Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about writing a letter to my teenage self; perhaps, the things I will share with my future daughter about what I learned growing up. So here we go, a letter to the 17-year-old Ashley Bedwell.
Let’s spend a little more time talking about how caterpillars turn into butterflies. You won’t know you’re beautiful until you believe you are beautiful. No one will truly love you, until you love you; accepting your imperfections balances out your frustrations and fears. Once this happens, you will spread your beautiful wings and fly away to accomplish your limitless dreams.
Don’t spend so much time trying to please other people. You’ll realize quickly (and after a motivating talk from you dad) that you can’t control other people. You can, however, control your reaction to other people. Never let someone get in the way of your dreams. Never work so hard to be someone’s friend when they give you nothing in return. You’ll be spending too much time trying to please them when you could be with the people who really love you. Seriously, you must learn this or you will live a miserable life. The people who matter in life will be there; they will let you know how much they love you. You will never question their existence in your life.
Remember all those boys who broke your heart? Stop crying. Listen to your close family and friends when they tell you that you will fall in love with an amazing man one day. Someone who will completely understand you and take you as you are! And remember those imperfections I was talking about, he will love you for all of them. He will challenge you and make you a better person. He will laugh with you until you cry and make you laugh when all you want to do is cry. He will inspire you to do amazing things and support you every step of the way. While you are a very independent person, remember to let him in and help you. Remember to tell him that you love him and thank him daily. Trust him, until he gives you a reason not to trust him. Trust and communication are key to a happy relationship. Not to spoil your happy ending too much, but he will be a pretty good lucking guy too. ;) Always remember to kiss him goodbye – even if he is just going to the grocery store, which he will often do as you will not excel in the kitchen. But he will love you for putting eggs in peanut butter fudge one day. (Note: Eggs do NOT go in everything).
Keep writing; it’s your passion.
Did I tell you that caterpillars turn into butterflies yet? Stop worrying about what other people think of your looks, and prepare yourself to spread your own wings. Take control of your destiny. If you are unhappy with your appearance or weight, do something about it. Stop feeling sorry for yourself, it’s a waste of time.
Stay positive. Always.
Work hard. Study even harder. Your determine and drive will make you a strong person. As the saying goes, what doesn't kill you only makes you stronger.
Smile often. Smile at everyone. Don’t forget how much a smile can change a day.
Time is the best present you can give anyone. Don’t forget that this gift has no guarantee and it can be taken from you quickly, so remember to always make time for your family and friends.
Love with all your heart and dream with all your imagination.
The only person standing in your way is yourself.
Your Future Self
What would you write to yourself? What would you say to your daughter about your lessons growing up? What is stopping you from doing either?