Letter to my 14-Year-Old Self. Gratitude Experiment: Day 85

This week a writing prompt caught my attention, so here goes:

Dear 14-year-old-me,

There are so many things I want to tell you.  I’m not sure where to start.

First off, I think you should start writing in a journal. Quit fighting it. It is part of who you are. Get a journal and just write in it. You’ll be glad later.

Also, as much as your sister bugs you sometimes, please realize how wonderful and brilliant she is and how lucky you are to have her.  She is more a part of you than anyone else ever will be. Soak up every single minute of her.  Do not, I repeat, do not, fight over stupid things. Life is ever so fleeting, so keep this in the back of your mind.

As for your parents, you will not have them around forever either. You need to cut them a little slack. I know you are a teenager, and a ‘feeler’ and all, but you are awfully dramatic.  You’ll realize later that parenting is no cake walk, trust me.

Your Mom is a bit fragile and needs you to be easy on her; she is doing the best that she can. She will teach you many things about life and you will be glad that she did. Try not to get annoyed with her and realize that everyone is in charge of their own happiness.

And your Dad, even though you don’t realize it now, is really a big softie under that tough-as-nails exterior.  He’s just afraid to show it.  He too is brilliant, like your sister was.  He will take you to wonderful places and you will learn great things from him, so stop fighting it and take it all in.  He loves you a lot and you are way more like him than you realize.

Even your stepdad, cut him some slack too.  I know it’s not fun right now, but trust me, he’s going to blow you away with his strength, grace and love for your mother later in life.  He’s still a work in progress, as are we all.  I know you also don’t realize what a blessing it is that you have your stepmom in your life.  She will be there to take care of us all in our darkest hours, and she has a very sweet place for you tucked away in her heart. She too will teach you many things in life.

I know this is getting heavy, so bear with me.  Know that you are already blessed with a few friends who you will have for life.  You don’t understand how rare or fortunate this is.  Take good care of them and don’t blow them off too much to be with your boyfriend.  They will have your back more times than you can ever imagine and they will be your sisters.  Plus, in not too many years down the road, you are going to meet your soul mate, so don’t sweat the boy stuff.

And before I forget, please don’t worry or obsess about how you look or what size jeans you wear – ever.  Trust me, you will have ups and downs all along the way and it really doesn’t matter.  Plus, I promise you’ll look back one day and wonder why in the world you ever criticized the way you looked (except for your blue eye shadow – you seriously need to go easy on that this next few years).

Be sure to step back every once in a while and realize how good you have it. Try not to complain and realize that it’s all relative (you will probably say that a lot in your life).  Find a way to start giving of yourself to help others not as fortunate, so that you can make it a habit for life and keep perspective.  You have some service in your heart and you will find that it energizes you.

Lastly, realize that how you look at things affects everything in your life. And that hurdles and challenges in life are the bricks that build us.  You can do anything and handle anything thrown your way.  You have no earthly idea how strong and passionate you are.  Just remember to leave your ego at the curb every once in a while.

I think that’s it for now, my friend.  I’m grateful that I was able to reflect on these things for you. Godspeed.

Yours truly,

Older Self