a letter to myself

My last post got me reminiscing about the past…

It always amazes me to think back on the person that I was 5 or 6 years ago. At 15, when I started high school, things were simple (though I didn’t realize it then) and I had no idea what my future was going to hold. Life is always clearer in hind-sight. Through our experiences we’re able to learn, grow, and gain the wisdom to make better decisions in the future. We all have things we wish we had done differently but- in the end- those choices made us the people we are today. So, be thankful for that.

High SchoolAll of that considered, sometimes I wish I could write a letter to 15 year-old Emily. Just a simple note to prepare my innocent self for what was to come. If I could, it would look something like this…

Dear Emily,

First and foremost, smile. Life is more precious and beautiful than you will ever understand.

Second, breathe. Don’t wish your days away. Don’t get so caught up in ‘tomorrow’ that you forget about today. Enjoy the freedom of being young. Give everyone and everything a chance- you might be surprised by what you discover. Never let the world dull your shine. Boys will come and go so don’t let any of them define you. It will become obvious who your true friends are- never let them go.

Work hard but don’t let the stress control you. No one is perfect- you included- and that’s okay. Trust that everything is going to work out for the best, even when it doesn’t feel like it will. When it comes to your future, just let it happen. Don’t over-analyze and don’t over-plan. Don’t draw a detailed picture of how you want things to be because the universe will continually surprise you. Just live.

Never, ever take your family for granted. You’ve been blessed beyond belief and things won’t always be as wonderful as they are now. So, enjoy every minute because you’ll never get this time back.

Love yourself. You’re stronger, smarter, and more beautiful than you give yourself credit for. Own it.

So get out there, have fun, make mistakes, laugh at yourself, and smile like it’s going out of style.

Love, Emily

What would your letter say? 


  1. Jenn said:

    Absolutely beautiful letter! You’re so wise! Lee up the great work.

  2. You know I need to write that letter. I have read many others, but have not written mine. : )
    great idea.

    • Emily said:

      You definitely should (:

  3. L said:

    Great post, I love the letter idea! You look SO much healthier in those pictures, glowing and full of life!

  4. This was such a beautiful letter, Emily.

    Oh, that I could go back and smack some sense into my younger self. Actually, I probably wouldn’t change a thing since I believe that everything happens for a reason, but a few of the things I’ve learned are, first, that my parents, as much as they annoyed me, will go on to become my best friends. Second, that no matter how bad things may seem, there’s always a bit of light found in the darkness. Third, don’t stress… no matter what happens, I’ll find a way to deal with it – it’s never the end of the world. Fourth, spend more time learning to love and accept myself rather than change myself. I could probably go on and on, but those are some of the bigger ones.

    Happy Sunday!

    • Emily said:

      Thank you, Amanda. (:

      And I feel the same way about my parents. As much as they drove me crazy when I was younger, they always had my best interest at heart. I can’t believe how much I used to take them and my sister for granted. We’re all so incredibly blessed.

  5. Taylor said:

    This is such a wonderful letter and idea. I feel when I was younger everything was much more simpler and what I thought was stressful wasn’t anything to worry about. I would also tell me self to follow my instinct even if it didn’t follow the crowd because what I wanted then is what I am only now starting to pursue. I wish I could get a letter from my future self for some words of wisdom.. I feel like I need that now.
    Happy Sunday!

    • Emily said:

      I think about that alllll the time. I was so stressed out during high school (or so I thought) but I had NO idea what stress even was. It’s amazing how our perspective changes.
      Happy Sunday to you as well!

    • Emily said:

      Aww…reallly? I’ll have to see if I can find it! I’ve seen a few of them floating around in the past and I’ve always been so inspired by the idea.

  6. lovely letter! I would tell myself to follow my heart and not put up such a high wall. choose better friends and don’t trust them just because they’re nice to you … they could be stabbing your back when you’re not looking. *sigh* we learn and we live though. I should write a letter like this to myself … it would be super long though …

    • Emily said:

      Ohhh mine could have been SO long…haha. I tried to keep it as concise as possible though.
      And I completely agree on the friends advice. It’s hard looking back and realizing how many people were never really my “friend” to begin with…

      • I just wish there was some way we could all still stay together for those that were friends but not strong enough to stay friends … not sure if that made ANY sense. I miss some of my friendships. *sigh*

  7. There’s so much truth and love in that letter – amazing, Emily! Even though we’re wiser now than we were back then you’re right: We’ve grown through all mistakes we made, detours we took and that’s just the way it was meant to be. Maybe I’ll try to write a letter to my younger self, too – there’d be such a lot to say that I wouldn’t be able to tell you right off the bat what it’d contain. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Emily said:

      Thank you!
      I highly recommend it. It’s really eye-opening and it kind of feels good just to let it all out. My original letter was actually muuuch longer but I tried to shorten it as much as possible!

  8. You look so happy and healthy in those old pictures! It’s so cool seeing people as their younger selves. I love this idea of writing your past self a letter. Of course it’s true that we can’t change the past, but we can use the knowledge and experience we’ve gained to shape our futures and make them that much better. 🙂

    • Emily said:

      Thank you! And I agree. For me, giving advice to my younger self actually reminded me of a few things that I should incorporate into my life now. It all still applies, just in a slightly different way. (:

  9. Such a beautiful message in that letter! I have always wanted to write a letter like that to my former self, especially for those times when I really struggled through life and it would have been encouraging to know that things would get better. I definitely need to remind my younger self that high school was NOT stressful, at least compared to college and real life!

  10. P said:

    I need to sit down one of these days and write a letter to my younger self. It seems like a fun and thoughtful thing to do :)!
    I would tell my younger self that things balance themselves out in the end, and that life isn’t about pleasing others all the time.

    • Emily said:

      So very true. (:
      And I highly recommend writing a letter- it feels so good!

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