Dear Twelve Year Old Self,

I want to start off by saying that you are beautiful.

You are not ugly.

You are beautiful. Would you like to know why?

Because you don’t care what others think yet, and though you may look different it doesn’t bother you.

You are quick to run to the swings and plan all the adventures.

You would help plant the random change in the dirt so that you and your friend could dig it up later like it was treasure.

You would sing at the top of your lungs and not even care who was around to hear you.

I admire you.

You are beautiful.

Remember the fun you have when you make a whole binder of plans for when you are eighteen and plan to move out with your two best friends. Remember those best friends, because they are wonderful and sometimes friends grow apart. But still love them. And of course smile when you find the binder with the contracts you all signed saying you would do it.

In two years when you are about to enter high school, and you think that you need a boy to define you, stop. Stop and look at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself you are beautiful. You are a beautiful creation that doesn’t have to settle for some random guy to make herself feel loved, you are loved.

In high school, pay attention just a little bit more and apply yourself, actually focus on learning and not getting by.

When you finally get that 2′ by 3′ little card that allows you to drive a car alone, cherish it. It will become one of the ways that you can go and get away and feel free. And don’t drive like the jerk driver you learned from and maybe your truck will live a little longer.

When people say that you should apply for scholarships, and you’re just thinking to yourself, “oh I’ll just get loans.” Please don’t do that to me, apply for all the damn scholarships you can. Exploit every little interest you have.

And when you finally get to college, stop and breathe it in. Not everyone gets this opportunity and you sure as hell aren’t going to take it for granted. Learn. Make good friends. Don’t pay attention to boys that will eventually hurt you and then pretend you don’t exist.

When you walk across that stage and grab the little book that doesn’t actually hold your degree; one, don’t trip and two, look over and let them take your picture, don’t be scared of the audience.

Finally, when you’re in a place of waiting and you feel scared, isolated and alone, you are not. You are never alone.

When you feel like you’re suffocating and drowning in doubt for what your future holds, know that you will be okay. You will always be okay.

Just stop and take a breath and remember that the One who created you is holding you still. Have peace and know that He is in control and that you need to try your hardest to stay faithful. Try your hardest to stay as innocent and adventure driven as you are now. Always live for adventure. Always live your life for Christ, and believe that he has amazing things in store for you.

Don’t be scared to take a few leaps. Don’t let money fool you, it’s not the most important thing.

Let yourself be beautiful the way you are. Seriously. Let yourself laugh at the funny things and then even laugh at the times that are hard. Remember that you have your whole life ahead of you. You don’t have to have everything figured out by the time you’re twenty-three. Trust me, you won’t anyways.

I hope that you will be happy, truly. Don’t allow others words, or actions dictate your happiness. If you get to the point where you feel as though you are being taken advantage of or hurt or controlled, stop it. Don’t let people hurt you in your life because they are hurting in theirs. Stay strong and stand up for yourself. Always stand up for yourself.

And again, remember to keep your childlike heart, believe the best in people, hope for greatness and live for adventure.

Love,

Your twenty-three year old self

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