Over the next few days, leading up to my 37th birthday, I am reflecting and writing my younger self a few notes.
Today, age seventeen.
What would you say to your 17-year-old self?
Dear Jamie, Age 17
This is going to be an amazing and defining year. That is all I can reveal, but I will say this: lean into everything with a positive attitude.
So, you’ve never been kissed.
It’s totally okay. Keep waiting for the right one to show up in your life. He will arrive at the perfect moment, he will become your best friend, and he will show you new and wonderful aspects of life. It will happen, very, very soon!
(Don’t bother searching for him because you don’t even know who he is yet).
College and the real world.
I’ve got news for you, as shocking as it may sound, college isn’t the real world. I know everyone around you keeps calling it that, but it’s not. It is actually better than the real world.
You won’t have to cook or clean, you will meet incredibly different and interesting people, you will have days where you sleep until 11am, and you will develop a strong sense of purpose.
Of course you will learn a lot too. Some lessons from text books, others from just being there. The best part is, you will collect some people who aren’t just friends, they will become more like sisters. Hold on to your sisters.
It’s okay to dream. You are still a baby! (I mean that in the most appreciative way). Don’t box yourself in, there is much to explore, experience and do. Keep dreaming up new and wacky adventures.
And remember this:
When one door closes, sometimes there is a window left open. When someone disappears from your life, they will still be with you in new and different ways.
When you need supportive friends, they will show up. When confusion and fear are overwhelming, you will have exactly what you need, when you need it. Even through the really scary stuff, you will persevere.
Jamie, Age 36
P.S. Stop hiding Slim Fast under the bathroom sink. You are amazing, just the way you are, right now.
P.P.S. I am really proud of you. You have had a lot of incredible experiences like being Girls State Governor and playing Varsity Basketball, but it doesn’t compare to what you are going to do, see, experience. So take a deep breathe and keep your eyes open — your life is just starting.