Dear 15-year-old me,
I’ve been taking some time to look back on my own life after encountering some young girls who deserved so much more than what they were settling for. It broke my heart to witness, and all I could think was if only I had known then what I know now. I know that it’s a little late for me, but in putting this into words it might not be too late for someone else. Here are some things I wish I knew:
“Follow your heart” is probably the worst advice ever. Use your head. All of your actions should come from the two working together.
Do things for yourself. Don’t live as if the man of your dreams is watching, or if your parents are standing right behind you, but do what is best for you. You know what these things are: things that make you the best version of yourself. Get sunshine, exercise, count your blessings often, take time to pray, and do something that you enjoy just because you enjoy it.
Surround yourself with people who genuinely want what is best for you, people that want to see you thrive. Your friends are the people who will want to help you follow your dreams, support you when times get tough, and do what they can to help you be happy, healthy, and holy… long-term, not just for the night.
Act out of charity. It’s one of those fake it ‘til you make it things when you are having a rough day, but you will make it. Be genuine. Smile. Speak kindly about your friends AND your enemies, and everyone in between. You will cheer everyone else around you up, and the feeling overflows to you… Joy comes from the heart and shows in the way that we treat others.
You are beautiful! You will hear so many other things in your life: you have to be skinnier, your hair has to be longer, your chest is too small, and so on and so forth… but you have been formed out of love, with a purpose and people who loved you even while you were in your mother’s womb! People who feed you those lies are only trying to feed emptiness in themselves, but dear, you are not empty! You have passions, loves, interests, personality, talents, and gifts. You are inspiring! Strive every moment to be the best version of yourself, regardless of others’ put-downs. When in doubt, remember that happy girls are the prettiest. Be someone worth admiring… but above all, remember that you are beautiful and you are loved!