photo credit: incurable_hippie via photopin cc
photo credit: incurable_hippie via photopin cc

Dear Teenage-Elyse,

How do you start a letter to yourself? How are you? What's new? Seen any good movies lately? Uh oh, I hadn't thought this far ahead, and apparently I suck at talking to myself... Which may not be a bad thing.

I've only thought about the idea of writing this letter, but I've thought about it a lot. I've wondered what I might tell you, what advice I might share with you now that I'm older and wiser (maybe only a little wiser, but that's something, right?).

So here's where I'm at in life – I’ve finished school, had an adult job, and decided adult jobs aren’t that much fun. I’ve made friends all over the world that will last me until forever o'clock, and I've had my heart broken. And now that I’m here, 24-years-and-5-months-old, I think there are some things you should know. There are some things I wish I’d known earlier, some lessons I wish I learned sooner, and I want to share them with you.

And maybe, just maybe, someone will look over your shoulder while you read. Maybe there is a teenager who will read this and learn from my mistakes. Or even an adult. After all, you’re never too old to learn something new.

So here are ten things I want you to know, five today and five later this week. You see, I write blogs now and, to be blunt, I need to spread this kind of thing out.

So here are the first five:

1. It all makes sense in hindsight.

There are going to be opportunities you miss out on, relationships that end, things that don’t go your way (I know, shocking right?). It will hurt and there will be ‘ugly cry’ tears. Sometimes it will leave you really confused, and you may even question God. That’s ok. He can handle it.

But just know, there will come a day where most of it makes sense. And the things that don’t make sense? I’ll write you another letter when I’m 50. Surely everything makes sense when you’re 50.

2. Let him go.

There’s going to be a boy that sweeps you off your feet. There will be kisses in the rain and dancing without music. He will write you letters and songs and for a little while you will feel like the luckiest girl in the world. But it will end. There will be broken hearts and you will wonder if anyone else will make you feel like he did. It’s really going to hurt and I’m really sorry I didn’t walk away sooner.

But please, don’t go over every text message, every photo, every conversation and every memory like a broken record. Don’t shut yourself off from the world because you feel like your best days were with him. You need to let him go.

Let Jesus in. Let Him put the pieces back together again. He’s got someone better for you, I promise. So, turn off PS. I Love You, call the girls, put on your heels and go out. It’s time to move on.

3. Bullies aren’t just a ‘high school thing.’

Remember how you thought once you left high school you wouldn’t have to deal with jerks anymore? Well don’t shoot the messenger (especially since the messenger is you), but some people never grow out of it.

There are some girls that never grow out of trying to be ‘Queen Bee’, bullying everyone else so they feel better about their own lame lives. There will still be guys who use girls, breaking hearts as easily as they broke curfew in tenth grade. Some people will bully you for the decisions you make. You’ll find out later on (at your school reunion when they’ve had three hours too many drinks) that it’s only because they secretly wished they could’ve made the decisions you did.

My advice for the Peter Pans of the world, the ones who refuse to grow up, the ones that think Tinkerbell and her ‘special dust’ can get them out of trouble, is this: Don’t try to change them. Let them go to Never Never Land and discover that it doesn’t actually exist.

Those people have more issues than a Dr Phil marathon, and ‘aint nobody got time for that’ (that’ll make sense in a few years)!

4. Get back in the race!

Even though dad calls you his little angel, you aren’t (don’t worry, we can still pretend you are). You are going to mess up, and you’re going to do it a lot. Just when you think you have it all together, just when you feel safe to call yourself a Christian, you will do something so stupid.

In that moment of ‘oops-I-did-it-again,’ don’t listen to the voice that tells you to run away from God. Tell that voice to “go to hell” and run to Jesus. He will be waiting for you, with open arms. He’s already forgiven you. He dealt with the sin issue ages ago. The quicker you accept His grace, the quicker you’ll be back on your feet.

Jump up, dust yourself off, and get back in the race.

5. Crimping your hair isn’t as cool as you think it is. Trust me.

I think that’s enough for now, see you in a few days. Oh, and the purple tracksuit you wear every day isn’t as cute as you think it is. Sorry love.

Love, 24-Year-Old-Elyse xx