So there is purpose in this slightly embarrassing school photo which I confess is actually me at 17 and not 15.
I was watching a clip of a talk show that was talking about a hashtag that sort of became a movement. Its called: #dear15me.
This hashtag is filled with words of advice women wish they could had given their fifteen year old self. I loved the idea so much that I thought I’d create a post about fifteen things I would of told my fifteen year old self and why.
Dear 15 me,
1. Everybody is pretending, don’t fit the standard, be the standard.
At that age I was searching to see where I could fit in, and I never quite did. I wanted to act like the pretty and popular girls with tons of friends. In reality, I was quiet, awkward, and reserved. But, who I wanted to be, and what I acted like never reflected who I truly was. Deep down, I believed who I truly was nobody would actually like. Few people truly saw the girl inside of me. But, I wish I knew at fifteen nobody really knows who they are at that age, and that I don’t have to conform myself into anybody except Christ.
2. Your body is a precious temple that only a King should see or enter into.
Boy oh boy. At that age I hated the fact that I was a virgin still while everybody else was having sex, in relationships, or dating. I did not see the importance of my purity and I would try my hardest to give away intimate parts of me to any boy I liked enough. So my little self would “date” and get into “relationships” with other little boys until I finally compromised my purity with someone who didn’t care much about me. It was then I realized how much worth I put in my sexuality and not in my smarts, my character, or what God says about me.
3. You don’t have to defend yourself to nobody.
Seriously, I didn’t have to. I didn’t have much to defend either how! LOL! I was so caught up in why I didn’t have the newest things, or how I talked to this person, or wasn’t friends with this person. I did way too much explaining to people who didn’t have authority over my life. The peer pressure was real!
4. People will just not like you. That’s okay, most people don’t even like their own selves.
To this day I cannot tell you why a lot of girls would pick silly arguments with me. I was super quiet and ran in small circles. I guess those characteristics made me an easy target. But, I had to realize the hate spewed out onto me was a reflection of them and never me.
5. You don’t know who are yet, and you’ll spend a lifetime figuring it out.
Refer back to #1. At this age I wasn’t comfortable with myself. Only time and experiences made me into a much more confident woman who knows what she likes and dislikes. Still, my journey is not over, and I have a lifetime dedicated to getting my life right.
6. It doesn’t seem like it, but, your mother does love you.
My mother and I were far from best friends. She wanted her best for me, and I respect that. But, her best for me even now is not God’s best for me or even my best for me. And even when she wasn’t perfect she loved me the best way she could.
7. Comparing yourself will never make you feel better.
I was an insecure teenager. I was jealous of the things other people had. I had a bad case of the grass is greener on the other side syndrome. I wish I could have focused on being the best me instead of talking, gossiping, and comparing myself to someone I will never be.
8. Don’t internalize anyone’s negativity.
I always thought just because someone was a family member or a “friend”, or someone I liked that it was okay for them to talk to me any kind of way. I never guarded my heart from negativity, I just allowed it to permeate my heart. Now, I know that toxicity from anyone is not tolerable and to immediately pinpoint and remove anyone who is negative in my life.
9. You can’t be the best you while pretending to be somebody else.
See #7. This was a huge problem for me. I focused on everybody else but me. I could have never grown until I set my eyes on my life.
10. God isn’t far away
I grew up in a church that preached you are a sinner unless you confess your sins to one of their clergy, and said a bunch of repetitive prayers. That particular denomination was very works based vs faith based. No matter what I did, I felt far from God and felt like He didn’t love me. Breaking out that church, and having an actual relationship with God and not just an awareness of him changed my life completely.
11. Follow your intuition, and don’t fear the opinions of human beings.
I never trusted my spirit telling me when something or someone was off. Instead I proceeded into dangerous situations and relationships just so I could fit in or have bragging rights. If I could, I’d get a bull horn and yell “Who cares what that person has to say, do what’s best for you!!”
12. You deserve to love and be loved.
Enough said. Love is a choice, and if people don’t choose to love you, choose to dismiss yourself.
13. Learn to open yourself up to people.
It’s so bad that I still struggle with this. I never was a free spirit. I always struggled with letting people in and allowing myself to be vulnerable. It’s mostly because it was hard for me to not think that somehow somebody would take advantage of me and do something shady. While I’m still a work of progress, this is one thing I’d definitely go back and change about myself.
14. Work hard in every area of your life.
By this age I had selective work ethic. I worked hard at my job, but not in school, in my family life, or spiritual life. If I could I would so tell myself to get it together and try harder in all areas of life.
15. Save your money and learn to be financially literate.
Man, if I could have saved at least 10% of each check I had since I started working at 15 I probably could have already established a great savings by now. But, instead I blew it all on irrelevant things. If I could, I would try and get some education on finance. It’s really a shame schools don’t make it a mandatory thing to teach kids about wise money habits because I would of made a lot of wiser choices down the line.
There you have it! 15 things I’d tell 15 year old me. What would you tell your fifteen year old self?