I spent this past Saturday at my 10 year high school reunion. It got me thinking about who I was 10 years ago and all the things I wish I could say to that girl.
The girl with crazy hair and crazier clothes. The girl who never understood what was cool or trendy. The girl who pretended to be in the marching band because all her friends were in it. The girl who was overly concerned about her grades and her boyfriends and her waistline. The girl with the loud laugh and the crooked teeth. The girl who was sometimes too scared to try new things but always able to speak up for herself. The girl who had no idea what the next ten years were about to bring her, but desperately wanted to.
I’d tell her she doesn’t need to go on another crash diet. I’d tell her to buy a hairbrush. I’d tell her not to delete her MySpace and Facebook pages after her boyfriend dumps her because she’s going to wish she could see those pictures again. I’d tell her to wear her glasses. I’d tell her to stop sticking her tongue out in pictures. I’d tell her to be nicer to her mom, because she was just trying to protect her from this sometimes scary world. I’d tell her to trust herself. I’d tell her she’s still best friends with all the same people. And she still listens to all the same music. I’d tell her she’s stubborn but that’s what’ll get her everywhere she’s going. I’d tell her it’s okay to not know where she’s going.
I’d tell her that’s the fun part. I’d tell her she’d never be able to guess where she’d be in ten years. But I’d tell her it’s exactly where she’s meant to be.
I don’t know how it’s been ten years since I graduated high school. Sometimes it feels like it was yesterday and sometimes it feels like a lifetime ago. I cringe thinking of the time and energy I wasted worrying about whatever it was I was worrying about when I was a teenager. I look at young girls today and I just want to hug them. I want to scoop them up in my arms and hold them tight. I want them to know how incredible they all are. And beautiful. And worthy. And smart. And talented. I want to tell them everything I refused to hear when I was their age and I want to tell them until they have no choice but to believe me.