I was inspired to write a letter to Little Joell by this recent post by Tiffany Noth at A Bloggy Mom.
Haven’t we all said, “I wish I knew then what I know now?”
Well, here is what I would share with little me if I could:
Dear Little Joell,
Here are a few tidbits that may help you get through the next few years:
- Worry less about your outsides and more about your insides. First of all, you are not fat. Yes, I know this may come as a shock to you. But you are just right just the way you are. And even if you were heavy, you would still be beautiful. And all those skinny girls, they are not going to be skinny at your 20th reunion. Trust me. And it really doesn’t matter anyway. So get busy cultivating your self-esteem based on who you are in Christ and spend less time perfecting your mullet.
- That thing Daddy said when you were in college, about how in 20 years that D you made in Religion won’t matter? Guess what? He was right. Because in 20 years, you will have been married to your high school sweetheart for a long time already and you’ll be a stay at home mom, so your degree? Pretty much not used, at least for your life’s work anyway. But that’s okay, you are not going to be a kindergarten teacher or a school social worker like you planned. You are going to be a wife and a mom and you love it. And by the way, the dude who taught that Religion class was clueless, it’s just that Daddy was too good to say that. And P.S. Your hubby? He’s pretty great.
- Your Mom is not an idiot. In fact, she is pretty amazing. She gets on your case (not nearly as much as you perceive in your adolescent mind) because she loves you so much. She wants to know where you are because she is worried about your safety, not because she loves nagging you or because she thinks you are a bad kid. She and Dad sacrificed so much so she could be a stay at home mom. She doesn’t ask much of you at all, so give her a break, okay? And maybe offer to help her with stuff around the house.
- Those things you are scared to do? Do them. That pageant you thought about entering but didn’t because you were afraid to sing in front of a crowd? Do it anyway. That time you thought about going to a foreign country to teach little kids English? Go. You want to be a writer? Do it. (May I suggest a major in English instead of Social Work?). Don’t be so worried about what others think about you. Stop thinking you aren’t good enough. Don’t be afraid to look foolish. If you feel God tugging at your heart, OBEY!
- Things don’t always go like you plan and that is okay. You know that romantic dream world you live in where your future is always happy, filled with flowers and rainbows and life is always easy? Sorry. But please know, you will have so many moments of incredible joy and happiness. You will be so blessed. You will also learn that marriage is work, mothering is wonderful, yet heartbreaking, and even though all of it is tough at times, all that hard work is so worth it.
- The things that seem so urgent right now and like they may very well be the end of the world? Nope. Not so much. Your teen years are a blip on the screen of your life. Keep the drama to a minimum. It is all going to be okay. Just wait a few years. You’ll see.
- Hey, you know what? You are a good kid. Yeah, you will make a few questionable choices, but that is part of learning. It’s okay to be the goodie-two-shoes. When your parents tell you how much they love you and how awesome they think you are, they mean it. You should believe it, because it is actually true.
But that story your brother told you about how when you were 4 you broke the window in the back of the station wagon? NOT true! It was always him.
Now go love God, love people and love life…you have such a beautiful life.
Don’t forget how much you are loved,
Your much older and wiser self.