Today's prompt: Write a letter to sixteen-year-old you. Any advice or funny stories?
Dear Beautiful Girl...
Oh pretty girl. If I could give you anything right now it would be a hug.
I would stand there and just hold you, look you in the eyes and promise you that it does get better. It really does. These years don't define you. I’m so sorry that you’re going through all of that right now, but it gets better. So much better.
I know you’re listening to Garth Brooks while everyone else is listening to Metallica. I know you're driving a John Deere and plowing a garden while everyone else is hanging out with their friends. I know you're sharpening the blades on the lawnmower while everyone else is heading to the beach. I know you feel like you don't fit in. It's all good chickie, someday being country is actually cool!
Your hair is amazing. Enjoy every single second of your big hair, soon it goes out of style and never comes back in. I know, unbelievable. But the adult you is still holding out hope it will come back in style someday.
I know how badly you want to try out for cheerleading. You came so close, but you allowed someone else's words to ruin it. Stop doing that! One statement of "Amy, a cheerleader? Are you serious?" completely ruined your confidence and thoughts of trying out. Ignore them and just try out! If you don't, you will regret this your entire life.
I know how critically important it feels to fit in, to be cool, and most of all, to be beautiful. And thin. Oh, how important that is.
I want you to know a few things. First of all, you are thin! And your 40something self will wish she looked like you. Secondly, a woman's worth is not determined by her weight. You know that. Deep down you have to know that.
I see the days when you eat a candy bar, sneak out into the bathroom to try to vomit it up. It doesn't work and just makes you feel like more of a failure. I see the days when you can’t concentrate because you're hungry. You've convinced yourself that food is disgusting and when you glance around the lunchroom, watching everyone shove food in their mouth, it makes you nauseous. Again, you revise your daily 600-calorie or less menu. One thing it can never include is food at school in front of others. I see you leafing through the pages of the latest issue of Seventeen, tears dripping down your cheeks because you’ll never look like those girls, and it makes you feel like your worth is less than zero.
I know you hate your lips and how full they are. Those kids around you certainly haven't helped that matter at all, calling you horrible racist names. But guess what? Some day women are going to pay to have amazing lips like yours! I know, right? And God gave you them for free :) You trendsetter you.
So, you're finally old enough to date and you'll finally get your first boyfriend. But sadly, for two years he fills your head with "I won't date a fat girl, remember that", "Look how fat your thighs look in those pants" and “If you would just lose weight, you’d be so beautiful." You will spend countless date nights sitting in restaurants watching him eat because he feels you've had your calorie fill for the day. And countless nights hungrily crying yourself to sleep. Eventually he is out of the picture, but his words aren't.
Those words will haunt you for decades.
Darling, gorgeous, lovely, wonderfulness...you are beautiful and worthy exactly as you are, and nothing anyone can say or do will change that truth. Do you hear me? Your body type does not dictate your worth, no matter what society tells us.
God has told you the truth about who you are. You are beautiful simply because He made you. The only perspective that matters and the only One who defines us is our Maker. How freeing is that truth?
You are beautiful. Nothing can change that fact. Ever. Not aging, not gray hair and not scars from surgeries. The only thing that can change is whether you believe it or not.
Despite what all the guidance counselors tell you, these years do not define you. You will be so much more than high school. You are a child of God...and no prom dress, hair cut, boyfriend, car, or fight with a friend can ever change that.
You are wonderful and worthy. Please remember that. You are amazing!
Your Future Self