guest post by sarah
On July 23, I turn five and twenty. For those of you not familiar with that termology (thank you, Pride & Prejudice), it means I will be 25 years old, or as my younger siblings tease (often earning a dagger-like glare), halfway to fifty.
Whaaaatt?? Where did the years go?
I remember anxiously awaiting the day when I would celebrate sweet sixteen. And then after that, waiting to be 18 with whatever quirks came with that age, followed closely by 21, because after that one officially becomes an adult and can technically conquer the world, am I right? But now, here I sit, four years later with a simple statement and a list to my teenage self.
I’m not telling you this to boast of my infinite wisdom due to my (almost) one-quarter-of-a-century age. I don’t have it. (Infinite, I mean – I’ve got some wisdom, you know.) I simply share this to say, I’ve got SO much to learn. If I could write a letter and send it into the past, filled with a list of things I wish I could tell my teenage self, this is what I’d say:
Dear Sarah Elizabeth,
1.Don’t worry. Seriously!
God’s got your back, and He is so faithful. Worrying is fruitless, an emotional drain, stressful, and a complete waste of time.
2. Be a good example to your younger siblings.
Being the eldest is difficult, I know. There seems to be so much responsibility placed on you. But you can do it! Trust me. You aren’t perfect, of course, but be yourself and rely on God and your family – you’re not alone.
3. Practice, practice, practice!
“Do, or do not, there is no try,” says the great Master Yoda. Study hard in memorizing your French. Even though you’ll get a pretty good grade in the class, you’ll forget everything in a year or two and wish you had kept it up, if only to be fluent in at least one other language. And focus on your violin! It’s an extremely difficult instrument to learn, but you can! Maybe having a better teacher would have helped, but when it really comes down to it, YOU are the one who gives 110%.
4. Focus on ballet.
It really is your passion, there’s no need to worry about tap or jazz or the others. Focusing on one form of dance will help in affordability (especially since you will work at the studio to help pay for classes) and assist in honing your “natural talent” as your teachers have said you possess.
5. Write the first drafts of your stories ALL THE WAY THROUGH!!!
You will definitely have to force yourself to do this. But it’ll be worth it! You never know, maybe you’ll be a published author in a few years!
6. Talk more – be more open with your family.
Don’t stuff your emotions and feelings deep inside. Your parents are there for you and your siblings will become your bestest friends.
7. Hug often!
8. Hesitate less – be more willing to jump to a task so someone else won’t have to.
9. Be a friend to everyone!
10. Be more selfless.
11. Don’t be so overly conscious of BOYS – stop trying to impress.
Be a friend to the guys, but stop clouding your thinking with “what if he really likes me?” Be yourself. God has the man already picked for you and he is your dream guy. You need only chase your King first and wait.
12. Try new things at least ONCE.
13, Put more effort into your studies.
Who knows? You might need that knowledge to teach your own children someday.
14. Be more aware of the needs of others and not your own wants.
15. Strive for excellence.
You aren’t perfect – I know! But look to Proverbs 31 as a guideline and pray every day that God will make you into the upright lady He wants you to be.
16. Make an effort to memorize Scripture – hide it in your heart, literally!
17. Be brave.
18. Save your money, instead of spending it so often. . .
Believe me, you’ll be so glad you did!
19. Be more willing to step out of your comfort zone.
20. Heed that little whisper inside your head more often.
The Holy Spirit is there for you. And if you listen, He will guide your every step.
21. Love with your life.
Show love by action. Make sense? The phrase, “Actions speak louder than words,” comes to mind.
22. Become a deeper thinker.
Always seek to gain more knowledge and wisdom. Never stop learning!
23. Expand your vocabulary.
Check out the dictionary apps for your phone, or look at the website to find the Word of the Day. Make an effort to use it at least once that day! For more help, check out this post on my blog.
24. Never stop finding joy in making others laugh.
25. Don’t ever take for granted the little things in life.
26. Be thankful always.
27. Never stop loving to read!
28. Go sit on the porch and watch the sunset more often.
I could add so much more to this letter! But that’ll have to do for now.
Love you, girl!
Your older (almost a quarter century) self
What about you, dear readers? You may not be as “aged” as I, but I encourage you to write a letter to your older self – maybe ten years from now. Or five. Or less, or more! Write at least ten to twenty things you want your older self to see – make it a goal list! Then put it in an envelope with the date you want to open it and place it in a safe spot. Who knows? Maybe you’ll get a laugh out of it years from now. Or maybe you’ll need its encouragement that day and be spurred on to do great things and accomplish those goals.