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5 Things I Wished I Knew At 15 — Open Letter To Myself

This is my open letter to myself at 15. The hard lessons I learned, and hope my daughter never has to go through.

By Chrissie Marie MasseyPublished 2 years ago 3 min read
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5 Things I Wished I Knew At 15 — Open Letter To Myself
Photo by Gian Cescon on Unsplash

I remember being 15 very well. I thought I had the world figured out, but I knew nothing. I was wet behind the ears, so full of life, but wasted my years on people and things that don’t matter in the grand scheme of things.

At 15, I wanted to be a writer. After I told my grandma, who raised me, she discouraged me. She worried I would never make a livable wage, urging me to go into nursing. If I had known then, I hated the medical field, I would have a journalism or creative writing degree. Instead, I have a useless BSN, something I will never use.

I worried about things that don’t matter. If someone at school was rude to me, it would ruin my whole week. I hadn’t learned not everyone will like you. Now, if someone doesn’t like me, I have the attitude of that’s not my problem and I don’t give it a second thought.

1. Time Gets Away From You

The biggest thing I would tell my former self is I may think I have so much time left, but time gets away from you. It seems like yesterday I was in college, but that was almost 22 years ago.

I wished I would have enjoyed my children more when they were babies, too. I didn’t consider I would miss that time, but I do. They are now adults and rarely contact me unless it’s a holiday, mother’s day, or my birthday. They are busy with their own lives.

Time slips by and before long, I will be in my 60s. I hope to live the next 20 years with no regrets and live up to who I want to be.

By Matt Ragland on Unsplash

2. College Isn’t Everything

At 15, my catholic school told us we wouldn’t be successful without going to college. It is true of some professions, but college isn’t a guarantee of a successful career. I wished I would have planned my career out better, instead of flying by the seat of my pants and trying new things on a whim.

If I had planned my life out better, I would be further ahead. Don’t get me wrong, I love my life and I am in a good place, but the what and could have been questions in my mind can drive me batty.

3. Don’t Depend On A Man (or Woman)

My grandma raised me well, but her ideas were outdated. She made me believe if I found the right husband, he would support me and my life would be easier financially. If I had to do it all over, I would always be independent and have my own money.

The idea of being trapped in a relationship because of a lack of money is a horrible thought. I tell my daughter, age 17, to always depend on herself and when she marries to have her own income. It’ll help her self-esteem and give her a sense of independence.

By Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

4. Losing In Love Is Not A Failure, It’s A Life Lesson

This one is something it took me decades to learn. I thought if a relationship ended; I lost by walking away. I don’t think that way anymore. If I walked away, I still learned something — and usually something about myself.

When my first marriage ended, it hurt pretty badly. I felt like a failure. However, it was a marriage that shouldn’t have happened. The lesson was not to do anything I don’t want to do. It was a hard lesson to learn, but one that carried me for a long time.

All my heartache put me in the position to accept true love when it found me at 42. Without all the pain, I wouldn’t have been open to a relationship with my husband.

5. Speak Your Mind

When I was a teen, I never wanted to hurt anyone’s feelings. Instead of speaking up, I’d tolerate abuse from friends and family. I wished I would have found my voice earlier and put boundaries in place. It would have saved me heartache in my 20s and 30s.

The hard part about speaking your mind is learning how to be assertive without being aggressive. It has a learning curve, but once you master it, people in your inner circle will respect your boundaries.

Young people must learn to be happy in their own skin and love yourself completely. Self-love is vital to having confidence and being a happy, adjusted adult.

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Originally published on Medium.

Teenage years
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About the Creator

Chrissie Marie Massey

Chrissie has spent the last 20 years writing online for several major news outlets. When not writing, you’ll find her watching a Lifetime movie, wearing her favorite PJs with a frozen soda in hand.

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