Today is my 30th birthday. The big 3-0, what a milestone! In honor of this occasion, I have written a letter to myself, at the age of 15. If only I had known what I know now...
Dear 15-year-old Chrissi,
Sweet girl, as I sit here today on your 30th birthday, there is so much I want to share. So much I have learned over the last 15 years that I wish you would know. Although I wouldn’t go back and change any of it, because it shaped who I am today, there are things which could have made life easier, and certainly saved some heartache.
For starters, being popular doesn’t really matter. Sure, it’s nice to be liked, but what is more important is how you treat people. That girl in your math class with no friends, she needs you to sit with her at lunch more than you need to be at the cool table. Go out of your way to be kind to others and show them the love God calls you to. It may be hard to believe me now, but the “cool kids” don’t always stay the cool kids, and what is really important is how you treat the people who aren’t seemingly “cool”.
Don’t stress over prom so much. Enjoy yourself. Have fun with your girlfriends and don’t worry about the boy who asks (or doesn’t ask) you. Even though he may be wonderful, unless you’re like a few select friends, your prom date isn’t going make any bit of difference in your life. Relax. Dance the night away. Have fun!
You’re making a lot of money babysitting…Save. It. You don’t have to spend it all just because you have it. Life is expensive as an adult, and you will wish you kept your savings account as a savings account and had more money when you get out of college.
Your sisters are amazing. Seriously, like the best friends you could ever imagine. Stop picking on them, let them borrow whatever clothes they want, and good grief don’t kick them out of the car on the way to school. These two will be your best girlfriends and you will regret how you treated them. Enjoy every moment you have together, because when you grow up, you don’t get to live in the same house and share two or three meals together each day. Savor this time.
You may think right now that not having your first kiss when you turn 15 is the end of the world. Trust me, it isn’t. Save that kiss for someone who really matters, not a boy with whom you’ve “gone out” for three weeks. You will barely remember his name in a few years; he does not matter, you matter. Value yourself.
You have no idea what love really is. Sure, you know love from your parents, family and friends, but what you think is “love” between you and the guy you’ll soon be in a relationship with, is not. Save your heart, don’t fall so fast, and like I said earlier, value yourself. You are worth waiting for, worth fighting for and worth more than some boys will make you feel. You are so special, and you need to remember that you matter. You will meet your husband in about 10 years, and he will look nothing like you imagined. He will love you like you never could have thought possible, and you will build a family more perfect that your wildest dreams could have planned. Stop trying to write your own story and wait for the perfect one God is writing for you.
Those parents who you think are “driving you nuts” right now are the best two people you could possibly know. They are wiser and more thoughtful than you give them credit for. These two are sacrificing a lot to make sure you have what you need, when you need it. Hug them. Thank them. Show them respect. Remember they are always, always, making decisions to better your life and not make it worse. In a few years, you will regret the sour looks you give your mom and the doors you slammed in your dad’s face. You really don’t need to listen to your music so loud (as dad says), and you should behave (just as mom told you). You will be repeating Dad’s words of “happiness is a choice, choose happiness” nearly every day of your life. Don’t roll your eyes. These two are a gift, and you should value you them more!
Finally, you should remember that no matter what happens, life does get better… Tough times will come. Tears will fall. You may feel like the world is going to end, but alas, it will not. You will smile more than you could hope, your reality will be better than your dreams and your life will be blessed beyond measure. Take care of yourself and make those who come in contact with you see something different.