Dear Younger Me

Dear Younger Me,

You wrote so many letters to me, your older, hopefully wiser self, that I thought it would only be fair to write one back. I wish you could read it, but I haven’t invented a time machine yet. When I do, I will be sure to take this back to you.

I remember being you. I remember the frustration, the pain, and the ache of loneliness. I remember wondering if life would ever change. You feel so stuck by life’s circumstances. As if you will never break free from your childhood. I am so sorry. I wish I could go back and give you a hug. I wish I could listen to all your frustrations and your worries. But this will have to do instead.

There is nothing wrong with you. I promise. The things you are thinking and feeling are things many people in many times have thought and felt. Wanting to leave home, yet knowing you will miss it when you leave. Hoping that things change, but also wishing they could stay the same. Longing for a relationship, but also being afraid of what it entails. Those contradictory wishes are not signs of your brokenness or your flaws. It means you had a good childhood that you don’t want to leave quite yet, and it means that you are ready to move forward in life. Both of those are good feelings, natural ones. Really, they are part of growing up. I still feel them sometimes. I want things to keep moving forward, to get married and start having children and finish my degree. But I also love this time I am in, and I don’t want it to end. Those things you are feeling are good and normal things, don’t let them stall you into doing nothing, work through them and keep going.

Feeling things is okay. You are allowed to feel joy, sadness, and even anger. Your intense emotions that threaten to take over you body and soul come in handy once in a while. Like when you fall in love, when you fiercely love a hurting child, when you become so angry over a wrong that you do something about it. I know, it is scary, but it is all okay. You will learn how to harness those emotions, how to use them without them using you.

How I wish I could breath some hope into your desperate longings for love. You almost give up countless times in waiting for a husband and family. You keep yourself busy to hide the ache from yourself, thought it never works for long. I know we didn’t always wait well. You and I are impatient, and we want things to happen quickly. If I could only tell you one thing it would be this. Have hope, don’t give up, something greater than you can imagine is coming. Be patient a little longer, it is all worth it in the end, I promise.

I didn’t do everything you wanted me to do. I am not published yet. But I got really close. I traveled to seven countries, I took a road trip all by myself, and it was amazing. I moved out, found the job I loved, and am one semester away from finishing my degree. Yeah, a college degree, can you believe it? And guess what, in two months I am getting married. Keep going my friend, keep trying. I know it hurts sometimes, I know it is hard, but someday you will see a bigger piece of the picture.

I don’t know everything. I still don’t know why we went through some of those things. I don’t know why i still struggle with some fears and insecurities that I thought would be laid to rest years ago. But looking back gives me hope. If at this point I can see some answers, if now, at still a very young age I can see the why behind a few of our hopes and dreams and trials, I think that I will see more soon. The farther I go in life, the more I can see when I look back. None of this is for nothing. We are not for nothing. There is a reason, and I can’t wait to see it.

Your future self,

Shaina Merrick