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Dear Younger Me,

What I would tell my younger self

By Jessica NorrisPublished 2 years ago 5 min read
Dear Younger Me,
Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

Dear Younger Me,

What would I tell you if I could travel back?

Would I warn you of the pain ahead or the mistakes you will make?

Dear Younger Me,

Avoid that one boy who will be your first major love interest. He's not the man for you. The pain of that breakup will seep into your soul as a dull ache that you think will never go away.

You'll be diagnosed with an incurable disease that will impact you for the rest of your life. You'll become a type one diabetic at the age of thirteen. The disease will test your tenacity every day.

You'll go to school, get a degree, and work for two years at a job. But then you'll start to question if that specialty is where you want to work.

Classical ballet won't be your focus for much longer.

You'll lose people, your grandmother and your pastor to start. Oh, and a global pandemic will come and shape the entire world for years to come.

But when I think about the young and serious eyes of my twelve-year-old self staring at me, I don't think I would tell her any of this.

The gray-blue eyes and the furrowed brow. The long, straight hair hanging down her back. Her favorite black T-shirt. She'll still wear black a lot. That won't change. I look at that young face, and I realize how far she will have to go to become me. She can't understand it all right now. She shouldn't be burdened with that pain. Not yet.

I realize I wouldn't want to know about all the pain and hardship.

But would she want to know about the good?

She won't give up after her diabetes diagnosis. Do I tell her that she'll inspire others to take care of their health? Or do I tell her that every year she will celebrate the day of her diagnosis by getting doughnuts?

She'll find new passions besides ballet. At the age of fifteen, she will discover that she loves karate. Do I tell her that she'll even love teaching karate to other people?

Maybe I should mention that she'll find other styles of dance to try, like west coast swing dancing. Then she'll find an international folk dancing club in college.

Or maybe I should encourage her that her secret desire to become a writer might actually turn into something.

Should I tell her about the friends she'll make? The friends she'll keep? Should I tell her about how much she'll learn from that relationship that ended in sorrow? The truth is even though it didn't work out, I wouldn't change what happened. She'll learn about honesty and what she is looking for in a life partner.

Do I tell her about how she'll stay close to her siblings and her parents? About her sister getting married?

Do I tell her about how she'll come through the pandemic and continue to do the right thing?

Should I mention the fun? Like the family trip to Disney world or how she'll get to go to China and England?

Or do I tell her about her quirks? Do I say "Hey, you'll love coffee one day even though right now, you can't stand the smell. You'll become a nerd, loving all things Batman and Doctor Who." Do I tell her that she will maintain an irrational fear of butterfly gardens?

But I think about the joy that each experience and lesson brought in my life. I shouldn't spoil all of that for her. That joy should be hers to experience firsthand.

Perhaps I should emphasize how she'll grow and change?

Maybe I should tell her that she will calm down a little when she gets older. Granted, she'll still be a passionate person, but she will learn to channel that passion in healthier ways.

She'll still be weird, but she'll be weird in a way that she accepts, comfortable in who she is as a person.

The doubts about her faith will fade as she continues to seek answers in the right places. She'll come to a place where she is at peace and actively moving forward.

Maybe I mention that she'll stop taking herself totally seriously. That one day, she'll learn to laugh at herself. But she'll still have attack eyebrows when she reads. Hey, some things won't change. She will rediscover her playful side every once in a while. She'll even grow to be more adventurous and try new things.

She'll still be selfish. Most people are, but she will get better at not focusing on herself and better at noticing what other people need.

But no, I don't think I would even say any of that. Because she should experience that growth.

I would look into the eyes of my twelve-year-old self and say,

"You'll be okay."

Because she will be. I know that. In her own way, she knows that too.

I would tell her that it's okay to be passionate and fierce. Because those qualities can be healthy, when they are utilized in the right way.

It's okay to have doubts and not have everything figured out. And even when you think you have it all figured out, you won't.

And I would tell her it's okay to change and like new things. She doesn't have to do the same things because they're what she has always done. There's a bountiful world of new things out there to discover.

I would say, "Lighten up." Because the truth is, life can be hilarious at times.

I would say that it's okay to try and fail. Don't be afraid of the failure, dear younger me. Not everything has to be perfect for it to be meaningful. It's okay to not have relationships figured out on the first try. Learn from the mistakes and try again.

Don't be afraid of hard work. But don't be afraid to rest. Focus on what's important.

Because, dear, dear, younger me, there is so much that doesn't matter. So much of it won't matter past this week, let alone after you leave this world.

You know what matters most. Focus on that, and you'll be okay. Experience this life in a way that understands the truth. This life isn't all there is. There is so much more.

You'll be okay. I know you will.

Dear younger me.


About the Creator

Jessica Norris

Passionate writer that is enthusiastic about writing engaging, compelling content. Excels in breaking down complex concepts into simple terms and connecting with readers through sharing stories and personal experience.

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