Monday, May 21, 2012

Dear Little Linz

What advice would you give your younger self?  Have you ever thought about it?  I've actually had some form of this concept assigned as a project a few times back in my school days.  Mrs. Gilmore had my freshman English class write a letter to our older selves.  We wrote about our friends, our goals, and our favorite activities.  She never read them, but she did ask us to write our home address on an envelope, because years later, she was going to mail them to us.

Sometime after graduation, I got a letter in the mail, and I remember the confusion I felt when I saw my name written in my own handwriting.  It wasn't until I started reading the letter that I remembered that assignment four years earlier.  I laughed at my juvenile writing and how everything in my letter revolved around singing, my best friends, and my then-boyfriend who I thought I was madly in love with.  (Oh, the hilarity!)

I felt almost refreshed remembering how purely good and simple I thought life was.

And then contorted inside, remembering how I learned that life wasn't.

And then relieved that I still turned out all right.  I thought to myself, There is so much I would have warned you about.  Little did I know, life would test me further in years to come.  And now there is so much more I would say to myself about ages 14 to 27.  I feel like I'm light years away from memories that only exist in the deepest part of me, but it wouldn't be a bad time to write a letter to my younger self, right?

Dear Linz,

I'm the older you.  Weird, right?  If I were you, I'd start walking away from me.  But don't.  I have some words to impart upon you.  Let me start off by saying that life is hard.  Words like that get thrown around a lot, but I am telling you quite seriously that life is hard.  However, for as hard as it can be, life is far more beautiful and fun.  Remember that.

Here are a few things I wish I knew at your age -- not for the sake of change but for the hope that you might recover faster from unexpected challenges, open your eyes, and accept certain things.  Here are a few things I'd like you to know now.
- Boys are silly, and they're not all like Pacey Witter from "Dawson's Creek," unfortunately.  However, you do meet a few good men later in life, and you marry one heck of a dream boat!
- It is a good thing that you care about getting straight A's.  If you ever feel uncool, I'll tell you now that good men want to marry intelligent, ambitious girls.   
- Keep singing, and practice often (and don't get lazy with sight reading).  
- If someone gossips about you, retaliate with kind words or silence.  Adding to the gossip never helps.  
- When your boyfriend dies, let yourself fall apart in front of those you love.  It's completely understandable.
- Let "thank you" be plentiful in your vocabulary.  
- When you feel like you're overwhelmed, step back and prioritize.
- Accept that you have a total soft spot for the underdog.  This doesn't change when you're older.
- Smile!  It's one of the best things you can share!  (And thank Dad & Mom for the braces.)
- When Mom is sick, tell her it scares you.  Again, sharing your heart with those you love will heal you much faster.
- Create your own opportunities.  Don't just wait for them.
- Not everything has to be perfectly planned.  Ease up.  You'll be fine.  I promise!
- When you feel like you're completely out of control, speak up instead of crying out for help by showing it on your body.
- Don't cut your hair short!  Skip this urge at ages 15 and 22.  Please.
- Keep surrounding yourself with kind, hilarious, quality people.  This is one of the best things you can do for yourself!
- Always work to improve yourself.
Your life is fantastic.  You have a blast.  You learn so much from the people around you.  You meet wonderful people.  You are afforded so many opportunities and experiences.  Your future husband is the biggest (and best) surprise of your life.  You'll learn that life really is so much simpler and beautiful than you think.  Just enjoy it!  
If you have any questions, don't bother asking, because unfortunately, this letter-writing thing is one-way.  Hey, I don't make the rules.  Be awesome at life, girl!
Big (although roughly the same size) Linz

Linking up with my blog sister, Jessica @ Lovely Little Things, for Smell The Roses


Emily @ Emmy June said...

Oh Linds, I love your letter to your younger self. Isn't it amazing HOW MUCH we learn in such a short period of time. I cannot even imagine what it must have been like to face death at such a young age :( But I do believe we all get the experiences we need to make us who are today.

Love ya!

jessica said...

This is beautiful. I've thought about what I would say to my younger self several times but the only words I can ever come up with are, "Don't worry. It all ends up ok over here." And then I would give my younger self a hug and probably leave it at that.

KC said...

Great post! Life has a funny way of showing us the lessons, sometimes, years after. But I always believe the important thing is when we realize and accept those lessons. Those trials have a way of making us stronger. Thank you for posting!

Jess said...

I feel like I need to print out certain parts of your letter and hang them on my fridge to read since I'm only wrote your letter to a person my crazy is that?! I really am your baby sister ;)

I didn't realize that you had to go through such a detrimental death so early in life - wow! Linz you are one incredible woman, and I don't say that to too many people. I love you and respect you SO much!

And of course...thank you for linking up today :)
Love you!


Leanne said...

This is lovely. I had fun reading this!

My 10th grade English teacher did that exact same thing for us and told us she would mail it after we graduated from college. I just got it a few months ago. It was so wonderful seeing how much I've grown and learn :)

Happy Monday!

Heather @ The WholeHearted Wife said...

oh my goodness, your boyfriend died in high school? I can't imagine going through something like that. I mean, obviously I didn't marry my high school boyfriend or anything, but little Heather would NOT have handled something that adult at that age. or this age. you have such strength! very cool post. love this.

Kate said...

This is such a cool post, Lindsay! Now you have me thinking about what I've learned since then. I might have to do one of these myself!

Katie Price said...

I love that you remind yourself to live with kindness & share your emotions. I think you are doing quite a good job :)

Bev said...


I love how you actually received a letter in the mail that you wrote years ago!! I would DIE reading the things I was obsessing over 4 years ago!

Lovely letter... great words of advice not only to the younger you but to all of us! Can't agree more with the gossip factor... don't add fuel to the fire b/c that's how it keeps going on and on and on.

I'm sorry to hear your bf passed away, BUT your husband sounds amazing, and thankfully he came into your life after ;)

Happy Monday my love!


Sadie Dear said...

Wow, that's a lot to process! I know I was devastated that all boys weren't like Pacey, haha. I like the one I got, but still...
I often wish I could talk to the younger me. That's one reason I am sure I am destined for working with youth some kind of way. The how/when part is what is still yet to be seen.

Gesci said...

This is fantastic- I love that you not only admit where you went wrong in the past, but celebrate where you went right! Excellent advice for any age!

Megan said...

That's so awesome! I would love to talk to younger me and tell myself that everything I was worrying about really wasn't anything to worry about :D

I did the same thing in my senior year of high school, but she sent it out to us at the end of summer --- not exactly enough time to even change, but it was still cool to look back.

RadiantKristen said...

This is so sweet. It sounds like you went through an awful lot for a few years, but congratulations on getting through it and being a better, stronger person because of it. I've been totally thinking of writing my younger self a letter too. Isn't it funny how everyone seems to get the same idea all at once?

Miki {Becoming What I Always Was} said...

Woah. That is a strong letter. I loved reading it though, there are many things that I can relate with in a sense of wishing I would have known. It's so incredibly humbling to look back on what you did/ didn't do and how that has affected you know. Great post!

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful post! I love the part about gossip and retaliating with words of silence. A lot of teens need that now more thanever!

Jamie said...

Hey! I found your blog through the link up :)

Love your letter!!

Michelle said...

Oh this is so sweet! I might need to do this too! :) I love what you said about giving yourself advice not to change anything but to recover from it better. No kidding! Ha!

Your boyfriend died? My goodness! I can't even imagine. I had a very close friend die in high school and it was so, so horrible and difficult, but I can't imagine how you must have felt! I'm giving you a really big hug right now!

Ellie said...

This inspires me to write myself an email on I've heard about it before, but I never knew what to write. I think that at this point in my life, I have lots of stuff to write to myself for a few years from now and see how much I've grown. Maybe I'll even make it an annual thing...who knows? :)

Kristen Victoria said...

What an inspiring post! I bet this was super therapeutic... I've been wanting to write one of these letters to my younger self. Seems as though you've had your fair share of struggles. Life is definitely hard... the trick is to stay beautiful and positive throughout the hard times, which you are doing wonderfully :)