Who’s this? Well, yeah… That’s a waaaaay younger version of me. I’ve found myself studying this photo and trying to get back there, to feel what I felt, remember who that girl was. I was so many things.
I was so very afraid of criticism and my peers not accepting me, I was a wall-flower. My family didn’t have a lot of money, especially in those earliest years, so we never had the coolest clothes, we weren’t the popular kids. My older brothers tried to look out for me a bit, but I very much felt alone a lot. On my own.
I won’t go into all of my issues at that time of my life, but suffice to say I had no idea who or what I was. I never self-reflected really, just became sad, confused, angry, and I stuffed it all in. This girl watched a lot of friends come and go, chasing after things she often didn’t understand.
I want to talk about the good, though. She was so, so kind-hearted and empathetic. She loved easily and without question. She was hurt easily, but only because she wore her heart on her sleeve. Even then, she craved the connection I often speak of now, in my writing, She just wanted love and acceptance. She was a good girl.
Now, when I see this girl, I want so much to go back and meet her, give her a big hug and tell her everything would turn out okay. I get tears in my eyes thinking about it.
I would tell her:
You are good. You are worthy. You are beautiful. If others do not know how to see you, how to value you, that’s on them. You are stronger and smarter than anyone has ever told you. You can do great things, big things. You can change the world. You can make an impact. Chase your dreams, follow your heart, seek God but don’t let others think for you; not ever. Chase truth. Be YOU, the you that you were absolutely created to be.
And, girlfriend, don’t take 30 or 40 years to do it. Figure it out sooner!
I love you.