Dear Younger Me,

I have learned a lot about life since high school. The past five and a half years have been a whirlwind of opportunities and heartbreak. I often think about what I would tell my past self if I could go back in time.

I would tell myself that things seem hard now, but it will get better. When you are in a situation, things seem so overwhelming and like the hardships will never end, but this is only temporary.

Don’t let unimportant situations bring you down. When something is bothering you, think about if it will matter in five years. If it won’t, then don’t waste your time and energy dwelling on it.

Don’t worry about what others are saying. When people say mean things, it’s a reflection of who they are, not who you are. Don’t let the negativity that they feel bring you down. Keep your head high and know that you are more than other’s words.

Don’t be so hard on yourself. You might not realize it now, but you are beautiful and one day you will look back and wish you noticed it in the moment.

Take advantage of the opportunities that are presented to you. Don’t let a man or your fears prevent you from seizing the moment. Take that missions trip to Europe,  join the Peace Corps and go to Africa, enjoy the rain forests of Costa Rica, and road trip to California. You will never regret the chances you took, but you will regret missing out on opportunities.

It’s okay to be young. Don’t try to grow up too fast. You will only be eighteen once. You will only be nineteen once. Being the youngest person in the group isn’t a bad thing. You have your whole life ahead of you and soon enough you will have a ton of responsibilities to worry about. Enjoy the freedom.

Don’t be sorry for everything you do. You aren’t an inconvenience. You aren’t bothering people. You are worth more than you realize.

Sometimes the people that we love will hurt us the most. It’s okay to say enough is enough and leave the situation. It doesn’t make you a weak person; it just means that you value yourself enough to realize you don’t deserve to be treated that way.

I don’t regret anything that I have done in the past because it lead me to where I am today, but I do realize that I learned a lot over the past few years. I’m grateful for the lessons I have learned and the opportunities that I did take advantage of.

Reflection harbors growth.

Love Always,

Elizabeth

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