How I wish I could go back in time and tell myself so many things.
Back in high school I was a spazzy girl that danced to her own beat but was blessed & lucky enough to have many friends. Freshman year I played volleyball & softball and thought I was pretty good. Obviously I didn’t have a big grasp on reality because I got cut from volleyball AND softball the next year with my best friend… but we didn’t care. We seemed to think we had better things to do anyways. I found myself partying way more than necessary and had a very large problem with attendance. Sadly, my Moms signature was perfected at a very young age. (I hope it’s a little tougher to skip school these days.) My partying led to a lot of crazy life lessons that maybe I didn’t need to learn at such a young age, but there wasn’t much stopping me from doing what I wanted to do. I wish I’d had a little more self control.
Now I am 35, married and have 2 boys. Being a Mom is the best thing I’ve ever done. I am so very blessed that I waited to have children. I get to enjoy every moment so much more than I would have at a younger age. Before I got married, I seemed to pick all the wrong guys and eventually I just assumed my “picker” was broken. Until I met the man I’m married to now. I truly don’t feel like I deserve the life I have …but I do. Its not extravagant or perfect but I wouldn’t change a thing. It’s filled with love and happiness, more than I ever dreamed possible. Everyone deserves to have a happy life. It starts with making changes, taking ownership of your decisions and facing who you see in the mirror. I never cared much for who that girl in the mirror was. Actually, I realize now that I never thought much about her. But one day I realized she was pretty cool and deserved a chance at having a fabulous life.
Dear “16 year old Sara,”
I know this is all going to sound so cliché to you, but suck it up. These are things you need to hear. Life is the most beautiful gift you’ve ever been given and you really aren’t taking the time to enjoy the stage you’re in. You have so many amazing things to do. I know you feel like an adult and in so many ways you are …but why rush it? You WILL be a full-fledged adult sooner than you realize. Then you get to spend the rest of your life being one. The time you spend with friends being young is something you will cherish forever. Spend less time worrying about being a girlfriend and more time doing things that make you laugh. When you make a dumb mistake, apologize and learn from it. It really is that simple. Nothing is worth lying for.
When that first credit card shows up in the mail, CUT IT UP. Your Dad is right, it takes a moment to ruin your credit and a lifetime to fix it. This also is the same for your integrity, remember that. Love yourself and make decisions you will be proud of. No matter how stressful a situation is or how badly you want to wish it away. There is a reason it is happening. Please learn to deal with things head on. Making excuses and trying to make it go away takes way more energy than facing it and moving forward. You have a best friend that will be with you till the end of time. Talk to her, she is more important than any guy you will date. A good friend knows all your stories; a best friend lives them with you. You will make so many incredible friends in your lifetime. It’s ok to cut some free when you need to. A lot of people are put in your life for a reason, as far as I can tell, it’s to make memories and keep you growing. Learn from everyone you meet. Take the time to get to know people you wouldn’t normally associate with. One thing I’ve learned is that you have been surrounded by so many incredible people that may have just needed to feel acknowledged. Their high school years could have been so different if someone would have just included them. A simple “hello” can make someone’s day. It will surprise you how amazing some people are if you just take the time to get to know them. Embrace people for who they are. I am proud that you never cared if someone was different, but go a step further and take the time to get to know them. Make an effort! You’ll be happy you did. Life without friendships is a lonely place. Be crazy, dance a lot and laugh till your stomach hurts. Those are the keys to your happiness. You are responsible for you, no one else is. Stop blaming other things.
Your Mom is the most amazing woman you will ever know and she deserves a lot more respect than you give her. She prays for you and worries about you every single day. She truly does. She isn’t just saying that! The least you can do is stop giving her reasons to worry and start talking to her more. She really is a “real person.” I know you think she’s just your Mom but you’ll be blown away one day when you have children and realize why she loves you the way she does. Being your parent is not her job, it’s her choice. She loves you more than you could even begin to comprehend at this point & wants nothing more than for you to be happy. Go do something to make her proud.
Learn to love yourself sooner, judge less & embrace people for who they are. I love you. I should have told you that years ago. I love the person that you are & I forgive you for the mistakes you’ve made.
P.S. Don’t even think about smoking. Its gross, ugly & takes years to quit.