Monday, March 9, 2015

To My Younger Self

I've seen a "to my yourself" tag going around on YouTube. I've quickly figured out that I'm much better at rambling in a blog format than a video format. (At least when I ramble in my blog, I can put my ramblings in coherent and linear sentences).

So, I am going to write a letter to my younger self and post it on the internet for anyone to read. Since, you know, my younger self can't read it nor would she fully grasp what I am trying to say. My younger self is much like my current self in a lot of ways, but MUCH more stubborn, head strong, and i-n-d-e-p-e-n-d-e-n-t. So here goes nothing.

Dear Younger Kelsey,

I remember a time when the future looked so fun. Pretending to be whatever type of career woman I felt like that week--veterinarian, teacher, or scientist. Knowing that "someday...when I'm bigger...." the possibilities were endless. Thinking that I was really going to marry one of the Backstreet Boys and that the Disney Channel was forever going to host my favorite shows. Hold on to that. While there is so much "unknown" regarding the future, that unknown is filled with hope and excitement. 

As you grow older, though, the unknown still holds a little bit of excitement (I know your love for adventure and "planned spontaneity" (you probably don't know what that word means, but you'll act like you do), but it can also be very scary. Things will (and do) happen that will make you have to shift, redirect, and significantly alter your own life plans. Please know that it is okay to feel scared. It's okay to let down your guard and let others in during these times. It's okay to trust that those in your life are looking out for the best for you (more on that later...). But above all, lean on the God who loves you when all of that feels like it has been taken away.

Allow others into your life. Pray for friends and family that will support and encourage you, but always be looking for opportunities to support and encourage them as well. Don't let yourself get too caught up in being busy and "important," but make loving and serving others some of the most important "jobs" in your life. At the same time, it is okay for others not to like you. Not everyone will. It. Is. Okay. If others don't like you, though, make sure your conscience is clear. Remember when dad told you "it's okay if people don't like you, as long as you didn't say or do something to give them reason not to." You're not always going to get it right. You will hurt others. But learn how to apologize. Don't apologize for other people's "perceptions" or "misunderstanding of your intentions." Own up to the fact that you can and will say and do hurtful things to others. Regardless of intention. 

It will be a forever struggle to not find your identity in a guy. From the first time a boy shows interest in you, to the day you say "I do," it is hard to not look to a guy to find affirmation and purpose. No one on this earth is capable of being 100% what you need 100% of the time. At the same time, it is much more fulfilling to pray for opportunities and the capacity to love and serve your husband instead of complaining about what he may or may not do that doesn't love and serve you. (I don't think you will ever 100% perfect this, but thank goodness for forgiveness from God and from my spouse). 

Lastly, people will say and do things that will hurt you. I know you, your first response is typically to find the sharpest dagger and hit them with it. (Not literally....but, you know, find the thing that you know would hurt them the most and say it.) DON'T DO IT. Also, while cutting people out of your life may seem like the most "logical" situation in the midst of your hurt and frustration, it is typically the most damaging. It damages how you view friendships. It reduces your ability to love and forgive. It makes it harder to reach out and say "I'm sorry." It's okay to communicate, even if it is minimally. I know you like to think through things and come up with a conclusion, but let people know that is what you are doing. Don't assume people just know what is going on. 

Please also know that in a life full of unknown and struggles, there is also so much joy and peace to be found. There are times of non-stop laughter and goofiness. There are days when all you will want to watch is a Disney movie. You will still love fruit snacks and Skittles. Snow days are still the best kind of day off. And you will never stop learning and growing. I may have more of myself figured out now, but I can assure you as time passes, the idea of "younger" becomes a little bit older, and I will always have new things to learn. Throughout it all, be exactly who you are because regardless of what you think the mirror says, you are beautiful.

Love,
Older (but not necessarily wiser) Self.


3 comments:

  1. Hi Kelsey, I don't know if you remember but you posted a comment on my blog a month or so ago. I've been reading your blog since, and I have wanted to respond to several of your posts but haven't yet done it. Well, this post could have been written to my own younger self, so I thought I'd say so! You have some written wise (and very familiar words) here! As I read this I imagine you might have been a passionate, spontaneous and at the same time, responsible(ish) and driven young woman, much like I was! In fact, some of the things you shared with your younger self are things I still struggle with to this day, much to my shame. On my very worst days, I feel like my last 30 years were a total waste. When I am allowing God to lead my life and my heart I see that God was, and is, at work.The most wonderful thing about our Lord is that he forgives and constantly renews! I love that I can look back on my mistakes (and regrets) and realize that there is still time for God (and me!) to bring something good out of them. In many cases, He already has. Thank you for your honesty on this blog. It is really refreshing to see a blog by someone with a heart so open.

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    1. So true! I still struggle with a lot of these things, but it is through a lot of these struggles/failures that God has revealed how much he loves me through the good and the bad. Thank you so much for the encouragement! What is your blog name/link? I'd like to read through some more of your posts :)

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    2. Red Strings Attached, right? Saw it on another comment ;)

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