I participated in a fun little "throw back Thursday" exercise in the BARE Daily group that I'm a part of on Facebook.
The task was to post a picture of your younger self and what you would tell her now, with all the wisdom you have gained.
I knew this would be a powerful exercise, so I was excited to do it. It took me all day before I finally posted, because I couldn't find a picture of little me. I assume they are all still packed in a box somewhere. It's only been 8 months since we moved in. Go ahead, judge.
Since I couldn't find a picture of little me, I decided to share one of my favorites from my early 20s. This picture was taken in the summer of 1997 when Garret and I first started dating. It was our very first overnight trip together. We went camping with friends in Alexandria Bay, New York; in the Thousand Islands region.
I always say that meeting Garret saved me. I have crazy stories from my high school, and early college years. Some stories I haven't shared until recently. Not all of them are good, or hold happy memories. Most of them include an over abundance of alcohol. I'm not going to share any of those stories today. Instead, I want this piece to be about the letter I wrote to my younger self.....the girl in this picture.
She looks happy. She looks beautiful, but in truth she was filled with so much sadness and insecurity. She was totally obsessed with her weight, consumed with how she looked, and what size jeans she wore. Because of this, she didn't think she was worthy of much. It's such a shame what we can do to ourselves as a result of the way our society tells young women how they should look, what they should weigh, and what size they should wear.
With all that I have learned over the last 20 years, here's what I would say to the incredible young woman in this picture.
Me to younger me: You are enough, and you are amazing, exactly as you are.
You have a light that nobody can squash - NOBODY!
You are stronger than the things people said, and anything that they did.
Their words and actions don't define who you are.
Own your curves, and love every inch of your body.
You have permission to love your body, exactly as it is.
It needs you, and you need it. Cherish it, and take good care of it.
The size of your jeans doesn’t matter.
You have always been enough. You will always be enough.
I love you.
What would you say to your younger self?