Have you ever wondered how things would be different if a younger you knew how things would turn out or if you could give a younger you advice?
I know I have thought about it a lot, especially lately when things are not always happening how I would like. I often think back to when I was younger and how I would think my life was over because of certain events.
Since it is spring, it is time for some spring cleaning. I decided that while my daughter was napping I would clean out the basement. When we first moved into this house we just packed everything from the apartment and moved, meaning a lot of things just wound up in the basement and we haven’t touched them for 5 years. With the purchase of a new house coming in the future and my husband trying to get the basement finished I thought I would go through things and get rid of a bunch of stuff we didn’t need.
In that process I found a letter from a school project. During our Freshman and Sophomore years in school we had a project to write a letter to ourselves, to our future selves, that the teacher kept until the end of our senior year. During senior day she gave us all our letters to read. Well, today I found mine and read them both. I decided that I would follow up that letter with 12 things I would tell my 16 year old self, which is great because this is also one of the prompts for the Thirty Things About Me Challenge. (Originally it was just 10, but I came up with 12.)
- You remember that kid you were obsessed with Freshman year, then hated your Sophomore year? Yeah, the guy you dated. Get over it, because he’s going to grow up and be a Marine and you will find out that he never cheated on you. You were a love struck little girl and he was your first love so it hurt the most, but you will find true love.
- Speaking of true love, that guy that you are dating now, yeah the awkward Senior guy that your best friend has known forever! Believe it or not, this is what true love feels like. It feels different than last year doesn’t it? That’s because you found the love of your life and you will grow up and marry him.
- In 10 years, your life is going to be pretty great! That guy that you are with now will give you a beautiful baby girl. In 10 years she will be 2 years old and you and your husband will be getting ready to buy your second house (assuming you don’t follow my next piece of advice).
- Don’t move far away from your family! Take it from someone who moved out at 18 to a place half an hour away from family, then a few years later moved a whole hour away from family. You think it’s great because you are close to 4 potential hospitals you can work at after you get your nursing licence, and it is, until you have kids, then it sucks! You want your family to see her grow up but when they are so far away it can be hard to get to see them.
- You can work from home, eventually. I know that you never really see yourself as a stay at home mom, but you can be a work at home mom, and one day you will be and it will be the best thing that ever happened to you. Just be patient and work as a nurse until you have kids.
- Speaking of working as a nurse, make sure you follow your dream. I know you are hard headed and you know what you want to do, and that is great, so stick to it. It will pay off.
- Another thing, you know how you always said you wanted to make sure you got through school, had a house, were married, and had a reliable car before you had kids? Stick to that plan too because it is a good plan! And it pays off!
- Back to being a nurse. I know that you always thought you wanted to be a labor and delivery nurse, and it is a great job, but how do you feel about pediatrics? I know at 16 you want nothing to do with sick kids, but let me tell you that that is actually where your heart will be. You will love labor and delivery, women’s health nursing, and the nursery, but pediatrics will end up being your calling.
- Your mom having a baby when you are 16 isn’t the end of the world. I know right now you think your life is over and she is crazy (maybe she is), but your life isn’t over. Trust me, that little baby boy will end up being one of the biggest blessings in your life. Yeah, sorry it’s a boy, not a girl.
- You and your mom will be closer one day. It doesn’t seem like it now because you are always butting heads, but about a year after you move out you will see that she can be your best friend.
- Don’t worry that you don’t have your licence yet. Driving comes with a lot of responsibility and you have to have a job to pay for gas, and then your mom will want you to stop for things at the store and so on. Believe me, you will get your licence in due time, but until then just be glad that mom can’t ask you to run errands for her!
- Don’t worry everything will eventually be just how you want it, even if you don’t think it will ever happen. Just keep your faith in God strong and trust in Him to get you where He thinks you should be. The things you think are big things now, really are not that big, there are much bigger things to happen to you in the future and God will always be there for you to get you through.
My 16 year old self went through a lot during that year, though looking back it was nothing compared to what has happened in the past few years. At 16 I was very mature, but still very naive. If I could tell my younger self about my life now she wouldn’t believe just how lucky she is and how great things have turned out.
What would you tell your 16 year old self if you could?