Dear Younger Self,

            Stop! Stop rushing your life. Enjoy where you are right now because you are never going to get to have this day, these experiences, these conversations again. Don’t marry that guy just because he says nice things. Don’t marry him only because he is leaving for Iraq in two weeks. Don’t settle for mediocre promises when you have fairy tale dreams. You need to learn to live life all on your own. Finish your degree at the University that you choose. Stop chasing pretend love. Choose yourself instead of always trying to make someone else happy. Go on that vacation that you want to go on. Go to the concert you’ve been waiting to go to. Experience the college parties because you’ll never get to again.  Don’t miss out on life because you’re too busy trying to grow up too fast. 

            You don’t have to have everything in your life completely mapped out. Sometimes not having everything planned is exciting, exhilarating, and exactly what you need to live the life that you want. Don’t settle for that job that you can’t see yourself doing for the rest of your life just to appease those around you.  Yes you may have to work a pointless job for a portion of your life, but remember to do it only as long as it takes you to get to the job that you really want.

            I know that it’s your hearts desire to please everyone around you, but if you do this your entire life, there will come a day when you fill so unfulfilled that you won’t even know what makes your own self happy anymore. Don’t let your life be dictated by pleasing others because most of the time whomever you’re trying to please wouldn’t do the same for you.

            When you do fall in love, remember that your idea of love and the other person’s are going to be different. Before you walk down that aisle, make sure that you are a hundred percent okay with those differences because if you aren’t there will come a day in your relationship that you won’t feel loved anymore.  If that person pays more attention to their job or their phone, you deserve better. If that person doesn’t give you quality time, or effort, or you become the last thing on their checklist, you deserve better.  Set your standards high and refuse to lower them for anyone.

Lastly, remember your faith. There will be days when you think you have it all together and don’t need God. There will be days when you doubt God, but there will also be days when you are bent over sobbing crying out to God because you feel like you’ve really messed up. He will always be there for you when it feels like you are all alone. He will always listen to you. He will always choose you. He will always love you.

So take time to smell the roses, to watch the sunset, and to dance like nobody is watching.

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