If you could send a letter to yourself aged 16, what would you write in it?
A book was published called ‘Dear Me: A Letter to my Sixteen Year Old Self’, edited by Joseph Galliano and a forward written by JK Rowling. It’s a collection of 75 different letters by a variety of celebrity contributors writing their own version of a letter to their sixteen year old selves. I have to admit, it caught my attention. The idea of writing a letter to your former teenage self seems a bit strange but it is such a unique way to reflect on your adolescent youth and think of all of the lessons you’ve learned since then.
So here is my version of ‘Dear Me: A Letter to my Sixteen Year Old Self’:
Dear 16 year old Maureen,
Don’t worry so much.
Enjoy your high school days and live young. You are a smart and full of dreams. You are full of ambition and you work hard for everything you want to achieve. But, life is not always going to be as you plan them to be. In a hard way, you will learn to let go many dreams and accept where destiny takes you with a smile. You will gain sight that your hard work putting into your grades & activities will help you discover & sort out your true passions.
You’re not going to go to the University you thought you we’re going to go to or even pursue the major you thought you we’re going to obtain. Don’t worry. You’ll end up doing so much more than you ever thought you would. You do not take the traditional route that you think you are destined for. You will discover forks in the road that you did not even know existed, and for your willingness to take advantage of the opportunities that present themselves to you and your commitment to take a chance on the unknown. You will be rewarded with a healthcare career that you will excel and dive head first into; and will allow you to fill your life with travel, excitement, and a sense of confidence in your abilities that will stay with you always.
The whole marriage & white picket fence house thing? It’s not going to happen at 27 like you hoped for. You will be well into your late 20’s and realize that your path is not the tailor-made dream you imagined. It’s okay that you’ve been with the same boyfriend throughout high school & into your early college years. You’re not going to stay together forever, but you will be friends again in the future. You are picky, and you don’t waste your time on just anyone. You will like who you will like, and will love who you will love. Unfortunately, you will experience grieving heartbreak (many times over), but you will also experience unforgettable love, heavenly bliss and companionship that will surprise your every being. You will cry, and then you will laugh the pain away and smile. These relationships will make you the patient, understanding, and compassionate person that you will become. They will allow you to take chances and risks, and you will prove to yourself how strong you really are.
Hold on to your friendships now. They will continue to be by your side for years to come. Also, some of your best friendships are still yet to come! Friends that will help you see the world and open your heart. You will be blessed with an unbelievable amount of friendships that will love you & support you; they will be the greatest friends in life.
You are right, your spirit & soul are well beyond your years. This phenomena will actually guide you to make the right decisions, and entrust yourself to be surrounded by the right people at the right time. Believe this intuition because it will prove to be trustworthy and make sure you take risks, but also lead you to be level-headed on your tough choices. You will one day seek clarity and self-trust that will manifest your dreams pursuant to your deepest values and fill your inner-soul. Your friends and family will guide you through this. Be charismatic. Above all, learn to love yourself.
I am so grateful that you have a strong heart.
29 year old Maureen
Ps. Maybe I will write another letter to mysef in another 10+ years. Stay tuned.