I was driving in my car listening to the radio when Brad Paisleys "Letters to Me" came on. For those of you who don't listen to country, it is a song about a guy who talks about what he would write in a letter if he could send it to his 17 year old self. It got me wondering what I would do if I had the same opportunity. So, here is my letter to myself:
Dear 17 year old Erin,
I wish I could warn you about all the bad things that are going to happen in your life so that you may avoid the hurt and disappointment, but I am not going to. You see, every mistake you made and every pain you feel from here on out will turn you into a happy, faith-filled, loving woman.
First and foremost: LISTEN TO YOU MOTHER!! She is actually really smart. She is going to warn you NOT to get credit cards when yo turn 18. LISTEN TO HER! The ONLY exception to this is when she suggests you give a certain guy your number. Give it to his friend thirty minutes later. I PROMISE, it all works out the way it should.
When it comes to men, you will date some doozies! I mentioned that I wouldn't tell you what to specifically avoid, so I want you to date all of them. Why? Because when you do meet your future husband, you are going to appreciate him so much more than you would if you met him without dating all the jerks. With that being said, you can learn your lesson from the chef after the first year. Don't keep going back to him, seven + times!!! The four years you stay will just be constant disappointment and a repeat of the first devastating year. This is the situation you should heed the phrase "Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice shame on me!"
You do things your own way. You are going to take 11 years to get your bachelors. You will join the military. You are going to get yourself in debt (unless you follow my first lesson). But you WILL finish, you WILL enjoy it, and you WILL pull yourself out. The one thing I must say, is that you have been pretty persistent, and you try to keep a smile on your face the entire time you do it.
Remember JJ? How about your sister Bug? I know you and JJ have been friends for years, but you only see her 1-2 times a year. Well, you will end up living together, and becoming inseparable. Your sister and you fight like cats and dogs right now, but once she hits college, you and JJ and Bug will become three peas in a pod. Where one goes, the other two follow, and between the three of you and your guys, you will create your own little family unit. It is the most amazing feeling! Sure, they will infuriate you at times, but they will be there for you at your darkest moments.
You will be a mother. Your first born will change your life in ways you could never imagine, and take you in directions you would never have gone without her. Trust me. It will be a life changing experience.
Friends will come and go. Just like Carl Jung says, "The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed." People come into your life for a reason, if only for a few moments; but people grow up, they move on. Those that are worth anything will be there for you when you need them most. You find this lesson out after a tragedy. People came out of the woodwork, and some girls you have not spoken to since high school become your biggest resources and supporters. Plus, you don't always need to meet people in person to become great friends. This same tragedy causes you to meet some amazing women on the internet, and a lot of them have become some of your closest friends.
Please, amongst all things, stay true to yourself. Stay close to God. By the time you are 29 you will feel like you have lived three separate lifetimes, but will be a better person because of them. Just keep that smile on your face, continue your positive attitude, treat people the way you should, and you will be just fine.
See you soon!
29 year old Erin
If you could write a letter to your former 17 year old self, what would you say? What advice would you give?
Well Here's a Huge Update
2 months ago