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Dear Elizabeth,

You are going to mess up, a lot. You did it just this week, where you let your heart think before your brain and your feelings trample logic.

You will do a lot of things or things will happen that you regret. Having to stop dancing, double knee surgeries, times when you were not as kind as you should have been, times when you were kinder than you should have been, times you trusted too much and times you didn’t trust enough, times you got too angry and times you didn’t get angry enough, the list could go on and on.

But Elizabeth, just because you would have done something differently, does not make it a mistake. Every time you screw up, you are one step closer to learning how to become the best version of yourself.

You are hard on yourself when you mess up. Even the slightest hint of someone’s displeasure with you sends your stomach into knots. You can't stop thinking about it and sometimes you try to do anything you can to stop feeling this way. But, this is also something you can learn from.

Speaking as your future self, I say thank you for all the times you have screwed up, and thank you for all the times you will in the future. Once the anger, or the hurt, or the embarrassment fades away, you leave me with something great. Something I will cherish going forward. A lesson about how to become a better version of myself.

There will be a lot of changes for you. Some of the changes might surprise you. Ten-year-old you would be sad you don't dance anymore, 15-year-old you would be shocked you are not a runner anymore, and 13-year-old you would be stunned you moved past the career objectives of money and power.

Some of the changes though will amaze you. Three-year-old you would be amazed to know that girl you met on the first day of pre-school became your best friend and roommate. Eight-year-old you would drop her jaw to know that you worked at Justice. Twelve-year-old you will be thrilled to know your dream of being a writer is already coming true. Fourteen-year-old you would never believe that you will travel to London and Paris and spend time living in Italy.

Like Papa said at Mom and Dad's wedding, "Life is a series of hills and valleys, and that is what makes it beautiful."

Thank you, Elizabeth, for everything you did and went through to make the version of me today possible. This version is in no way perfect, and I admit, you did teach me lessons that I have chosen to ignore. But we are working on it. I promise you if nothing else, I will always live up to the potential you see in me.

Enjoy being young while you can, and stop trying to grow up too fast.



Ciao! My name is Elizabeth and I am a sophomore journalism major at St. Bonaventure. I love to write and I am so excited to have my work included on this fantastic platform for college women!
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