Dear 16-year-old Kristina,
Believe in your ability.
Mom and Dad tell you that you doubt yourself. I know right now this irks you to no end, but they are right.
You fear that you’ll miss the shot when all your friends are watching in the bleachers, so you pass the ball. You worry that it will be difficult to make friends at camp, so you tell Mom you are too sick to go. You spend a lot of time worrying that you won’t meet people’s expectations of you – or at least the expectations you tell yourself they have of you.
I get it – high school is one big popularity contest, and you are a people pleaser. Your eagerness to make everyone around you happy is sweet, but it is also your Achilles’ heel.
Let me save you a lot of time and energy now. The most important relationship you have is the one between you and you. Make yourself happy, be content with who you are at your core, and the people who are meant to be in your life will gravitate to you.
Trust me on this one.
Continue to find the silver linings.
When you are older, people will tell you that you are hopelessly optimistic, and that is a good thing.
Your ability to find the positive in almost every situation is a character trait you should hold on to. At this time in your life, it’s probably easy to be upbeat – you’ve had it pretty darn good! In the next few years though, life will not always be this peachy.
You will have your heart broken. You will experience true loss. You will feel genuine pain.
I am not saying this to scare you. I am saying this so that when this adversity comes knocking at your door, you are prepared to brave it with every ounce of optimism and tenacity that you possess.
If that still does not reassure you, then let me refer you back to one of your favorite quotes:
“No, it won’t all go the way it should, but I know that the heart of life is good.”
John Mayer might have been onto something...
Treasure every moment.
I know you so badly want life to hurry up and get to the “fun” part. You are correct to assume that life will get more exciting from here, but you will also gain responsibilities, obligations, and many other not-so-fun things that come hand-in-hand with adulthood. Don’t rush what you are doing where you are with the people you are surrounded by right this moment.
Nearly your entire family is happy, healthy, and alive.
You are blessed with a core group of friends that supports you, loves you, and makes you laugh.
Because of the track workouts and basketball practices you sometimes dread, you are in the best shape of your life.
Seriously, treasure that.
Memories live forever in our hearts, but the moments that create them are fleeting. Soak in those moments while they last, and allow yourself to get lost in them.
16-year-old Kristina, you are about to enter a chapter that will bring a lot of change to your life. As you prepare for this new stage, remember this:
Believe in your ability. Find the silver linings. Treasure every moment.