Saturday, August 22, 2015

a letter from my 18 year old self.... part one.

Usually, these things are written with your older, wiser self in mind... but what my soul has been missing is that brave, wild, and curious 18 year old I was so many years ago....

I knew you would be here one day. You, moving along through life in auto pilot, would want to find me again. Maybe you feel a little lost in the very world you have created for yourself, craving something that you thought you had lost forever.

One of the many senior pictures I had made before I started my last year of high school, 1998 

What is it exactly that you are so afraid of? Remember when nothing scared you? Okay, maybe the thought of ________ scared you, but it still didn't hold you back, right?

All those things you thought you lost, I can help you remember them. In my mind's eye I see a confident girl. A girl who didn't think about what she weighed, didn't think about what she ate (as long as it was good... remember all those middle of the night runs to Krispy Kreme??). I remember a girl that didn't worry if she was too much of this or too little of that. She read books, she took really long, late night drives with her best friend, she laughed the hardest and the loudest. Seriously, you laughed until your sides hurt and you had tears streaming down you face. Don't you remember? I watch you now, and you don't laugh like that as much anymore.

Remember when hearing your mama or your best friend say, "That's great!!" was all the approval you needed to know you had done something right? When you didn't need or have an audience to perform for, when the only "like" you needed was from yourself? I hate to say it, but you have become a little needy.

high school graduation! not pictured here, but standing side by side with my best friend, she still understands me the best no matter how many years pass

I remember when you didn't need much of anything, just what was out there waiting for you to go and do. I remember when you boarded that plane with tears in your eyes... because you knew how much you would miss them but mostly because you knew you would never actually go back home to stay. Do you remember how brave you felt, because I do.

I remember you feeling so full, so giddy when you got into that cab at the airport. "Californication" playing on his radio, palm trees lining the street in both directions. If ever there was a moment when you thought, "here goes nothing", it was then.

Laguna Beach, CA 1999

Do you remember your world before every answer was right at your fingertips? When sometimes, you just had to wonder about things? When there was no, wide open, window into other's lives...when you were just a little more free to be you, mistakes and all? And speaking of mistakes, I'm glad you have finally forgiven yourself for the many you made then but please, please don't act like they never happened... your kids will need you to remember what it was like to be 18 even more than you know.

It's almost your birthday. 34 years of you on this Earth...can you even imagine what I thought about 30 year olds back then? You would laugh.

I heard you tell your book club that you were 35 a few weeks ago.... you didn't even catch your mistake until a few days later when one of your babies asked how old you were. You had given up an entire year of your life without even giving it a second thought, we have to do something about that.

Don't forget to celebrate your 34 years of life... all 34 of them because you have certainly earned the right to celebrate them with wild abandonment. Maybe do something that I would do... just keep in mind you do actually have a husband and children now {I would say "just kidding"... but you know I'm not} Just don't ever give up another year of your life again, okay?

I'll catch up with you again soon, there's still so much I want you to remember about yourself but for now I'll leave you with this...

Forget about what you are expected to be.

Let. It. Go.

Stop thinking, "Is there room for one more?" and just go do it.

You are doing fine, really you are. You might not be as brave or wild and free as I am but you're not 18 years old anymore either.

Take care of you.


  1. You were a really Cool and brave girl. You even wrote a lot of truthful and inspiring words. I'd like to write the same letter for me.

    1. This brought tears! The letting go is so true! Had my coffee this morning so raising my tea glass to you this noon :)


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