I wish I could write a letter to my 10-year-old self.
Gangly, awkward, innocent.
I wish I could tell myself to spend my weekends sleeping on the trampoline instead of worrying so much about bugs and monsters and bad guys.
I wish I could go back to elementary school days and parachutes in PE class and spinning in circles until the whole world felt dizzy.
I wish I could tell myself to stop playing it cool and beat all the boys at tetherball like I knew I could.
I would tell myself to have fun during field day and play the water games even though my hair might get wet.
I would remind myself that hair always dries, scrapes always heal and best friends aren’t always forever.
I would convince myself to cherish the days when my biggest problem was what Barbie should wear to the royal ball, what color to make my beaded lizards, and how to break the news to my friend that her Tamagotchi died while she was on vacation.
I’d tell myself that some mommies and daddies aren’t meant to be together
And I’d promise myself that it wasn’t my fault.
I’d spend an extra day at my grandma and grandpa’s, and close my eyes while breathing in the minty smell of their living room while Grandma played “When the Saints Go Marching In” on the organ.
I’d ask grandpa to tell me more about my daddy when he was little, and I’d make sure to remember all of the good parts so I could tell my kids someday.
I would eat an extra handful of the pink and green mints with white sprinkles in the glass bowl that never seemed to run out and I would hug them both extra tight before we left.
I’d watch them stand in the driveway and wave as we drove away until the car was completely out of sight.
I would play. I would laugh. I would let myself be little.
I wish I could write a letter to my teenaged self.
Feisty, hormonal, misunderstood.
I wish I could tell myself to wait just one more day before I let myself grow up; to let myself enjoy the days where my body looked like a beanpole, rather than praying each night that I’d wake up with curves.
I would kiss my mom every morning before I left for school, hold my head high as I walked through the halls, and I’d even skip a few classes just to feel the adrenaline rush, because I now know that nothing even happens to you if you do.
I would stop worrying about how nice it would be to be known, and spend more time making sure I was known for being nice.
I would tell myself that there is a big and beautiful world that lives beyond Friday night football games, the cute boy in my Spanish class, and homecoming queen nominations.
I would try something new even if it scared me to death, stand up for what I knew was right even if I was the only person standing and I might even run the mile instead of hiding behind the portables to flirt with the boys.
I wish I could tell myself not to worry so much about being popular, and assure myself that the boy causing my tear-stained pillowcase would soon be a faded memory from my past.
I wouldn’t believe it for a second, but I’d tell myself that one day I would go through an entire day and he wouldn’t even cross my mind.
I’d smear the lipstick number screaming my weight in pounds from my bathroom mirror and write, “You’re beautiful just the way you are,” in it’s place.
I’d beg myself not to let the mysterious boy with the pretty eyes steal anything more than a goodnight kiss,
And while I was at it, I’d steal my tanning lotion and hair bleach to save myself from a lifetime of reminiscent “what was I thinking” moments.
I would remind myself that being kind to everyone never goes out of style.
Rolling eyes and smacking gum doesn’t look cute on anyone.
And notes with top-secret information will undoubtedly get intercepted at the worst of times.
I would tell myself to give my parents a break, never feel too cool to call my dad “daddy,” and even though I still have trouble admitting it, I’d tell myself that Mom is usually right.
I wouldn’t believe it at the time, but I’d promise myself that one day my crazy mom would become my very best friend.
I wish I could write a letter myself 20 years from now.
Middle-aged, wide-eyed, full of life, happy.
I would tell myself to stop worrying about so many insignificant details and allow things to happen how they are supposed to.
I would force myself to stand naked in front of the mirror and love every inch of skin staring back at me.
I would tell myself that I’d give anything to have that body again.
Young, resilient, beautiful.
I would find comfort in assuring myself that there’s no need to worry about the future,
And I’d pinky promise myself that everything was happening for a reason.
I wouldn’t spoil any of the good stuff, but I’d tell myself that everything was going to be okay.
I’d remind myself that loving yourself is a whole lot more important than loving a boy, but I’d smile as I said that the perfect love is worth the wait.
I would tell myself that fragile hearts love the deepest, broken roads lead to the biggest blessings and that the most beautiful qualities I possess would still be present if the whole world was blind.
I would remind myself to cherish the good days, learn from the bad days and find comfort in knowing that some of my best days haven’t even happened yet.
I would say that I wish I could write more, but my sweet husband and beautiful babies are waiting for bedtime snuggles and I’d cry when I read the last line.
I wish I could write a letter to all of the girls I’ve been, and all of the women I have yet to become.
Not-quite-there-yet, in between, now.
I would say that it’s much more important to create a life that feels good on the inside than it is to have a life that looks good from the outside.
I’d tell myself to take time every single day to allow myself to pause in the midst of the chaos and allow myself to just be happy.
I’d tell myself that the secret to having it all is knowing you already do and that confidence is the sexiest shade of lipstick.
I’d make a promise that I’d always stay true to my beliefs, my values, and myself,
And I’d remind myself that life doesn’t have to be perfect to be wonderful.
I’d look myself in the eyes,
And I’d see past all the hurt, the mistakes, the fear, the uncertainty.
And as my reflection appeared and my own eyes saw through to my soul,
My reflection would smile,
as if she already knew.