Dear Younger Self,

I couldn’t possibly prepare you enough for the important life lessons you’re about to learn in your somewhat near future. You will experience things that you couldn’t even fathom from where you are sitting now. I can’t protect you, but I can give you a few bits of advice for the good… and the not-so-good. I know your 18-year-old self, if given the choice, would love to ignore your older and much wiser self, but… hear me out.

Letter to My Younger Self
All Photography By: Brittany Eitsert Photography

You may endure a little heartache here and feel a bit of hopelessness there.

You’ll face moments of pain, misery, and numbness when you least expect it. This is the stuff that will shake you to your core and make you question every step you’ve taken thus far. Don’t give up on yourself. You have to experience the bad in order to appreciate the good. During these moments, I know you’ll wonder where “she” went, where that young, innocent, happy woman ran off to… but she’s still here. You’re playing tug of war with yourself because you haven’t established your backbone yet. Once you appreciate and nurture your self worth, that strong woman will shine.

Getting tangled up in other people’s messy drama will be incredibly easy. Walk away from anything or anyone that doesn’t serve a purpose in your life. You’ll grow day by day when you invest more energy towards pursuing your goals and dreams. Pave your own way, don’t follow in another’s footsteps. You were made to bold, wild and free. So be that.

Letter to My Younger Self

Once you turn twenty-one, the “fun” will begin. You will no longer have to hide in basements of house parties or dart for the bushes when you see upcoming headlights while walking back to your dorm. A few months down the road, you’ll have an epiphany. Fun isn’t partying recklessly at the downtown college bars. Fun will evolve into rockin’ your messy bun and pajama pants while binge watching Netflix with your best gal friends on a Saturday night.

The “best friends” you think will stay in your life forever may not remain a large part of your life forever. Sooner or later, you’ll be able to pick apart the good apples from the bad. Having a couple best friends, rather than 10 okaaay friends is more satisfying in the long run. Wait for the friends that walk through your door, two coffees in hand. Wait for the one that you can call late at night because your mind is wandering. Invest your time in those that value you.

Learn how to say no, without questioning yourself and without letting the guilt suffocate you from the inside. You can be a good person with a kind heart and still say no. Don’t lie. Don’t make excuses. Don’t over explain yourself. Just simply decline. This is when you’ll find your backbone. You’ll find yourself again.

Letter to My Younger Self

If ever you find yourself in a predicament that’s uncomfortable, walk away. Always use your best judgement. You’ll make mistakes and just know that’s OK! Mistakes allow you to grow into a strong, brave woman. Brush yourself off and stand tall again. Don’t silence that inspiring voice in your head telling you what you deserve.

There’s someone waiting for you. Someone really special. He will come out of left field and be completely content with your weird, funny, goofy self. He might not know where your clean clothes go, but he’ll try. He may not know how to cook, but a pizza will be waiting for you when you get home from work. He’ll swoop you up and kiss you uncontrollably just to make you giggle. This man will show you why nobody worked out before him.

Letter to My Younger Self

Be content with being alone. No, it’s won’t always be easy. For when you’re alone, you really begin to understand yourself. Take time away from reality, from everyone. Learn to enjoy your “me” time. Don’t be afraid to be alone, my dear. Eagles fly alone. Pigeons flock together.

“Do in your heart what you feel is right – for you’ll be criticized anyway.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

Listen to your heart. Go with your gut. Put your own well-being above anyone else. Take care of yourself before trying to care for someone else. Don’t waste your time on those who would not do the same for you.

Be kind to yourself. You’re TRYING, aren’t you?! Despite everything you’ve been through, you’ll grow and be so, so proud of the woman you have become. Look for something positive in each day, even if some days you have to look a little harder.

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