There are so many things I want to tell you, it’s hard to know where to start. Life can be so beautiful, and at the same time, so hard, but you already know that. The one thing I know, is that you are strong enough to get through it all. I’ll start this letter with one of my most important requests:
Don’t grow up too fast.
Slow down and be patient. You have so much life to live and so much to give to others. There is a lot in store for you, some of it great, some of it not so great, so try to just slow down and take in the journey as it comes, I know that will be hard for you because you are impatient.
Never waste a second wishing you were older or somewhere else in life, even though things will be hard. Stop trying to rush through it to get somewhere other than where you are right now. Know that things aren’t going to ever be perfect or maybe not even what you think they should be, but in fact they are. This is your journey and yours alone & this journey is what will shape you into who you are destined to become. Treasure this time because it goes by too quickly. You will see and experience things that will urge you to grow up too fast; don’t let them. Cherish this time in your life and live every second as fully as you can, without wishing it away. Enjoy having your health and vitality, because you will not have these things forever, savour what life is handing you right now, trust me on this.
Dear Raegan, you are worth so much more than you think you are.
This is something you will struggle with. You will think you’re not good enough, but I promise you are. In fact, you are so much more than enough. Stop looking to others to find your worth. Learn to love who you are and let that be enough. Nothing you achieve in life or fail to achieve will ever change this.
Learn to give yourself grace. I know that you set high expectations for yourself, but please, give yourself a break sometimes. You do not have to be perfect. Perfect is an illusion and nobody can attain it.
Learn to talk to yourself like you would an old friend. Be kind and gentle with the words you tell yourself. The words you speak to yourself become what you believe. Choose your words carefully.
Dear Raegan, try to stop worrying so much.
I promise you most of things you’re worried about will never actually happen. Stop wasting your precious time on the what ifs. If you keep focusing on what could happen in the future or focusing on things you can’t change from the past, you will miss out on the gift that is here in this moment.
Don’t look back in 20, 30, 40 years and regret that you never learned to appreciate today. Learn to embrace the present moment.
Dear Raegan, hug your parents, grandparents, brothers & cousins a little tighter and a little longer.
Soak up every little moment you have with them. Call them, write them letters, let them know how loved and treasured they are, learn from them and don’t take them for granted. They have less time on this earth than you think.
Hug your parents often. Thank them for all the sacrifices they’ve made for you. They love you more than you know and have given you a life that many others would love to have, even if you think its sucks. Tell them how much you love them as often as you can. Don’t tell them you hate them because you know you don’t. You will forget about those words tomorrow, but they will ring in their ears for years and years to come. Remember that your words matter.
Your family is precious – your brothers and cousins love you and would do anything for you. Remember this and stay in touch with them. Some of them aren’t for long in this world, so don’t take this for granted. One day you will wonder why you didn’t stay in touch more. Let them know that however many miles there are between you, they matter and that they are important and loved. They will struggle too and will need you as much as you need them.
Dear Raegan, stop caring so much what everyone thinks about you.
Stop living for the approval of others. Know that you will never be able to please everyone. There will be people in this life who don’t like you. Learn to accept this and move on. Realize that some people may only be in your life for a short time, and they may just be placed there to teach you something that you need to learn or hear, and that’s ok. Find the people in this world who appreciate the fire burning inside your heart. Find them and love them hard. You will have a whole tribe surrounding you because of relationships you built early on in your life and believe me when I say that you will need them to get you through what life throws at you.
Learn to forgive quickly, but don’t let anyone walk all over you. Stand up for yourself and stand up for what you believe in. Admit your mistakes when you have made them and for the love of God, say you are sorry and when you say it mean it. Learn from your mistakes. Remember that once is a mistake and anything after that is a choice. Believe that there is goodness in this world even when you think the world is out to get you.
Dear Raegan, stop letting your fear hold you back.
You have wrestled with fear your entire life. Don’t let it win. Choose faith instead of fear. You will be afraid to speak your mind because someone might leave you, you will be afraid to admit your mistakes because someone might abandon you or jump ship, but you can find strength in being vulnerable. It’s ok to hurt and it’s ok to cry but it is not ok to let fear guide your life. Be bold and be brave. You’ve got this.
Dear Raegan, don’t let pain harden your heart.
Some pain and heart breaks are coming but know that this pain will help shape you into a woman who will stand tall knowing that she made it. Learn from the difficult times in your life. Never stop learning. Let your pain give you a wisdom that you would not otherwise have. When you go through the difficult times ahead, don’t hide your pain and become closed off, angry and hard. Learn to share your truth, don’t be ashamed. Use your story and your truths to help others to feel less alone in theirs. If you do this, your pain will be worth it.
Dear Raegan, you can do hard things.
There will be times in life that are hard, some harder than others. But you are so much stronger than you know. You are more resilient and wiser than you know. Don’t ever forget this. There will be times when life will try to wear you down and some things will do their best to break you. Don’t let them. There will be times when life will be messy and unpredictable, and you will question it all.
But know that you will do amazing things in this life. Believe in yourself. Your life is going to be beautiful. Never stop searching for the beauty in this world. And never stop believing that you can change this world and make a difference in the lives of others. Trust in yourself, lean into the hard things, dig deep, and know that you can make it through anything.
Your future self
P.S. When that handsome dark-haired Canadian at the Goldrush comes over and asks you to dance don’t make him work so hard because he will love you fiercely, in sickness and in health. He will love you through the good times and the bad and will make you see all the beauty that you possess. He is a good, good man. The kind of man you will pray that your son will be and the kind of man you know your daughters will deserve. He will be an amazing protector, provider, father & partner. So, choose him every single day for the rest of your life and don’t ever let him go. He will be one of the greatest gifts that you will ever receive.