Thursday, January 15, 2009

13 going on 30

Last year for my birthday post I posted pictures of me from kindergarten right through till age 29, and I was wondering what kind of birthday post I would follow that up with this year.

I debated about a few things, but I ended up deciding to write a letter to my 13-year-old self from the perspective of me today, at 30 years old.

Dear Thirteen-Year-Old Self,

I know you are struggling with life right now; things are not the way you would've chosen them to be. But that's okay -- because you have a lot of good things in store for you in the just don't know if yet.

But here is a bit of a glimpse.

Yes, you were a cute girl when you were little. Soft white-blonde hair, a bit of curl at the bottom. Bright blue eyes and a wonderful smile. And yes, it is true that right now at the tender age of 13 you are not as cute as you would like to be. You are going through an awkward stage, as most girls do during this time of life. But not to the time you turn 30 you will have long outgrown that stage. It may have taken awhile to get past those not-so-pretty years -- but eventually you will be able to look in the mirror and see yourself as being attractive. And that when people tell you that you are beautiful -- you will actually believe them. Pick that jaw up off the will happen.

You are not fat. Not by a long-shot. You may think you are -- and those thoughts may never entirely go away -- but you are wrong. By the time you turn 30 you will wish you were as 'not-fat' as you are now. You will make a lot of mistakes in the next almost-two decades (and give birth to 2 adorable children) and end up with a lot of work to do to get yourself to your desired weight. But you will learn to be content with yourself, and realize that you need to do what you need to do to get healthy, not to get skinny.

Life is hard when you are 13; no question about it. But just wait until you are 30 -- you will wish for the simpler times of a teenager. When the biggest concerns you have are if you fit in with the 'cool' group, or if the cutest guy in class will ever notice that you exist. If your outfit fits the newest trends or if your zits will disappear before Picture Day. Your concerns will change to things like "Am I a good mother?" and "How will we make this paycheque last us till the end of the month?" Yes, you will long for the simpler decisions and challenges that you had when you were 13 -- but yet you will really not want to go back.

Peers can be down-right rude when you are a teenager. Everybody is insecure -- even the ones who don't appear that way -- and they are all trying to figure out how to survive this awkward stage. Not everybody chooses the right way to get through these years, and you will find yourself in situations that are irrepairable. Take the time to mourn the loss of friendships, but choose to learn from the experiences rather than grow bitter about it. By the time you are 30, you will know who your true friends are. And they will be your true friends for life!

Boys aren't worth the trouble! At least not at this age. Sure, you will watch your friends and other peers with their significant others and long to be one of the 'lucky' ones. You will wonder night after night when you will experience your first kiss. When a boy will look at you in that special way. But at this stage in life -- the majority of these so-called relationships will only cause you heart-break. By the time you are 30 you will have been married to a wonderful man for 7 years. A man who loves you for who you are -- flaws and all. And he will be worth the wait.

You may not have a lot of confidence in yourself -- yet. But just you wait. By the time you turn 30, you will be more sure of yourself than ever before. You will walk with assurance; you will learn to step out of your comfort zone. You will discover that you are able to be your own person and not to be who you think others expect you to be. You will have learned to realize that you are who God intended you to be. You will still have more growing to do -- that will never end -- but at least you will be sure of the path you are taking.

Keep looking to God through every stage of your life and never stop believing in yourself. If you do that, you will meet up with me in 17 years from now. I look forward to it!

Your 30-Year-Old Future Self


Rebecca said...

Happy Happy Birthday!!!

Kathy and Carl said...

What a great idea! And a great post. You have a lot of wisdom to pass on to yourself....but even better to pass on to your daughters. And I took a peek at least year's post and laughed at those crazy glasses. I had those too! And I can't believe how much Joelle looks like you. Like mother like daughter.

andrea said...

i do agree with Kathy! save this letter for your can tell them...been there, done that but life is so much different all grown up...and better too! you are beautiful!

melanie said...

What an awesome letter. I think you should let both of your girls read that on their 13th birthdays. Although most of us need to experience life in order to really understand everything you said. Beautiful letter.

Happy Birthday!

(Okay, I just read the other comments and they said to give the letter to your daughters too.)

Margo said...

Andrea, it's so great that you can feel this way about yourself at 30! We SHOULD celebrate how far we've come - never thinking we've arrived, but thankful for where the Lord has taken us thus far.

TammyIsBlessed said...

You sure would've given yourself some great advice!

Pam said...

that is a great letter- maybe you can write one to 13 year old me too :)

Kelly said...

What a neat letter. Happy birthday 30 year old you! You look great and have made one great life for yourself.

Joanna said...

Hope you had a great day.