Dear Me: An Open Letter to My 18 Year Old Self

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

When I look back at the past 8 years since I graduated high school, I have become much wiser on certain aspects of life, come into my own as a human being and developed a sense of comfort in who I have become. I thought I would write a letter to impart my little bit of knowledge and advice on my 18 year old self, in hopes that another young person will read it and learn a little something too.

Dear Paige,

Happy Graduation day!! I am sure your hair looks fine and you don't need to re-do your makeup when you get home from the salon. I can't wait to see you twirl around in that gorgeous ball gown and almost knock Kristy off her feet during the grand march. Ball gowns, though pretty are very impractical. 

I have some advice for you, on this day of your commencement. See I am you, a few years older and a lot more sure of who you think you are. 

Firstly, take today in. Your graduation, and other important events in your life, is a day to be celebrated. You deserve to be praised and you deserve all the accolades, because despite what you think, you did pretty damn good and tried your best most of the time. It is ok that you were 2% off of honour roll. The perfection you seek is not something that will make you feel better. 

Secondly, don't get complacent in life and think that you can live off of your retail job. I don't mean that it isn't a viable career option, but it is not what you want. Go to school, become a doctor or a lawyer or something that will interest you for the long haul. Your happiness is dependant on it. 90% of your life will be spent at that job and you should feel passionate about it. It's ok that you don't know what you want now, but you will, and as soon as you know, pursue it deeply and vastly. 

You should also know that who you are now is going to change and with that your relationships with friends will change, not always seemingly for the better, but in the grand scheme of things, you'll know it is best. You will make new relationships and become closer with others. It is ok to let go of something toxic to make you and everyone involved happier. Moving on from this is important.

Lastly, and this is important, so listen up. Your life is going to look extremely different in 5 years than it does now.  You do not have the perfect life. You are not in a relationship with marriage and babies on the horizon, you do not live in a big city, with a big job and a perfect wardrobe. ITS OK! This is not the end of the world, unfortunately as a young adult, things don't go as planned sometimes. The best thing you can do is work hard to be healthy, happy and always keep striving for what you want out of life. Giving up is the worst thing you can do, but don't be scared or disappointed if it takes you a little longer to get there. The journey is the best part.

So cheers to you on your first day of adulthood. Travel to new places, immerse yourself in culture, go to concerts, read new books (and old ones again), but most importantly love. Love others,  and make sure to love yourself. You have to spend a lot of time with yourself and if you don't like who you are its going to be very hard. Luckily, your a pretty great person.

- Paige

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