Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Ten Years Ago

Write a note to yourself ten years ago. What would you tell your younger self? – Jenny Blake
Dear 13-year-old Stephany,
I wish I could take you in my arms and give you a great big hug right now. You’re going through a lot. It feels as if the world is on your shoulders and the things you are going through are monstrous. You don’t like to admit it, but you suffer from low self-esteem and feeling like you don’t belong.
But I promise you, things are not as bad as they seem. In fact, compared to some 13-year-olds, you have it good. You have friends, a mother who would do anything for you, and great family. You are doing well in school and it all seems to come easy for you. Maybe you’re not the popular girl and I know how much you want to have Scott or Dustin notice you. It’s tough being a teenager and middle school is hard. You are a sensitive, quiet soul but it’s hard to embrace that part of yourself when all you want is to be loud and exciting, like all the popular girls.
The biggest advice I can give to you is that it will get better. The world may feel like it’s ending but this time is just a small blip of your life. You will grow up, grow into your skin, and embrace who you are. One day, you will realize it is OK to be quiet and shy. You will find that your best friend you could ever have is staring you right in the face. And that being single is not the end of the world.
The only thing you want right now is to have a boyfriend. You want to be one of those girls walking down the halls of middle school with her hand wrapped tight in a boy’s and whom the whole school knows as “the couple”. Trust me that you will be happy you stayed single. And guess what? Aside from a short one-month stint as a girlfriend, you’ll be single throughout high school. You will hate it then, but when you hit college, you will be oh-so-happy you held true to your beliefs and values. That you didn’t jump into a relationship because it was the thing to do. It would have been so easy to fall into a relationship and lose the essence of who you are. You can enter your twenties knowing you are not afraid to be alone and that you are becoming the woman you were meant to be, with or without a man by your side. It’s hard right now, and it’s going to be hard ten years from now, but God has His hand in your romance and He will guide your path. Trust Him on this one, because it’s going to save you a lot of heartache.
Over the next ten years, you’re going to learn a lot about your father and none of it good. For over two and a half of those ten years, he’ll either be in jail or prison. At this point in time, you know your dad isn’t one of the good guys but you still believe he can change and that he loves you unconditionally. You’ll soon realize this isn’t true and I wish I could spare you from the heartbreak that he will eventually cause. Hold on to that pure love you have for him now because soon, it will all change.
I promise things are going to get better, Stephany. Things look bleak now and at age thirteen, all you want is to be surrounded by great friends and adored by a cute boy. You’re going to get through this. You’re going to grow up and learn to accept who you are, even if the people around you don’t. You will find where you belong.
Just remember to stay true to who you are, keep your family close, and don’t worry so much about what others think about you. These people are not going to be around in 10 years and you will find that they didn’t matter in the least. Trust me, Stephany. I’m a little older and wiser. Things will get better. You will get through this teenage melodrama. And you will learn to love yourself.
Your future 23-year-old self


  1. I'm so glad it's 10 years after now and you're much happier and secure in who you are. I've seen this exercise around and it was in The Artist's Way but never done it. However, I do see how important it is to look back at your younger self with empathy and love. Maybe I'll stop avoiding this exercise soon. Thank you for the inspiration :)

  2. What a wonderful letter. Thanks for sharing Stephany.

  3. Wonderful letter Stephany. I think your 13 year old self really would love your 23 year old self.

  4. Awwww, that's a really sweet letter. I probably would write atleast half of the same stuff in one to 13 year old me! Aren't you so glad you aren't that age anymore? I sure am. Growing up definitely has it's perks :)

  5. What a great letter. I think alot of what you told your younger self is what you shoudl continue to tell yourself - and what I tell myself when I get frustrated with life. I remind myself that all the things I thought were 'the end of the world' when I was younger turned out to be ok and I grew, so the same can be applied to the challenges I continue to encounter. We just have to continue to trust in God's plan!

  6. Aww, girl this is beautiful and tender and wonderful. I should probably do this; my 13 year old self could use a good talking-to.

    Thank you so much for your openness and honesty. I always know, when I come here, that I will get to read a little of what's on your heart, and be inspired to dig deeper.

    LOVE what you said about entering your twenties being confident about being single, and knowing you're becoming the woman you're meant to be.

    Hugs -

    Abbie :)

  7. Sounds quite like the letter I'd have written to 15-year-old Kate.

  8. Wonderful letter Stephany. I think your 13 year old self really would love your 23 year old self.


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