Letter to My 18 Year-old Self

I have heard that writing a letter to your past self is a good way to release any emotions or regrets you may have about your past.  I sometimes have a hard time letting go of the path I took in my past.  I think “well if I had done this, then ______ would be different now” or “what if I had done ______?”.  But the truth is, we can’t dwell on the past.  It is done.  Over.  And everything we chose and did has made us into the people we are today.  So the best way to get over it is to release the thoughts and emotions and move on.  This was a great exercise for me and I recommend it for any of you who struggle with these same feelings.

Loveliest Anna~

the superheroinesHello love.  Congratulations on finishing high school!  That is such a great accomplishment, one of the many milestones you will achieve, so I hope you are proud of yourself.  I know high school wasn’t the greatest at times and going to three of them in four years sucked, but you have some great memories to remember and friends that you will know for many years.  Keep ‘em close because they are good ones.

So I have some advice for ya.  I know, I know, you are probably rolling your eyes in a very “teenage-ish” fashion at the moment because you think you have the answers to life all figured out.  I hate to break it to you love but you don’t.  Hec, I don’t either.  There is a big world out there away from home and it’s important to remember who you are and where you come from because it’s easy to get caught up in the craziness and get swept away.  Now I don’t mean to scare you.  The world may be big, but it is also full of possibilities, adventures, new things to try and new people to meet.  Life can be a truly amazing and wonderful experience if you allow it to be.  You will have a lot of decisions to make over the next few years.  But don’t let it pressure you.  You don’t have to get it all right the first time.  Plus, life isn’t about getting it all completely right, it’s about living.  To help you with those decisions and the life ahead I’ve made a list of my Top 5 Keys to Living a Fulfilling and Wholehearted Life:

  1. Don’t worry too much about what other people think.  Be yourself, rock to your own rhythm, strut your own stuff, believe your own beliefs.  The ones who don’t agree with you or don’t love and appreciate you for the person you are are not worth your time.  Don’t feel like you have to act a certain way or be a certain type of girl just for a guy.  If a guy doesn’t love you for you, kick him to the curb.  You are worth the world, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
  2. Dream.  Dream big.  There isn’t anything that you cannot do if you if put your mind and heart behind it.  And failure?  Don’t be afraid of it and don’t let it guide your decisions.  Every single successful person out there has failed at least once.  It’s how we learn, how we become the people we are meant to be.  “Perfect” doesn’t exist so don’t waste your time and energy trying to be a “perfect” version of yourself.  And do what you love.  If you do it will never feel like a job.  And believe me, jobs can be pretty miserable sometimes.  Do not pick a career because it is what you think you should do or what you think is expected of you.  And most of all, do not pick a career because of money.  If you do what you love and live a life in tune with your true self, money will figure itself out.  Speaking of…
  3. Be true to yourself.  If you live a life that is true to who you are at your core, deep in your soul, your intentions and desires will manifest exactly when they are meant to.  You simply have to believe it with every cell of your being.  Things will work out, don’t be discouraged.  Sometimes things won’t go your way and you may go through times when life seems really freaking hard.  Don’t lose hope and faith that things will get better again.  Everything we experience in life makes us into the people we are meant to be, even the hard stuff.  So go with the flow.  It’s always darkest before the dawn.
  4. Don’t be so worried about how you look or how much you weigh.  Our society puts a lot of importance on looks, which is completely ridiculous.  Don’t waste your time wishing you looked like a model in a fashion magazine.  You know how much make-up and air brushing goes into those pictures?  Focus on how you feel, not the size of your clothes.  If you feel happy and are your healthiest self, then it won’t matter.  If you eat food that is fresh and nourishing to the body and soul, you won’t have to count calories or run 5 miles to burn it off.  And it’s okay to celebrate occasionally.  A cupcake won’t kill you (or add 5 pounds to your bum).
  5. Work hard, but also don’t forget to have fun.  You were raised to work hard and try your best and that’s great, but don’t let it take over your life.  Don’t let the work crowd out the fun.  Life is meant to be lived, whether that is through travel and adventure, art, a night out with friends, a night in with a movie, or a delicious meal whipped up from scratch.  There will be times when a little more work is needed than you’d probably like, but don’t let that be all of the time.  Make room for play in your life and set boundaries at work.  Turn off your phone occasionally, shut down the technology, get out in nature and just play.  Life’s too short to be sitting at a desk day in and day out.

You may not understand some of these items now, but if you believe them and stick to them, I promise they will do nothing but good for you in your life.  The emotion surrounding all of these is love.  Love of self, love of life, love of the journey, love of those you hold dear.  If you hold love in your heart, it will come right back to you with abundance.  The world is your oyster my dear, so go out and live, love and make yourself proud.

Hugs, kisses and best of wishes,

Your future 30 year-old self

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