Day 1-Five Years
There will be an agreement in whatever variety of actions, so they be each honest and natural in their hour. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
What would you say to the person you were five years ago? What will you say to the person you’ll be in five years?
Five years ago, I was fourteen.
Dear Fourteen year-old Self,
You're at a time in your life when things are a mixture of good and bad. On one hand, you have realized that you cannot do everything on your own (a lesson you will learn repeatedly in the next five years) and have allowed others to help carry those burdens that have been weighing on your shoulders for the last year and a half. You're very much involved with your church and youth group and it is having such a positive impact on your life. And above all us, you finally feel like you have friends that genuinely love you exactly as you are.
But on the other hand, life isn't still as bright and full of sunshine as you would like it to be. School is tough because you're still dealing with everything that happened the year before. You're carrying a lot of anger toward many people: you're angry at friends who really have not been your friends. Forgive them and let them go; if they're meant to be in your life, they will continue to do so. But there are other beautiful people around you that want to hang out with you and want to be there for you, but you don't notice because you're so busy focusing on people that don't really matter.
I know that life at home is still difficult. It seems like Mom and Dad don't understand how you're feeling, because it doesn't seem like they want to hear what you have to say. That is partially true, but you have to understand that parents can only do so much to protect their kids from all the crap that goes on in the world. You may not realize this right now, but you and your siblings are the center of your Mother's universe. I'm sure if she was able to do it, she would have shut those girls up one way or the other. That's why she and your Dad will push you to attend a private high school versus a public high school
It won't happen for awhile (more like the summer before your sophomore year of college), but you and Mom will eventually talk about it. You will talk about a lot of things that you are terrified to talk about right now at this time. Until then, talk to the people that do understand.
Speaking of which, it's perfectly fine to be completely comfortable with sharing details with certain friends that you would never share with anyone else. There is one person, possibly two people whom you'll see in that way. They're wonderful and you're blessed to have them. But unfortunately, you're going to take them for granted, despite the fact that you won't realize it then and there. Stop bitching to them about the small stuff and ask "How are YOU doing today?" There will come a point where the gravity of what they're dealing with will hit you square in the face; not now obviously, but a couple years down the road.
In general, darling, you're going to be a late bloomer in certain areas. Do not feel bad about it, because everything has its moment. Not everybody "peaks" in middle school, or even high school for that matter. You will become the woman that you're meant to become when you get older.
Five years from now, I'll be twenty-four years old.
Dear twenty four year old Self,
It's hard to know what to say to the future, given that I have no way of accurately predicting what is to come. At the same time, I am hopeful. I am hopeful that you will continue to grow into the mature and loving young woman that you were meant to become. You have always known in your heart that you're a writer, and I expect you to continue with that, one way or the other. Whether you're already making money for books/pieces and have ended up on a best-seller list, or are still working your way up, keep going. God gave you this wonderful gift, and I have a feeling that it is meant to be used for great things.
And whether it be in Chicago, California or Iowa, hopefully you're living in a place that you're completely comfortable and happy with. I hope you'll have gotten your driver's licence by then so you can get from point A to point B without depending on anyone else, and/or be living in a town where you really don't need a car. Overall, may it be in a place where you won't feel like you're suffocating or completely cramped.
As for family, I pray that you'll be in a good place with them, especially with your parents. They may your best friends, or they may not; but at the very least, you should communicate with them and continue to have a relationship with each of them. Hopefully they will both be happy in their own journeys, but regardless, that is not for you to worry about. You're most definitely an adult now, and you need to focus on you.
If you're in a relationship and it makes you happy, cherish it. Do not rush things and take the time to appreciate what you have. You may have had your heart broken in the past, but do not let that hinder you from having real love in your life. Do not let the history or negative words of family members keep you from loving someone. If it feels right in your heart, then chances are it probably is.
However, if that is not the case, do not give up. Continue to socialize and make friends. Continue to be yourself; you never know what could happen.
In general, know when to appreciate something while you have it. Know when it is time to move forward and pursue something else. Know and love yourself!
And if and whenever it feels like you're alone, do not be afraid. God is there to take care of you, sweetheart. Do not forget that. Ever.