Dear 18 Year Old Self,
I know that you are wise and strong. I see how hard you try. In standing where I am today and knowing what I know now there are some things I want to share with you.
I invite you to show up to life and be ok with making mistakes. We all make them, it is a part of growing and learning. Do not be so hard on yourself. Life is about falling down and finding your way back up again.
Keep an open mind and open heart. Listen when others speak. Allow them a chance to express their own beliefs and opinions before you jump in. Even though you may not agree with what they have to say you may learn something.
But don’t let others opinions jade your own. Stand in your truth, especially when you know in your core what is right for you. Follow your heart, it will never steer you wrong.
Life can only be tackled one moment at a time. Don’t worry about the final outcome. Just make the next right move.
You know that desire that is burning in your heart? Go after it with everything you got. Never give up on your dreams. Chase them, chase them, and continue chasing them until you make them happen.
How you choose to speak to yourself is so important. Your words have energy. What you speak you invite into your life. Choose words of love, kindness, and compassion.
Get plenty of sleep but also enjoy those late nights chatting with friends or snuggling with your significant other. And speaking about friends never ditch them for the person your dating. Your friendships are important but in order for them to continue to flourish you need to make time and tend to them.
Savor the little moments that make you laugh so hard your side hurts. Try new things. See new places. Meet new people. Stay open to life. And remember, people aren't mind readers. You have to tell them what you are thinking.
I know that you are going to do great things in this world. Keep reaching for the stars and sharing your smile. The world wants to see you shine!
These words were inspired from the first writing prompt of the Love Notes Postcard Project. I had participants to share with each other what they would tell their 18 year old self knowing what they know now. It is amazing that the words our 18 year old self may need to here you may also need right now in this moment. Life is cyclical. You are constantly reminded of the lessons you need to learn again and again.
This was me at 18 years old. I thought I knew it all. I was ready to take on the world, yet I had no idea what the world had in store for me.
I didn’t know that I would fall to my knees more times than I can count. That my heart would break over and over and over. That I would get lost, make terrible choices and be unsure of where to go next. I had no idea how hard it would be.
But I also didn’t know that I would have strength to stand back up again. I would do things I never thought possible. I would meet the most incredible people and have the most epic experiences. I would carve my own path. I would find my way back to myself and I would stand tall in who I am.
Life has this way of pushing you to your limits. Making you stand in the uncomfortable. Forcing you to make tough decisions. In order to thrive you have to learn who you are and what you believe in. You have to stand up for yourself even when others don’t agree.
It easy to look back and see what you could have done better. But what matters most is where you are right now and what that next right step is. Choose joy. Choose love. Choose YOU!
Pull out your notebook and write a letter to your 18 year old self. What would you want them to know. What lessons have you learned along the way that you think could help then on their journey?
Share in the comments what you would tell your 18 year old self as there is someone out there who may need these words as well.