On Simple Mom last week, Tsh Oxenreider wrote a letter to her 15-year-old self. It inspired me to write a letter to my 17-year-old self.
Hi 17-year old self! It’s Me, your 39-year-old self.
I know you don’t sleep much these days. That’s okay — that will come in handy in college. You’re really looking forward to college. The good news is, it’s everything you’re hoping for and more. Make the most of your time there: learn, play, make mistakes (small ones, please) and begin to figure out who you want to be.
You notice I said “begin.” Trying to figure out who you want to be is not only an ongoing (and lifelong) process, but what you are searching for will change. Parts of you that you weren’t even thinking about (nurturer, wife, mother) come out to surprise you later.
Through this last year of high school (ugh), you will doubt yourself. Don’t let those doubts change who you are inside. Your hard work, persistence, maturity, and values will pay off. There will be times when you are tempted to compromise your values. Don’t. Sticking to what you believe in will keep you on the right path, and will help you sleep at night.
I’m not going to tell you how things turn out 22 years later, or that everything goes easily. However, in many ways, our life has far exceeded our expectations.
By the way, that boyfriend you didn’t think you could live without? You can and will. And that best friend who supports you no matter what, still does.
Now go get some sleep, so you can take on whatever adventures tomorrow brings.