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I was reading the blog Pink Moss and came across a very worthwhile project. It’s no secret that I have three little boys and no girls. Well, Janae has six girls. Not that I won’t have my own set of problems to deal with when my boys are teens, but teenage girls? Yikes. How do you teach your girls to see how fabulous they are? This phrase of hers caught my attention: It is always easier to visualize the beauty and greatness held in others, than to capture it within onself.
And so, she is starting a project, where women can give their advice on how to see the beauty in themselves. This advice should come in the form of a letter to your 12 year-old self. What you wish you’d known. You can see all the details if you go to the Pink Moss link above. She is looking for more people to participate in her project- it doesn’t have to be posted on any certain day. Think about it! What do you wish that someone had told you back when you were 12?
I chose not to get caught up in trying to prevent the mistakes that I made, but to focus on the outlook I wish I’d had. Attitude makes so much difference.
Did you know that you are beautiful? Don’t roll your eyes at me. I know what a sarcastic 12 year-old you are. Listen to me: You. Are. Beautiful.
You are entering into a time in your life where you are going to compare yourself to others and find yourself coming up short. But, let me tell you a secret: you are every bit as good as everyone else.
The only difference is confidence. They have it and you don’t. Learn to love yourself, accept who you are, and be yourself LOUDLY.
Those hips you complain about? Darling, you are an absolute stick. Yes, your hips stick out.- but that’s just BONE. There isn’t any fat on you. Please don’t obssess.
When you get to college, please relax a little and have more fun than I did the first time through. Yes, grades are important, but shhhhh: no one cares at this point what our grades were back then. So, allow yourself to get lower than a B every once in a while if it means that you get to go out instead of studying. You learned this a little bit in your science classes. Yes, you, who LOVES science, will get your lowest grades in science, all because of various boys. None of them are worth the tears, btw.
I wish I could spare you the heartache that will come in your early twenties, when you fall madly in love. But, maybe it won’t hurt so much, if you listen to me and have more confidence. See, you will be convinced that this man is the most beautiful man on the face of the earth and constantly be asking yourself what he is doing with you. You mistakenly put him up on a pedestal and are completely crushed when he doesn’t live up to your expectations. Maybe if you have more confidence this time around, instead of asking how you could be so lucky as to have him in your life, you will ask how he could be so lucky as to have you in his.
You will have a broken heart. It will feel worse than any illness you’ve ever had. You will sob yourself to sleep for months. You will wonder if it will ever stop hurting. You will wish it all away.
But, you will come out on the other side of that dark time a strong and confident woman. You will decide to try new things and to be yourself. You will become much more discerning as to whom you let into your life. And, my dear, trust me when I say that you will see the life that that man makes for himself and be thankful that you are not a part of it. You will feel lucky.
You will adopt a philosophy of “Don’t say no right away” which gives you permission to realize that you don’t have to turn down every opportunity that comes your way. That it’s okay to say yes and try new things. Just remember that your philosophy is not to say no right away, but that you can say it if you really want to.
Be on the lookout for the guy who sticks with you through all these things. The one who listens to you and whom you tell everything to, the one you aren’t trying to impress. You will probably think that “oh, this is him!” a few times, but hang in there, he’s coming, and he probably isn’t the one you’ll think at first. He will see how special you are and help to make you feel that way, too.
I want you to know now, instead of finding out the hard way, that marriage is work. That you can’t put someone else in charge of your happiness and quit when things get hard. Fight for your marriage. Because it’s worth it.
So are the three beautiful boys that you will have. Yes, I’m telling you now that girls are not in your future. Maybe if you know this now, you will be adjusted to the idea by the time you have them. They will be the loves of your life.
You’ll have ups and downs in your life. Friends whom you thought you could count on will turn their backs on you. Family members will let you down.
Though, you’ll also make amazing friends and do things that you never expected to be able to do.
You get through it all, a confident woman. I remember being you and it was the uncertainty of how things were going to work out that caused you to stumble. Maybe, after reading this, and knowing that you do make it through it all, that will be enough to give you the confidence to make your way through our life with your head held high.
Time passes much faster than you think and when you look back, those things that you think are such a big deal at the time, you will hardly even remember. It’s the big adventures or the small meaningful moments that will stick out. The rest is a blur. Try not to worry. Try to have fun. That’s what I wish: that I’d had more fun. Don’t be me. Have that fun.
P.S. Could you please make sure that someone takes plenty of pictures of us when you are 24? Trust me, you’ll want them later.