I’ve seen this idea circling the blog community recently and I really like it. I like the thought of writing to my younger self and explaining things or looking back on moments I struggled with that I can shed light on now. I also thought I could more generally gear it towards all of us, because we all struggled with something. Insecurities, doubts, nerves, negative thoughts about ourselves…. The list can go on. Growing up, especially in the teen years and early adolescence, our hormones and emotions were all over the place. I know for sure I had so many questions and insecurities that looking back I just want to go and give young Mikaela a hug and tell her it would all work out. We learn from our journey and struggles though. We become who we are now from what we went through. We are meant to ask those questions growing up. We must ask the questions and look at everything with no bias so as to make up our own minds and ideas about life.
This letter was really rewarding and made me reflect on how far I’ve come as a person. It made me excited also about how far I still have to go! I would highly recommend writing yourself a letter and just thinking about some of the questions you had back then.
Dear Younger Me,
I can actually picture you shyly watching the teens around you in class talk and laugh. They all go to school with each other every day and don’t just show up for a couple classes like you do. Homeschooling is fun, but it doesn’t help you fit in at the public school. Fitting in though…. Is it really important to fit in all the time? Back then I would have said yes I want to be part of things and be like everyone around me. Me now though, would look back and say, you don’t have to fit in. You don’t have to be like everyone else. You were so unique in your own way. You reached out to people that were like you already. You were you and sure did not have as wide a friend group, but you found friends who you could truly be yourself around. You need to find people who you don’t have to change for. You can proudly and unashamedly be you around the people who truly matter. Looking back now I had those few people and I should have been more grateful for them… It’s not always about fitting in. I think uniqueness is the cool thing. You did what you loved, which was music! Sure you might not have been able to go to all the extra things some of your friends did because you would have rehearsals, concerts, practice, etc.…. But me now… I am so grateful you stuck with it! I am so thankful you pushed through those frustrating piano practices because I can sit down and just play when I need to. I can unwind with music. What a special gift. Build up a good work ethic from the start and your later you will thank you. It will be easier to tackle big stressful mountains because younger you put in the time. So thank you younger me!
Younger me was a dreamer…. Big aspirations. No dream was too big for me and I had my eye set on a goal and career. I knew what I wanted. I wish I still had that raw passion I had for music now that I did when I was a teenager. I still love music and it is my passion, but there was a certain obsession almost, a raw love that I no longer have now. I think it was untainted….. I lost that though and slowly have been building it back up after college (Blog Link about how I re-found my passion for music). That is the one major thing I miss about younger me. I miss being so excited to go to opera rehearsals. To talk to the principles, to sing with other people in love with music as well, I miss that! Older me looks back on that though and seeing my journey of loss, and then discovering my strength inspires me. You’ll have to go check out my blog post link I shared above to read about my musical journey.
The last thing I think I would say to my younger self as well and even myself now would be…. Don’t be afraid to speak up. Growing up I was riddled with a self-doubt that my opinion didn’t matter and I should just stay quiet. I learned to be the listener, which is a great quality, but that is all I would do. I wouldn’t allow myself to speak up for what I believed in. I am getting better at that now, but still find myself questioning sometimes if people will actually want to hear what I have to say. Don’t question… We should never question our self worth and if we should be heard or not. Never. Xoxo
I could probably think of so many more little things here and there in specific moments that I would want to tell myself, but I want to keep it simple and stick with these several points. We all look back on certain things and can easily point out that “oh if only younger me had felt worthy enough to speak their mind” or “we didn’t need to fit in, we were unique and special.” We still however, I think struggle with these concepts everyday ourselves. Maybe not as much as we did, but there will still be instances where we would rather fit into a situation than stand out, or we keep quiet when we really should have shared our thoughts. Remember our time is now. Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed so we must not let any of those moments pass us by. Wouldn’t it be amazing if down the road we wrote another letter to our younger selves and it would say things like… “The bravery you showed in that moment standing up for what was right, that inspires me everyday.”
Take the initiative to sit down and write yourself a letter. It could be one to your younger self; it could be just to yourself in general. Take the time to answer questions past you had and then hold on to those so if by any chance present you has those same questions you are prepared. I am always for writing things down and journaling. A lot of the times I find this is so much easier for me to do instead of talking. I also, if I have something important I want to say, will write it down first. I will work on it, perfecting it on paper and thus thinking it through in my head. Finding the best way to go about-facing the problem or question at hand. In the end it is freeing, very rewarding and it very well could be eye opening for you as well!
Picture By Robert Rosenberg