A Letter To My 15-Year-Old Self

Dec 16, 2013 1 Min Read


It’s been a while, well, actually for me it has, but for you it’s been no time at all. Anyway, I figured I’d write to you since you’ve always been curious about how your life would turn out to be and what sorts of adventures you’ll be able to get up to and I suppose there’s no harm letting you in on some of the happenings in this past decade or so. So, let’s get straight to the point.

1. Relationships are important

Maybe not exactly in the way that you define it at the moment, nor at the degree of which you currently uphold them, but they will continue to shape you and define you in the years to come.

Regrettably you will find yourself in some unfavourable and destructive relationships. All I can tell you is that the end justifies the pain it takes to get you there.

Your idea of relationships will evolve and the shift will be surprisingly pleasant. Hint: Dad and Mum are no longer the enemy, in fact you’ll be shocked to meet them as they are today!

The friendships that anchor you are the ones that come with an incredible amount of investment, and it’s always difficult to choose between what is best for you and what makes you popular.

You’ll fall in and out of love until that one day when you suddenly wake up and find that love is not a matter of accidental falling, but of intentional growing, not led by mindless feelings but dictated by a conscious, committed choice. And yes, you do get married, very happily married.

Recommended reading: Emotional Awareness

2. Education is vital

I’m not referring to academic qualifications as much as I am inferring to the need to keep learning and growing as a person. You never felt that it was important to exert yourself because your results had always been slightly above average (Shame. Tsk. Tsk).

You are creative and curious and proud and maybe a bit too confident and ambitious for your own good. You’ve heard it said that people should work smart and not work hard and while that has its merits, you need to know that working smart is often not a substitute for working hard. Both are imperative for success and it will ease your efforts to embrace hard work sooner rather than later.

There will be many sleepless nights and endless days, all of which become precious milestones you will treasure. The best part is that you are never alone in this journey.

Your memories are lit up by the shared experiences of those who travel alongside you. You will harbour a love for learning and you will share that love by teaching.

This might interest you: Attend To Your Weaknesses, But Don’t Forget To Celebrate Your Strengths

3. Celebration is necessary

Life will come at you and hit you in a way that has to qualify as a stinking foul. You can’t be ready for everything but you can certainly prepare. It’s too easy to become bitter and to drown in the unfairness bestowed upon you.

The fact is, you’re one of the lucky ones. And you can always choose happiness. Pain is real, but prolonged suffering is always optional. As they say, things happen for a reason, and sometimes those reasons are that you make bad choices.

Mind you this isn’t a licence to squander it all away for the sake of a good story but a reminder that you are able to overcome, and gain the strength and resources to rise above the adversaries and challenges hurled at you. Cultivate joy and let it permeate your being. It makes each sunrise more breath-taking than the last.

4. Adventure awaits you

Ah, but you know this already. You always had that fluttering in your heart, which calls deep within you and whispers of great things to come. It won’t be what you expect but you will not be disappointed.

You already know to follow your heart, and you’ll learn to not leave your brain behind. Even when your head is somewhere up in the clouds, you’ll learn to keep your feet firmly planted on the ground.

The most difficult part is convincing others you’re not crazy because you’re going to make some insane decisions that will make things worse. Ok, no, scrap that, the most difficult part is in finding the adventure in the normality of life and the utter challenge in discovering mystery in the most mundane of routines.

Don’t get me wrong, you still get to travel to some pretty obscure parts of the world, but the ultimate fulfillment that you will find is in the road to the hidden parts of your soul.

5. Purpose will drive you

In a few years, you will stumble upon something so profoundly gratifying and soul-filling that nothing else will ever come close anymore. It will become your strongest motivation and will colour the lenses from which you view the world. It is dangerous.

Purpose can destroy you for it is wild. It demands your respect and if you fail to navigate it, it can force you to do the unthinkable. It is all consuming in a manner that can be life-giving and life-wrenching. It’s a dance, the ebb, flow and movement of calling. Enchanting. Encompassing. Your purpose makes you who you are. You live for it and it has embraced you.

I hope what I have shared with you makes sense and serves to assure you of a future you can look forward to. I confidently tell you that I am not ashamed of you and there’s nothing that you do that changes that. (I will admit that I’m eternally grateful social networking doesn’t exist in the same perverse way for you as it does now, but that’s beside the point.)

You know you will always have a say in your life. No matter what other people try to do to you, no one can reduce you without your permission. Defend your responsibility and fiercely protect yourself.

You don’t have to be a victim of circumstances, you can be a survivor. Don’t afford others the privilege of taking the blame for your life.

And when you get to where I am now, you’ll realise that I don’t have it all together either and it’s OK. For all that life can be cruel, it is also very forgiving. We’ll strive to live moment to moment in all its fullness and glory.

It probably won’t be perfect, but it’ll be beautiful. And I promise, it’ll be worth it.

When she isn’t busy trying to figure out her life, Audrey coordinates and runs the DIODE Leadership Camps for teenagers between the ages of 12 and 19. Click here for more information. Click here for more such articles.

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This article is published by the editors of Leaderonomics.com with the consent of the guest author. 

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