I’ve been wanting to write a letter to my past self for a while now.
I saw it on a few blogs recently and that was all the encouragement I needed.
This is a letter to me at 17.
Pic of a senior pic…pretend you can’t see me in the reflection taking the picture. This was the best I could do.
First of all, I know you’d be both fascinated and annoyed by this letter. I know you won’t want to read what it says, because you think that you know what’s best for you. Let me start out by assuring you that you are happy. You are still you! You argue and cry. You love chocolate still. You still have big dreams and goals for your life. You still love baths and new jeans. You still love your mom a lot. More importantly, yes, you still laugh with Shane about your parents (and yes, you like Shane’s fiance! WOOHOO!) You like your television shows although they no longer are your life most nights. You still read and shop and tan. You haven’t lost yourself. You are beyond pleased with where you are at in your life…and I know you’d be even happier on the way getting there if you’d just take these little bits of advice:

*Go to a singles ward and quickly! Don’t wait around feeling silly or pathetic. You will meet some of the best friends and most amazing people. Your testimony will soar and you will get to know who you really are by serving with such wonderful people.
*Pay your tithing…ALWAYS! The blessings are irreplaceable.
*Read your scriptures and say your prayers every.single. day. When you start to feel like something’s missing, like you’re not quite you–you don’t sparkle, shine, or have that passion for life–the never-fail immediate solution–pray and read!
*He’s a good guy and I know you love him. You really do need to worry about loving yourself. You are worth so much! He honestly occupies way too much time and thought.Don’t sell yourself short feeling bad about yourself because of him. He will practically go bald and you will have an awkward encounter when you see him SIX years later! SIX! And I promise, when you see him, you won’t feel a thing. Not one thing. I know you are very worried about that. In addition, you will still be able to text Misty about it and she will completely and totally understand. She’ll be able to picture it. She’ll know.
*Oh and when he goes it will hurt, but let him. You will be so proud of yourself later!
*Exercise and eat right, but do it for you…always. Do it to feel good. Do not waste another second standing in front of the mirror poking and prodding at your imperfections. Learning not to do this will be very difficult, but I promise the sooner you do it, the better.
*Play poker! Don’t let anyone make you feel bad about it, it’s your choice. Play lots at Jonnie’s! LOTS! You should probably not play at the bars after about a month. Give yourself a chance to experience it but don’t prolong the experience. Do it and be done with it!
*Smile at Shane in the morning when he’s in a good mood in the mornings–don’t be so pissy– and be nice to him when you come home. You will miss that relationship of sharing the same home and you’ll both be “grown ups” before you know it.
*You should probably pay a little more attention in your classes. Especially right now. You’ll get the hang of it after the first year, but you probably should care a little more about your studies. You’ll have lots of fun in college, but you will actually regret not taking advantage of full time school and the blessing that it is!
*Schedule your classes with Misty and Jonnie. This will make your college experience beyond incredible. You will thank me later!
*Apply for a scholarship or two.
*Dress your best all of the time.
*Let Troy actually cut your hair, the sooner the better.
*Give up soda for the most part. Partake every now and again, but your skin will clear up the second you do it. I promise!
*Be good to your friends the old and the new. The really good ones are going to stick by your through a lot. Fights and disagreements–bad decisions and lost loved ones. You will always want to feel that you did all you could to let them know they were appreciated.
*Don’t gossip at work–this little advice will come in handy at a number of jobs you will work in the future!
*Don’t make fun of people who want to be with their significant others all of the time. You will eat. those. words. And you still don’t take a piece of humble pie very well.
*Listen to mom and dad: don’t get a credit card!
*Save your money!
*Whenever Gram asks for grape juice…get it for her!
*Tell Grandma Marty how much you love and admire her. Let her know you are proud of being her granddaughter. I have a feeling those words would mean a lot to her.
*Keep a diary of everything that anybody ever said to you. Document. You will want proof of every occasion when you were right or stood on the moral compass pointing in the right direction. You have an uncle that will throw you under the bus, and another one that will deny things. Trust me…document everything!
*Keep believing!
*And in the words of a song that you will learn to really love, “These are nowhere near the best days of your life!” I know how much those words will comfort you. It gets better and better, but live up everything…your life is beautiful!

With Love,

Here’s the deal! Write a letter to yourself–past or present–and post it. Comment and link to your post so we can all share in the fun!