer vacations in Montana won’t last forever. Take your father up on that trip to Scotland before it’s too late and spend more time in the garden with your sister. Don’t assume she’ll always be there for you because she won’t. She’ll be gone sooner than you think and her absence will leave a hole in your heart that time cannot mend.

You’re going to fall in love several times while you’re young, but be more conscious of the men you choose. Your happiness shouldn’t depend on them. One will break your heart and in the process break his own. Others will come and go, but each one will teach you a valuable lesson in love that will prepare you for the man you’re going to marry. Stay away from the sly one at the bar who asks you to dance. Nothing good will come from this. His lies will hurt you more than his fists. He’ll tear you down to keep you from standing back up, but you will. You are a survivor. One day you’ll meet your soul mate, and he’ll help you find your smile again.

Life is full of twists and turns; don’t be afraid to stray from the well-worn path that everyone else is walking. Embrace the challenges you’ll face and don’t let the fear of failure box you into years of regret. How will you ever learn anything if you never make a mistake? Trust your intuition, listen to your heart and fight hard for what you believe in. Stop wasting precious time running down hollow streets in search of happiness. You’ll find its been inside you all along.

Don’t be in such a hurry to grow up. Slow down and enjoy the ride. Even though you are struggling with some tough, emotional issues, each experience is a small piece of the puzzle, a composition of the beautiful person you’ll become. Every day will be your happiest—live life to the fullest. It will never be this way again.

Love,

Your much, much older self

Comments

The Scary Mommy Community is built on support. If your comment doesn't add to the conversation in a positive or constructive way, please rethink submitting it. Basically? Don't be a dick, please.

  1. 1

    says

    Marcia, this is beautiful. Bittersweet, but precious! I wonder if we had listened to our older self back then, because we sure didn’t listen to all the other “old folks” around us. Cause, really, what did THEY think they knew?

    Show Replies
  2. 3

    says

    Oh, Marcia, these are such wonderful and wise life lessons. I’ll be sharing with my two teenagers! Don’t I wish I had taken these lessons to heart when I was younger, we are so hard on ourselves until we get some life and years under our belts. A meaningful and terrifically useful post, thank you for sharing!

    Show Replies
  3. 23

    says

    I’d tell myself to go back and finish my last 2 years of college, no matter the cost to find a way. I’d tell myself that I WAS strong enough to stand on my own 2 feet, despite the insanity at home, and to depend on me first, before a man. If tell myself to wait to get married, until I’d become who I was meant to be, because then and only then do you find your soul mate. Unfortunately I didn’t have anyone to tell me all of this and I wasn’t strong enough to know it myself. 1 marriage, 3 kids and 20 years later, here I sit.

    Show Replies
  4. 35

    says

    Drink more, play more, party more, see more of the world, stay out later (as long as you make it to work in the morning), spend more time with friends. And above all, who gives a damn what others think of you? Love your body and others will too.

    Show Replies
  5. 37

    says

    I would tell myself to not make small things such a big deal. After loosing my husband in January- I have come to realize that small things like when he left his dirty clothes a foot from the hamper really weren’t worth a fight.

    Show Replies

Load More Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>