A Letter to My Younger Self

A Letter to My Younger Self

Dear Brittany,

Your world is taking shape and independence is becoming reality as you flourish into a young woman. I see you beginning to experience the victories and hardships that will design your character. I see you becoming your own, although insecure tendencies cause you to question your capability at times. You doubt your own genuineness because others discredit your intentions. Yet still, you're rising above the weight of guilt cast on you by those who don't understand your purpose; all while apprehensively moving forward as you're following your instinct. You'll hear it said that hindsight is 20/20. Sometimes you won't be able to predict what lies down the road from here. Embrace the mystery of tomorrow and keep walking by faith. In the meantime, I have a few words of advice for you...

People will underestimate you. Don't be like them. People want you to do what they do and remain on their level (thankfully not all people). Therefore, when you begin to chase your purpose and become prosperous, let the doubt that is hurled at you be the resistance that builds your character and propels you into opportunities you've never imagined. This may sound generic, or even a bit cliché, but it rings MUCH more true the further you go in life.

Recognize mind games when you see them; but stay in your playing field. Whatever you do, refuse to fall into someone else's mind games they've initiated with you. You belong on the field called "purpose"- don't jump on the non-verbal roller coaster in someone's amusement park of manipulation designed to yank your emotions into their submission. It's all one big distraction for you; satisfying the rivalry, jealousy, resentment, or the selfish agenda that lives in the other person's heart. Don't stoop down to their level. When you recognize such mind games, stay in your field and go for the penalty kick.

Don't make noise for noise's sake. Focus on weighty words, rather than many words. It seems you feel the pressure of always having the right thing to say. On top of that, silence makes you uncomfortable. You've heard the adage "silence is golden"? It's more than a suggestive sign that your teachers display in their classrooms; or a way for mom to get some peace and quiet at home. The solid truth about silence is that, when in place, it will teach you to be a listener. There's a vast difference between "listening well"and being a listener. A listener hears more than what is said with words. If you're continually pressed to "find the right words" and "break the silence", you may miss the heart of what is being said. Embrace silence. Be comfortable in moments of silence with your brother, your parents, and your future husband. Enjoy quietness equally as much as you love telling stories, which I know you thoroughly enjoy.

There will be instances when a friend or loved one will be in a moment of need and your quiet understanding will be the healing balm that she needs. Soak up her words and help her walk through this season. You may not be the one that has the answer; if you do, it'll come in due time.

On the same point, recognize when silence is unhealthy. There will be this trap called "the silent treatment" that should be avoided as it does more damage than good to you or the one you're directing it toward. Remember the mind games we spoke of earlier? Refuse to initiate or engage.

There's no guilt in questioning; only empowerment. Learn to think deeper on issues. I hear many parents speak of the "why?" phase. That age when a child's answer to every request or statement is "why?" It isn't long before institutions and society begin to stifle that questioning, even when done in a healthy, respectful manner. You may find yourself associated with institutions that discourage such questioning of protocols or conventions therein. You may not see it now, but one day, you'll look back and realize you should have not denied yourself the satisfaction of knowing. You are a human being, not a robot. Robots are free from the desire to understand "why, how and what". Any authority that constantly overrides and dismisses your own judgment is one that doesn't respect you as the vital, living, thriving contributor that you are. Think of a river; a river has many tributaries that, if they were to ever be closed off, would cause the river to become lifeless and unmoving.

On questioning respectfully: you may not consider it critical at the moment, but don't stifle that small voice of inquisitiveness, for it is so much more than just that. It is the thirst for knowledge and should be respected as such. One day you'll wish you'd regarded this curiosity for what it was: the desire for understanding. For what you're really experiencing is the refusal to merely exist in the "because someone said so" realm and live in the domain of purpose and wisdom. That being said, learn to question respectfully, and expand your capability think deeper about issues. I promise, it'll come in handy one day. Remember: questioning and rebelling are not synonymous, as some will make you believe.

Find friendships and mentors who encourage your desire to learn. Surround yourself with those who are willing to explore and examine issues alongside you. Your curiosity is innate. It is a vital, fundamental key to your creative nature. Without it, you'll become a dry chasm through which water was meant to flow, but isn't. Refuse to be a "could have been".

Surround yourself with those who challenge YOU. Do not just make it your life's mission to challenge everyone and everything that crosses your path. You must, on the flip side, surround yourself with those who are not afraid to challenge YOU and your ideas. Allow your mindset to benefit from wise correction.

A future friend of yours will state it best:

"If every person in your life sees the world the same way you do, they're an echo in your life, not a voice. 

Surround yourself with people who aren't afraid to challenge you on what you believe and why and not just "yes men" who support everything you say.

Your future self will thank you." 

-Lasondra Spears

There is so much beauty in allowing others to speak into your life, even if it's challenging. If life was devoid of challenges, you'll never learn and you'll never grow. Additionally, you'll find that, your ideas and perceptions become refined as they are confronted by those who truly care for and understand you. Also, I hate want to bust your bubble by saying, your ideas needed direction to begin with!

FYI- You won't believe this, but your friend shared the above quote on a thing of the future called Facebook at the very moment you were writing this letter. The universe is so parallel, it's scary.

The "accepted norm" belongs to the masses and has no place in your life. I am confident of the fact that you've already noticed where the crowds are. And where they're going. And what they're doing, thinking and saying. Yes? Good- keep them there. Way over there, where they belong. Those masses are comprised of people who are content with ideologies and methods of living life that are either "just good enough" or not meant for them. Many people become satisfied living life just to get by. Others are discontent with their life's purpose and design; spinning their wheels reaching for someone else's glory. Embrace your design. It wasn't made to fit into the masses. Your life is like an origami- vibrant and rich in hue, continually unfolding to reveal new facets of your nature; much too fascinating to be locked into the crowd.

Love your unlovable self. She will get better.  Allow me to give you the perspective of an outsider: You're being entirely too hard on yourself. While there's importance in being realistic and honest with yourself, don't fall into the habit of beating yourself over things you've done wrong. Others will begin to feel your angst, which isn't an attractive trait. Being too hard on yourself leads to self-inflicted wounds that won't heal. Don't sabotage your joy. Learn to forgive yourself. Everyone trips and falls, just as you do.

You're a human being, not a human doing. Stop the glorification of "busy". You will find that responsibility has a way of inundating you with so much to do. Throughout the course of your lifetime, your "to-do" list will change as you finish school, get married, run a business, go to back school (imagine that) and start a family. Throughout these seasons, one thing that will go with you everywhere you go- your character. Choose to prioritize time for becoming over doing. Always remember this and let it speak to you in every season of your life:

The only time you don't have to prepare is in the moment of opportunity. 

-Unknown

And because I know you'll love me for this last one,

Mom really is right. I promise. 

Now, go ahead and keep breaking that mold that society is trying to put you in.

Xoxo,

Your older self

p.s. For Heaven's sake..... your hair looks fine!!!