A Letter To My Younger Self

Not long ago, I read a post by Jamie Ridler on Roots Of She, about the kind of advice she would give to her younger self. I think I recall writing a bit about it during #reverb10 as well, but I never allowed myself to get too far into it, because I was scared of what might come out.

But the other day, Jess at So Uprightly Burning did a post on her letter to her 10-years-ago self, and it inspired me to finish mine.

So here it is:

A Letter To My Younger Self.



Me at around 14, and me today, 10 years later.


Dear beautiful Jen,

Well, you’re 14 years old. And I can tell you that this year is going to be the hardest year of your young life so far. And the next couple of years after won’t be much easier.

Your anxieties at school will get worse, you won’t feel safe in your own home, your self-esteem will be virtually non-existent, and people you love will die.

You will feel so ignored at school that when your favourite art teacher reaches out to you, you will be so surprised that you won’t know how to respond. Don’t assume she’s just doing her job; she really does care. I know this because even today, ten years later, she still remembers you.

I’m telling you all of this because I want you to know that, no matter how unbearable it all seems, and how lost you feel, you will get through it, you will find your way.

It’s all going to be okay.

The next few years will be dark, but there is so much light, so much good, waiting for you on the other side. Everything you are going through will be worth it, and everything these tough times teach you, about yourself, about others, and about life, will one day serve to make you very strong.

Just remember, everything happens for a reason, and things will get better, a lot better. I promise.

Please know that those people who hurt you, they do it because they, too, are suffering. It’s not your fault. They hurt others because they are hurting. You don’t have to put up with that in your life. Speak up.

It will take a long time for you to fully trust others, but someone will come along who will show how to love.

While you are running around chasing boys and looking for someone to love you, your soulmate will be right under your nose, and he will have already fallen for you before you even know his name.

It’s okay; you can trust this one. This boy won’t hurt you. So don’t get suspicious every time he gives you a compliment; he really does think you’re beautiful. He really does love you. And he really will marry you one day.

He will heal your closed heart, help you see how amazing you are, and show you what it’s like to have a real home, one where you feel safe, loved, and free to be who you really are. You can tell him your secrets, your fears and your dreams, and he will love you even more in return.

He will love you completely, every part of you, the good and the not-so-good. And you will feel the same about him. You will be a blessing to him just as much as he will be a blessing to you.

He makes everything you are going through now so, so worth it.

In regards to friends… well, don’t go the extra mile for anyone who wouldn’t do the same for you. And remember, anyone who gossips to you, will gossip about you. Even the ones who you think you can trust with your life.

Some friends you have now you will still have in ten years. Others will try to take advantage of you, and as soon as you are strong enough to stand up for yourself, you will realise you don’t want them, or their never-ending dramas, in your life anymore. It will be a hard choice to make, but I promise you won’t regret it.

In fact, by cutting them out, you will see just how much negativity they brought into your life in the first place, and you will have so much more room to grow into the positive woman you are meant to be.

Also, don’t get caught up in the aftermath of that ended friendship. The more drama they create about it, and the more lies they spread, the more they prove to you that you don’t need them in your life. Send them love and move on to the more awesome things that are coming your way.

Keep drawing, painting, creating, writing, and expressing yourself through art. You have no idea how much you need it to heal, grow, and be happy.

And never stop dreaming. That life-long dream you have of living overseas? You accomplish it at 23. I know, pretty awesome huh? You will also have your first art exhibit at age 22. And all those other things you dream of? You can do all of it. You really can.

Don’t avoid the things, places or people that make you anxious. You know those freak-outs you have before school, that you think are normal? Those are panic attacks. One day you will be so ruled by them that you never leave the house alone. Not even to get the mail.

Don’t worry; you need to live through that. That’s what causes you to do something drastic, like moving to China for a year. That will help you to overcome the anxiety pretty quickly. You will learn that your fears aren’t real, and that every time you face the things that scare you, the stronger and happier you become.

Then you will realise how brave you are, to do things that terrify you every single day.

Also, it’s okay to change your mind about what you want to do. Keep trying new things until you find what fits. A lot of those people who put you down for changing your mind will end up feeling stuck, doing jobs that they hate, and having no idea what they want to do with their lives. So don’t listen to their opinions.

Only listen to those people who are already living the kind of life you want to live – everyone else is just guessing.

I know right now you don’t know much about positive thinking, but you are always trying to see the bright side. Don’t listen to those people who call you unrealistic. What they don’t know is that it is optimism that will get you through the next few years, and start you on an amazing journey that will lead you to living such a happy and amazing life.

So, there will be a lot of tough moments in your life over the next ten years. But there will be even more amazing, happy and love-filled moments. So just keep going.

Most of all: Be kind to yourself. You are so worthy of love and respect, but it starts with you. Love yourself first, and everything else will fall into place. Make loving yourself your number one priority.

I Love You.

Jen ♥

23 responses to “A Letter To My Younger Self

  1. Wow! What a letter! Don’t you wish we could really get a letter like to this to ourselves? A love to remind us what is really important and what the results of our struggles are? Maybe if we knew that the fear would move to the background and the courage would sore!

    Didn’t know you went through so much! What happened? Was it your mother?
    My heart is with that 14 year old girl!

    • Thanks Betsy 🙂

      No my Mum is the best 🙂 So is my Dad 🙂 My parents are divorced and I’ve never really gotten along with my step-parents. I never really felt welcome around them. Won’t go into any details, but I never really realised how hard those years were until I started to live out of home and see how free I could be 🙂

      I was just so anxious all the time, plus I had been bullied a lot when I was younger so I had zero confidence.

      But all of that needed to happen so that I could learn from it, overcome it, and grow into the person I am today 🙂

      Thanks 🙂

  2. Beautiful letter Jen, your positivity, courage and resolve inspires others 🙂

  3. Jen – This is such a beautiful letter you’ve written to yourself. I love the clarity with which you can look back at your life and realize what happened with love and understanding for the growth process you were going through. Your words of love for yourself are especially inspiring and kept me *smiling*. Keep up the great writing and love 😀 And thanks for sharing 😀

    • Thank you so much, Angela 🙂 Your kindness and support means so much to me. I’m so happy that I can finally love myself completely, and communicate it with the world 🙂

  4. Thanks for another great post. I don’t know what school is like for adolescents where you live, but from your letter to yourself it sounds much like the experiences many (probably most) of us have in the US. I was talking with three people I love just the other night about our experiences as teens. Of the four in the group, only one said those years were happy ones for him. As adults we know how miserable the teen years are and we know how to help teens make them better, yet we continue to allow our institutions, especially schools, to be structured in ways that make for so much teen unhappiness, perhaps because so many adults are reliving their youth vicariously through the lives of their children and students. We need to stop this insanity and do for our young people what needs to be done to give them the love and support they need so much at that most crucial time of their lives. Enough of my rant–I’m glad to see you came out on the other side of those years healthy & happy, and that I did, too!

    • Thank you so much for another thoughtful comment! I totally agree with you, school, especially high school, seems to be a struggle for most teens. I think school is where I lost touch with my true self. At a time when individuality is starting to form, we are forced to conform. My college was catholic, we had to wear dull uniforms, and even art class seemed to be full of restrictions. No freedom for growth. I’m so glad I have been able to reconnect with my creativity and inner power since then!

      Thank you 🙂

  5. Yay Jen!! I loved reading this. It really was such a strong reminder of how resilient we really are as human beings, and of how totally possible it is to find happiness no matter how difficult the experiences we’ve endured. Thanks for writing it.

    • Hi Jess! 😀 Oh yes, in the last year especially, I have realised just how resilient I am, how capable we all are to live our best lives. Life is very inspiring 🙂 Speaking of inspiring, thank you so much for giving me that final inspirational push to write this letter to myself! It was such an amazing experience 🙂

  6. Jen, what an amazing woman you are! Your strength is an inspiration to all 14-year-olds, 24-year-olds and nearly 50-year-olds. I feel the enormity of your young life and am blessed. I also can’t wait to contribute to your April project! Continue to be the light that you are and to let that light shine effervescently!

    • Thank you so much, Beth! It was those hard times in my teens, and the more recent hard times, that have made me want to help others get through their own troubles.

      So excited to have you as a part of 30 Days Of Beauty! Not long now until the AWESOMENESS begins! 😀

  7. Jen you are so amazing and wonderful I can’t even begin to tell you. I have to say thank you so much for sharing such an authentic and window-to-your-soul kind of letter. I’m truly touched. I really am. I really am inspired by your outlook and life and your story and where you’ve been and where you’ve come and where you’re going.

    All I can say is that when we first crossed paths a few months ago I am so glad we did because you are one of the great ones Jen. Those big plans and big dreams that you have – they’re going to come true and they are coming true. I’m honored to get to be there along the ride and I’ll be cheering you on the entire time!

    Never ever stop being YOU and inspiring others to never stop being who they are either!
    – Love Laur 🙂

    • Lauren, I can’t tell you how much those words mean to me. Thank you. SO, so much. I’m saving your comment and putting it in my art journal 🙂 You rock xo

  8. Jen, this is so amazing. You are amazing & beautiful & so loved.

    We’ve traveled some similar paths, you & I.

    Don’t ever stop shining your light on yourself or the world.


    • Amanda, I can feel your truth and love from all the way over here in China. I won’t stop shining my light, if you promise never to stop shining yours 🙂 xo

  9. Jen, beautiful letter. I believe it should be required reading by all 14 year olds. Thank you for taking the time and effort to post your inspiring thoughts. You are a terrific person.

  10. hi, i’ve just popped over from a link on kind over matter.
    this is such a beautiful letter to write to your younger self. and even though she couldnt read it then..it’s wonderful that you are allowing her to read it now..very healing! much of it, you could be speaking directly to my 14 year old self too! thanks for sharing this..a very beautiful read today.

    • Hi Ari 🙂 I’m so glad you connected with my letter. You are right, it was very healing to write it, and re-reading it heals me even more. The 14 year old in me feels acknowledged and loved. Thank you so much for stopping by, and taking the time to read and comment 🙂 Keep Smiling!

  11. Pingback: *Lovely Saturday* | Food For The Flowers To Grow

  12. This is so incredibly touching and beautiful. You are so brave and so strong. To have had some of this insight when I was 14 would have been incredible.

    • Thank you so much, Krista. I am so glad you connected with it. I would have loved to have known all this when I was 14 too, but everything happens for a reason, if I had have known what was to come, I wouldn’t be the woman I am today 🙂 Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment 🙂

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