Dear Me: A Letter to my 16-Year-Old Self

16 Dec


I read in a magazine once where celebrities had written letters to their 16-year-old selves. My favorite was Phylicia Rashad’s letter. When logging on to Word Press I noticed an article under the Freshly Pressed column by a woman who had written her younger self a letter. So, I decided to do the same.

Me at 16 in Virginia

Me at 17 in New York

Dear Candace,

Your 16th birthday will be one of the best birthdays you will ever have. It will be simple and you’ll be surrounded by family. At this age you are going to fall dangerously in love, move to another state and meet a young woman who will end up being your best friend.

All the things you are making a big deal about now are really not that important. You will find yourself and you will gain confidence. There will be a lot of laughter and you’ll thank God later for taking away things and people who you thought you needed in your life.Your extended family is going to all get back together again and this will be one of the greatest moments of your life.

There will be a lot of things that you will try to make sense out of and you’ll try to fix what isn’t even broken. You’ll want things you can’t have and you’ll stress over the unknown. You won’t get as angry all the time as you age and things that use to upset you, won’t anymore. A lot of people aren’t going to believe in the things you want to do in your life, but that’s okay because one day you are going to wake up and realize that you’re an adult now. You’ll realize that it’s okay to say no, you really can make decisions without someone else permission, and you’ll live without any regrets.

Don’t let what people say about you offend you, their words don’t define who you are. Most of the people around you don’t even know who you really are or what you’re capable of. There will come a day when you won’t care what people say or think about you. You’ll ask for help when you need it and stop taking care of everyone else and take care of yourself. Someone close to you in your family will be very judgmental of some choices you’ve made, another will be a terrible listener, people you thought you could count on will soon be people of your past, and finally you just won’t share much of anything with them anymore and by the time they notice; you’ll be over it.

I know how much you hate dealing with your hair. Don’t worry, in the future, you will find the best solution for yourself.

Times are going to get harder than you’ll ever know. One thing you have to know is that you will get through it. Whatever decisions you make are yours to live with. Any mistake you make is yours to learn from. A dozen family members are going to continue to TRY to tell you what to do. To be honest, it’s going to piss you the hell off, but just ignore them and do what you want after thinking things through.

You’re going to go through a lot, but life does get better. Eventually, you’ll even learn to smile. You’ll smile after losses, after pain, and after the storm. Work hard in everything you do and don’t give up on your dreams and don’t let anyone stand in the way of your happiness. When people say things you don’t like or try to tell you what to do, just say yes and ignore it, the conversation will end faster that way! Happiness and love is in your future and so is a very high college GPA!

Love Always,

23-year-old Candace



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