A Letter to My 18-Year-Old Self…

It wasn’t that long ago when I was 18! Just…just time, man. It feels like just yesterday that I was ordering my cap and gown for HIGH SCHOOL. And I just ordered my cap and gown for college…idk…about a year ago. Time gets a hold of you. Don’t take any moment for granted, my dear. Stop rushing things. And for the love of God, stop trying to wear makeup every day. Thanks.

I know time travel isn’t invented yet (that we know of). I’m sure there’s someone out there cooking up some recipe to travel through dimensions. I wanna meet that person and just grab a coffee in the year 1952. Please.

But in all seriousness, if time travel did indeed exist, I would go back to my 18-year-old self (right after I went back to the 1950s and relived its eccentric scene) and tell her some things. And if you happen to be 18, take some of this advice. And even if you’re not 18, maybe some of this advice can be helpful for you. Honestly, these are things that I have to remind myself now.

Dear 18-Year-Old Self…

Chillax, sweetie.

Kk, let me fill you in on a secret (without disrupting the time-space continuum). Not everything is going to go according to your “plan.” Screw the plan (pardon my French). It’s fine that you have a five-year plan for your life or whatever, but you can’t follow that plan step-by-step. You just can’t. Like, it’s not realistic. You need to relax. You will get into college. The college transition will be fine. You’ll fit in, you’ll meet your friends, and come out of your shell. Stop worrying about the future and just enjoy the precious moments you have with your family and high school friends. Sweetie, your life is about to change. Embrace the present. Hope, not worry, for the future.

Makeup should be worn for special occasions, not Target runs.

God, honey. Don’t wear makeup every minute of every single day. It’s not worth it! And, it destroys your skin. I don’t care what skin care routine you may have (we didn’t have any), but stop putting foundation, concealer, eye shadow, eye liner, and mascara on every single day. You’re not a beauty guru. You don’t need to wear makeup 24/7. Kudos to anyone who can, but dear, you can stop wearing makeup. Trust me, you’re going to have to wear at least some makeup once you get a real job or go on some dates.

And girl, you are beautiful no matter what — whether you put on a pound of makeup or wear no makeup at all. It doesn’t matter. God created you in His image, and that was raw and makeup-free. Let’s live out God’s purpose for us.

But for now, stop putting on the foundation and concealer when you go to Target (or Chick-Fil-A, class, or the gym). Your face will thank you, I will thank you, and you’ll feel SO much more comfortable.

Treasure your family.

And when I mean family, I mean your dog (RIP Gracie). No, no, I do mean your ENTIRE family. In college, you talked to your mom every day. But also call your brothers. Call your dad. Call your grandparents because they rarely hear from you. They love hearing your voice. They wanna hear your “crazy college stories” (read: going to DX at 2 am for corn dog nuggets and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream). Trust me when I say this — your family will ALWAYS be there for you.

Exercise. Eat healthy. Walk everywhere.

Please, for the love of God, don’t gain the freshman 15. I mean, we did in our freshman year, but it’s just not worth it. I’m still trying to lose that 15 (read: 50). It’s not good. Go for the salad bar instead of the taco bar. Go for the soups rather the pasta. And stay away from those pizza runs at 2 a.m. and Natty Light (even if it is light, it’s still bad for you).

Just because it happened to her, doesn’t mean it won’t happen to you.

Stop. Comparing. Yourself. To. Others. Like, seriously!!! Have you ever heard of that saying, “comparison is the thief of joy”? IT IS! Think about it. You know how you’re feelin’ happy, good about yourself twirling around, dancing it out to the Jonas Brothers? And then all of a sudden, you see that girl on social media who has a bazillion Instagram followers and that blue check mark? She has an incredible Instagram feed and the best boyfriend and…you just sit there questioning everything you did wrong that didn’t add up to that?? Well, stop. You’re 18. You have your whole life ahead of you. Even when you’re 30, 40, 50, or even 80…stop comparing yourself. You’re YOU. And what makes you stand out? YOU. God created YOU to be on this earth to be YOU. Whoever YOU are, be that. Because dear, YOU are extraordinary.

Life will go on.

You’ll make mistakes. Things happen. How do you get through it? You pick yourself back up, dust your behind, and keep on walking.

“But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus?”

Philippians 3:14

God put you on this earth for a reason, my sweet friend. Life doesn’t stop at every mistake. Every mistake, every little move you make…all leads to the glory of God. That head tilt you make as you listen to your parents, the sit-down family dinners with tasty home-cooked meals, and those friends that you treasure forever…they all point to the direction of Jesus. Jesus is the way of life. Life will go on when you have Jesus walking beside you. Accept Him into your heart. You’ll feel…lighter. Almost like easy, breezy, beautiful.

There’s more that I can tell you. I can tell you to avoid carbs, to stop worrying about that frat boy not texting you back, or that some girls just are plain mean. But you will figure that all out. Because sweet friend, you are extraordinary. You are smart. You can do this. You’re 18. There’s a whole ‘nother world out there. You can conquer the world. Just take it one day at a time.

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