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Our project continues with this millennial’s letter asking her younger self to learn to live a little differently.
I want to bestow upon you some advice that will help you fight through the dark times; that will help you flourish, despite receiving a few battle scars. The next 10 years will be difficult. I wish I could protect you from the challenges. At times, you’ll feel broken, bad stuff happens, but know that eventually, you’ll start to feel whole again.
Your self-worth should not be defined by your weight, the size of your nose, or the curl of your hair.
1. Believe in Your Own Self-Worth
Confidence is not something you are familiar with. You have struggled with a debilitating self-esteem since you were eight years old, and it is all you know. I am telling you, right now, figure out some way to build that self-esteem up; discover everything about yourself that makes you beautiful – my gosh, you are beautiful – and become comfortable with who you are, on the inside and the outside.
Your body issues will hold you back from SO much, it’s astounding. You will run, no, sprint from love. You truly believe you are not worthy of it, and it will become one of your biggest regrets. Your self-worth should not be defined by your weight, the size of your nose, or the curl of your hair.
It will be a struggle to build up that confidence, in everything that you do, but I have faith in you.
You will question your intelligence and capabilities when it comes to your career. My dear, you focus so much on your weaknesses, yet when you allow your strengths to shine through, you are unstoppable. Try not to focus on what you don’t have, and celebrate and take advantage of what you do have.
It will be a struggle to build up that confidence, in everything that you do, but I have faith in you. When that self-worth starts to drop, remember: you are some kind of wonderful.
2. Be Flexible
You are a planner. You make lists, you map out your life and when things don’t go as planned, you have difficulty accepting those changes.
Over the next 10 years, things will not go as planned. You will struggle with family issues, and you will struggle with your physical and mental health. At 25 years old, you will face your biggest challenge yet, when you’re seriously injured playing the game you love, softball. You are a busy body, and to be at a complete standstill, while being in pain, is not something you cope with very well. Times will be trying, with depression unlike anything you’ve ever felt before. You will struggle with the reality that you will be living at home for a few more years, and that your dreams will also be put off. You will go through several grieving periods. Eventually, you will accept that your recovery will take time, and you will learn how to live life a little differently.
Over the next 10 years, things will not go as planned.
That experience taught me to “go with the flow” and I think you should learn to adjust your sails right away. Don’t hold on so tightly to how you wish things would be. Wishful thinking will only make it harder to accept the circumstances and events that happen in your life. Repeatedly thinking to yourself, “I wish _______ never happened,” will get you nowhere.
It is OK to be angry and upset, but it is not OK to let those emotions consume you. Your anger will creep into every ounce of your being and will refuse to leave once it has settled. Learning to cope and work with the tribulations of life will be invaluable. On that note…
3. You Are Not Defined by Your Hardships
Your relationship with your mother, your depression, your injury, and what you think are your failures do not dictate the rest of your life, or who you are as a person.
It is easy to fall into the role of “victim,” but don’t let that happen. Choose to learn from all of your life experiences and move forward to become the best version of yourself.
It may seem like the next 10 years devoid of brightness, but I can assure you there is pure and utter bliss ahead.
4. Express Gratitude
What I have found extremely helpful over the years, is showing gratitude for all the things in your life that make you smile. This appreciation opens up your heart in ways you will never understand, but it allows you to enjoy the life you have and all the good in it.
You will find beauty in all aspects of your life.
Your university career will be filled with adventure and friends whom you whole-heartedly adore. You will work jobs that fill you with excitement and reignite the passion inside of you. You will find beauty and serenity in nature, which is able to soothe your soul. You will find beauty in all aspects of your life.
I guess now is as good a time as ever to thank you for being so open to that beauty, for feeling so strongly.
5. Don’t Ever Give Up On Your Dream
There will be many times where you question if going back to school for Sport Management and pursuing a career in the baseball industry is the right choice, or if you should just do something more practical.
I’m sorry to break it to you, but despite being somewhat of a pragmatic, you are also a sentimentalist. You are ruled by your emotions, and something that makes you full of emotion is baseball. It is the thing that makes you the happiest. Your love for baseball comes from your heart, the kind of love that sends jolts throughout your entire body. Why would you ever quit something like that? You’ll get there, in due course, and when you do it will be extraordinary.
For now, raise your face to the sky and open your arms to what life has in store for you.
What advice would you share if you could travel back in time 10 years from now? Be a part of Project: #YoungerMe. Check out our terms and style guide, then submit your letter here. Or simply share your thoughts in the comments below! (And be sure to use the hashtag when tweeting us @reply_mag and sharing on Facebook).