A letter to my younger selves on our birthday-
Dear little child, Emily,
You are silly. You love to smile. You don’t always understand other people, and you won’t ever really be good at small talk, but it’s okay. You’ll learn to appreciate that about yourself one day.
You love to look through Dad’s office magazines and dream about owning your own business one day. You’ll never grow out of your obsession with notebooks, paper, and office supplies.
Keep smiling. Keep bringing light and joy to those around you. Keep those dreams of pens and paper tucked away in your heart- you’ll use them one day.
Dear teenage Emily,
You have the hint of a rebel heart. You’re true to your beliefs, but you want to break out of the mold that’s been set for you. You have to find your own way. You need to. You were born to walk your own path. It will come at a cost, but everything does. You love music and art and have big dreams, but you don’t really know yourself yet. It will take some time to grow into the woman you are. Be patient, and be kind to yourself when you think back on these years.
Dear twenties Emily,
This is the decade. Everything will happen. You will bend and break, and you will find yourself for the first time. And lose yourself too.
But you will find your person and fall madly in love. He will change everything in the most beautiful way.
You’ll get married. You’re so young but so brave. You know this is the right step for you, even if nobody else understands.
Married at 21, babies at 23, 25, 28, and 29. They are your whole world. A wild, beautiful adventure. You will feel like you don’t even understand the concept of sleep for nearly six years, but you will never regret it.
You will lose yourself again. Lost in toxic “friendships,” disguised under the name of religion. But, oh, will you find yourself. And this time you’ll find yourself more sure and solid than you’ve ever been before.
Yes, your twenties are a time of great growth with excruciating growth pains. You’ll try so many new things. Organic farming, homesteading, wedding photography. You’ll begin a journey as an entrepreneur that somehow fulfills who you were born to become. You don’t know it yet, though. Those nagging voices that you’re never enough will play over and over in your head. But they’re wrong.
You will succeed. You will BECOME. Just keep walking forward, one step at a time.
Dear thirties Emily,
You’ll start to get it now. It will all begin to make sense. Where you would’ve doubted yourself in the past, you’ll now learn to stand tall in mind and spirit and resolutely have your own back.
The wisdom of time is now on your side. The plethora of experiences you’ve been through seems like they could span multiple lifetimes.
You’re ready to be seen now, to share the wisdom of what this life has taught you. You don’t know when or how that will happen, but you have something to share. And yet, it’s still frightening. You still hear those nagging voices of not being enough, but you’re brave enough to try anyway, knowing that if you fail, you’ll fail forward.
This is the decade to start fine-tuning the trajectory of your life. You have one more year to soak it all in before breaking into that next decade. Let’s make it count.