I’ve been married for four months now and during these short four months I’ve learned a lot about myself. I’ve also learned to tame some things about myself. I once was a very soft spoken person. During my twenties I found myself in friendships that were one sided and a relationship that was meaningless. Through those experiences I found my voice. I learned to speak up where it was needed and I not to take crap from anyone.
Since being married I’ve learned “my voice” isn’t always necessary. You see sometimes we get so accustom to defending our position or standing for what we believe in, we sometimes fail to realize when it’s unnecessary. Over the past few months Ive found myself stepping down to unnecessary defense. My husband is my partner, not a defensive player. He supports me, not holds me down. We are a team. With all that being said, the other day I started thinking about if I was 18 years old again what advice would I give to myself. Here is what I decided I would say. I thought I would share with my reader, but this was quite a peaceful and eye opening experience.
Here you go:
Dear 18 Year Old Janelle,
I’m 36 years old now and I am standing in the bathroom of my newly purchased home. That you and the love of your 21 year old life purchased together. Please listen closely. Yep, that same one you thought got away. Life is funny sometimes we stress over the smallest things!
At eighteen years old, life is very good right now. You have it all in order. Good grades, a career goal of becoming a pediatrician, and a nice set of true friends. Although you have the opportunity to work in many fields, take time out to travel and experience some time on your own. Work and money will always be there, right now is a time to have fun and explore the unknown. Don’t be afraid to tell your parents you have a goal in life and you want to travel down a certain path that no one may understand.
Your parents are rough on you and dislike the boyfriend you are dating, honestly he isn’t good enough for you and they want the best for you. I know it feels like your world is going to end if you miss that date to the movies, but trust me there is a much better guy out there and more exciting dates to have. Guys will break your heart and life will continue on. You will often wonder how can love be so unkind to such a loving person. The truth is love won’t care much about you for quite some time. However hold your values closely and don’t be embarrassed for believing in the things you do. Some people will see you as naive, but inexperience is a virtue at this age. Try to surround yourself with people that think and behave more like you. In time your heart will heal. You life alone will yield you many lessons.
You are intelligent, beautiful and not fat, despite what people say. Look in the mirror and know that one day you will meet and marry someone that loves you for all that you are. Those hips and butt that people tease you about, will become what people implant in themselves to be more attractive. Just hang in there, those girls that made fun of you in college because your butt was “so big” were probably secretly in the mirror waiting for theirs to grow or doing squats to get what you have naturally. Others have given you a misconception of what beauty is supposed to be. Their spirits are crushed and they are covering the ugly scars and anger they feel for themselves. They’ve learned to protect their broken and ugly souls by preying on vulnerable people like you. You have a sweet heart and don’t allow damaged people to change that.
Don’t isolate yourself from the things you love. You have a creative mind and although some people don’t get that, it will get you far in the future. It’s okay to be different. By the way all the girls that are making jokes about your naturally curly hair, (that stayed pressed and fly) will be rocking an afro, because society will have told them it’s acceptable and they’ll finally get it.
Set goals for yourself and believe in them despite what others say. No one will have to live the life that is ahead of you. You will have your regrets if you try to live your life the way others want. You won’t alway see things the way others do, and that will be challenging, but the main thing is to continue to love and support others in a way that many won’t understand. Remember to live each day to the fullest because tomorrow is not promised.
Love your older self,
P.S. I’m waiting on you!