A Letter to My Childhood-Self

To my childhood-self,

You have so much ahead of you. There is a world of opportunities waiting for you and you should definitely be excited for your life. At this moment, there is still so much you haven’t learned about yourself. You want to be a professional tennis player, an actress on Disney Channel or Nickelodeon, or even a brain surgeon when you grow up. You’ve asked yourself, “Why not try all three?” That ambition is amazing. As you continue to grow, you’ll find that things change. You’ll find something that you absolutely love to do, and you’ll then dream of pursuing a life with it. I want you to know that, although most things in life change when you leave childhood, this change is for the better.

Each friend you have now may not stay in your life forever. Fortunately, the people that belong will stay. True friends never actually leave if they are meant to continue with you on your path. Still, remember that those that don’t remain present were put in your life for a reason. You will learn things from these people. They leave your life when their job is done. This doesn’t just go with friendships. Romantic relationships may end just the same, but that’s perfectly okay (boys get much less annoying after elementary school, trust me). What you may now believe are “mistakes” are actually lessons. Never regret, even though I know this can be hard.

Unfortunately, life isn’t always going to be perfect. This is normal, everyone goes through it. You’ll be faced with several obstacles. There will be times when you want to give up on something you may have had such an excitement for. Try your best to endure, but if you can’t handle a task, it’s perfectly okay to let it go. It may not have been right for you in the first place.

The most consistent thing in life is family. They will always be there. Trust them, respect them, and learn from them. Never be afraid to go to them for help because they only want the best for you. In some situations, though, you’ll find that only you can determine what’s best for you. Trust your intuitions.

Finally, there will come a time when you have to decide what path you’ll take in order to get to me, the person writing you. This will definitely be one of the hardest decisions of your life. Are you ready to leave your childhood behind to find something new in such an intimidating world? Have you made the right decision in your choice of college and major? How are you going to expand your horizons?

I promise that all these questions will be answered eventually. The world gets much less intimidating once you step out of your comfort zone. Right now, though, have fun. Enjoy being young and stress-free. Don’t worry about what’s to come. Life has its ups and downs for a reason. Get excited. I can’t even begin to tell you the amazing experiences you’ll have. You’ll just have to see for yourself

Photos: 12, all others courtesy of author