I know the idea is not original and I don’t claim to have thought of it but I have spent a number of days mulling over what I would say to an 18 year old me.
Eighteen feels like a long time ago… because it was!! But if I could go back and reassure my younger self, this is what I’d (gently and lovingly) like to say:
If nothing else, know that there are some awesome experiences ahead! You will travel far, meet an amazing diversity of people and experience much. You will look back and know that you have much to be proud of, and many memories to enjoy.
Know that your courage will always be stronger than your fear; you will not be limited by your fear – and you can be proud of that.
Although there will be times when your feel like you’re unsure of your footing, you will always stay true to what you believe. Your behaviour may change but your beliefs remain like foundation stones. (You might ignore them but they remain firm never-the-less!)
You believe in honesty. You hold compassion in your heart. You value kindness. You desire peace. You adore joy. Your love is freely given. Connections with others are the lightning bolts of life that remind you that you are alive.
Take time for you. Take time to be. Time to rest and regenerate. There will always be another tomorrow (until there isn’t, and by then it won’t matter).
As you get older you’ll learn to pick your battles, and to not sweat the small stuff. It’s all about balance. You were taught that life was black or white but as you get older you’ll realise that life is about continuums, and the where you are on any continuum at any given point is only a snapshot in time. Few things in life are simply one thing or the other – there are so many shades of colour and you can always choose a different colour, a different shade or tone, a different style or direction or position or perspective. There are always choices.
You may spend a lot of time thinking that you weren’t good enough – but that’s not true. You are good enough. You are enough. You are so enough. You. Are. Enough.
Sometimes you will feel driven to achieve your goals, and at other times you can rest and just be. That’s how you know what’s important – most of the things you are passionate about now will stay with you for life. They will be your means of expressing your creativity, expressing essential beliefs that are intrinsic to you. (Did I tell you? You are SO enough!)
And by the way, you are beautiful – if you could please learn that now rather that later in life, you would save yourself a whole lot of time and angst. You are good enough. You are a unique being, a precious jewel, and you are beautiful. Did you hear that? You. Are. Beautiful. So precious. So unique. So exquisite in your own way. So worthy of being cherished and adored. And if those close to you don’t cherish you – then move on. Because you are enough. You are more than enough. You deserve not just to be loved but to be truly cherished.
And I will cherish the little girl you were and the young lady you are now. But if you could learn to cherish you, how much richer your life might be. I love you and I am proud of you and if we could do this all again – this is what I’d want you to know. Because I believe in you and that is SO important. And you are valuable, and precious and beautiful, and YOU ARE ENOUGH, and I love you.