What would you say to her? What does she need to hear from you?
It’s funny, sometimes my clients and I end up talking about the ideas we form about ourselves when we are young. Some of those ideas serve us for a time (help us to deal with a bully, an abusive parent, etc), but once we become adults, the ideas that methods that helped us survive emotionally as children or teenagers, just don’t work any more.
We must learn to think different about who we are and who we want to be in this world.
Sometimes, I even have clients think about what they would say to their 5 year old, 8 year old, 16 year old self (or any other time in their life when they were hurting) and talk to that part of themselves to heal the past. I have them think about how they were hurting at a various point in time and what they wish someone could have told them to help them understand and process what they are going through.
That is what my friend, Amanda Eggar, is doing with her blog series SIXTEEN.
She is giving grown-ass women with some healing left to do, a chance to look back at what our sixteen year old selves may need to hear from us. And talk to that teenager who lives inside of us.
I really loved writing this blog for Amanda. It was super cathartic and all kinds of therapeutic.
Dear Sixteen year-old Amanda,
There is so much I want to tell you.
First of all, let me tell you this: In 13 ½ years you will be a VERY happy with where you are in life. You do all the things you want to do in ways that you cannot yet understand. You will use your gifts. I don’t think you yet know that you are gifted – but my dear, you are.
Here are some life-lessons that may help you.
1. Let go of form.
So, you won’t become a psychologist. But it’s okay. You WILL do what it is that you now think all psychologists do. (Some do. Some don’t.) You will help people. People will have better lives because of the ways you help them. You will make money at it. You will feel successful. You will love going to work, but because of the way you will work, you won’t have to go anywhere. You were right about what you keep telling people about your career. You have always thought that we are all here to do something and that we can love our jobs and make a lot of money doing the things that we love. And people keep looking at you funny, but you are right. Don’t listen. Don’t worry about all of the dead-end jobs between now and then. Don’t worry about the years you don’t go to college. All of the shit you will go through after high school is all to teach you that you were right about this one thing: We were all born for something. We are all here on purpose. We all have gifts we can use for the greater good – and they can make us money. You will spend the rest of your life helping people to see this. And it will be easy for you. Ps: That’s when something is a gift – when it comes naturally and easily to you (ie: talking, explaining, inspiring, and writing. You are good at so much!)
2. It’s all on purpose.
I know that right about now you are still planning to go to college. Pretty soon some people are going to talk you out of it. And you are going to listen. And you are going to move across the country. You will be isolated, manipulated and controlled. You will lose ALL of your confidence. You won’t recognize yourself. You will not believe you are capable of hard things… or anything. It will be scary. You will later learn that these relationships you are stuck in and you perception of them, makes this thing a cult. It will be really, really hard to leave. You will feel like you are abandoning everything you have been taught when you go. You will feel like you are abandoning God. You will feel like God hates you. It will suck.
But you know God. You have always known God. And though your belief system will change names (you will resonate with various religions/belief systems and call yourself various spiritual words over the years) you will always know God. In this situation, you will be able to separate God from the people who hurt you in the name of God. So you will be okay.
If you don’t go through this, you won’t be able to teach the things you are on this earth to teach. You will learn lessons because you go there. And you will learn lessons because you leave. And you will get really good and learning to trust your truth and follow you heart. I’m sorry that it will hurt like it does. I am sorry it will suck. Once you leave, the friends/teachers/mentors you need will show up. One by one. And you will be okay. The first one shows five days after you leave. You will forever be glad that you sat still for those five days. It will be okay. I promise.
Side note: Speaking of purpose, no one has told you this yet and you won’t get it for about 12 more years, but let me clear something up. You are the way you are for a reason. You are highly creative person (creative doesn’t mean artistic, for you). You see things differently. That is vital for what you are here to do. People will judge you, belittle you, scold you, and make you feel tiny over these things, but they are part of your creative mind so begin to use them to your advantage now.
- Tardiness – It won’t matter that much when you become the boss of all the areas of your life. Continue to work on it, but it was actually never that big of a deal. When you are five minutes late people will just play on their phones or get a coffee, but they won’t write you up or yell at you. It gets easier.
- Fashion – You are a free spirit. All of these jobs and schools with strict dress codes are stifling an area where you have to express yourself. No one will be able to ask you to go home to change clothes in the future. Ps: you have great legs.
- Nocturnal-ness – You stay up late because that’s when the world is quiet and you can process the noise. The things you will create at night will change lives. In just a few years you will make your own hours so you can create at night. Creating is a big part of why you are here. The technology that comes in the next few years makes it so easy and natural for you to create. Just wait.
- Organized chaos – Once again, this is part of being creative. The mess is not that big of a deal. And your eventual man-friend won’t care at all. Let it go. Make a mess. Whatever.
Your creativity is so valuable. It will be easy for you to forgive all the people who told you over and over that the above where all the things that were wrong with you, but these things make you great. You end up leveraging this shit like crazy to run your freedom-based life. Some of it even makes you money. Give yourself permission to be yourself now.
Be late. Stay up late. Make a mess. Where short dresses. Forgive them. It all falls into place.
3. Trust your desires. Then when the desires change, trust that.
College will eventually happen for you (yay!) and you will love it (double yay!) and you will learn so much. That fact that you are obsessed with getting a formal education means it’s part of your life’s divine plan and that’s awesome. Later things will change and you will desire a different kind of education. Traditional school won’t fit anymore and you will feel like you are loosing your mind. It will feel like a hard decision to leave academia since at one point is was the BEST decision ever, but that’s okay, trust yourself. Leaving will lead you straight to all the things you want. Way faster then you can image. Stay with it while it works, when it stops working, get the fuck out. This applies to everything that you want it to apply to.
4. Let it be easy.
There is something you don’t know yet, and it’s going to take you a while to figure out, but I’m going to try to help you with it. You make everything hard and none of it has to be. You analyze. You fight. You manipulate. You control. You freak. You worry. None of this is necessary. All of this can be easy. You can leave the jobs you hate. You can break up with the boys who you don’t like anymore. You can say “Peace out!” to the things that don’t feel good to you. And you don’t have to doubt, question, and overanalyze. You don’t have to control. You can just change your mind and go. If you can start practicing this now, it will all be so much easier.
You will fall in love. Twice. This will confuse the hell out of you. The first relationship will be beautiful, romantic, and fun. You will be thankful for it forever, because you will feel storybook love and know that this is not something everyone gets to experience… but you will realize, that this is not someone who you can build a life with. You will let it go. And you will cry for like four years. It’s fine. You will release it over time. Let yourself cry. Then decide to stop thinking about him. It’ll make it easier.
Then you will meet someone who will become your greatest teacher. He will bring out every single part of you that you are afraid to express. He will mirror your worst traits. He will challenge you every day. He will cause you to grow, heal and become in ways that you can’t understand now. You will hate him for it. You will want to punch him in the face every day and you will thank God for him every single night because he makes you a better you then you could ever be on your own.
Don’t let him go.
Once you learn to let him be him and he learns to let you be you, you will be so happy. You will finally feel at home when you’re at home. You will feel safe for the first time. This relationship will allow each of you to heal deep, multi-generational, crazy-as-hell wounds. It will soothe your soul to lay in bed next to him. Stop fighting it.
5. You are beautiful.
Listen, homegirl, this is probably something that you will work on your entire life, but you need to know now, you are beautiful. Like way, way beautiful. Inside and out. At your core. From deep in your soul through your every pore, you are fucking gorgeous. You are enough. You are a goddess. You are one of God’s expressions of beauty on this planet. You are so beautiful. Accept it.
People will be intimidated by your confidence, your boldness, your loudness, your self-expression, your strong opinions, etc. It will be off putting, but it doesn’t matter because it makes so much of what you are here to do possible. You were born for such a time as this. People need your boldness.
Okay, Amanda. I love you. It’s all going to be okay. Your wildest dreams will come true. You will do it all, have it all, and be it all. Keep the faith. You are a rock star.
I love you,
29 1/2 year old Amanda
PS: There are no rules. There is no such thing as the real world. The “permanent record” isn’t actually a thing. No one asks you what grades you got in school – ever. God is not mad at you or considering you are greedy no matter what you ask for or how big you dream. He is actually proud of you. You were made to dream. You will help people dream. This is so important.
This blog originally appeared on iamfearlessbliss.com.