A Letter to Me at 18

Sometimes I look back on the journey that I've been on and I can't believe what all I've put myself through ... like self induced. haha! I think that I've had tendencies from a young age to be quite dramatic so therefore this stuff was bound to happen but I just wanted to take a moment and remind myself of some of that and how far I've come. I think that I have many 18 year olds that even follow me and it's going to be so cool for you to watch yourself grow and mature (because you will) and I hope that you are proud of the person that you will turn into. 

So here we go. 

Dear Katie,

You are just in college for the first time and you feel completely alone. You're not alone. You have friends that you can easily get in touch with, family only 2 hours away and many new friends to make if you would just reach out. Don't close yourself off in your dorm room because of fear. 

You will lose things, and you will have to manage money for the first time, but it's not as serious as you think it is. It's not worth all the tears that you cry and the chest pains from stress that it causes you. I know that your new adult life is hard to figure out but these moments are what shape you. Go make friends! 

Stop waking up at 5am every morning to go run 6 miles and lift weights, and then eat around 500 calories per day. It makes absolutely no sense, and the life that you are living right now is not the life that you are designed to live...it's not a life for anyone to live. You've got to change that. You can't go to the bathroom because you don't eat. There is no reason to think that something is desperately wrong with you and take laxatives all the time. You just need to eat. You don't need to prove yourself when you are in front of family that you do in fact eat, and eat like you are planning to win an eating contest. I know you've never had to find this balance before, but strive for it and work for it. Extremes get you nowhere but heartache and tears on your dorm room pillow.

Don't study all of the time. I want you to be dedicated, but know that there are so many people at your school that would love to get to know you, and experiences that you could have in college if you weren't so "focused". You can go to the football game on a Saturday without your backpack hidden because you are going to spend the rest of the day in the library, and all day into Sunday that had come off of a Friday. You are a smart girl, and you will be okay. Not every single test is a life or death situation to your career that is going to combust if you don't make a 100. 

Reach back out to old friends. They miss you, and would love for you to stop being so interested in your "woe is me" attitude, and just be a good friend. Keep in touch. Thoughtfulness goes further than you realize.

You don't need to leave the university after two years to go to a school closer to home because you are afraid that you'll never succeed. The university you are at is so fun!!! ENJOY IT! You didn't get into pharmacy school after two years, but that doesn't mean that you are a complete failure like you think that you are. You didn't spend time making any friends because you were so focused on getting into school, and now you feel more purposeless than ever. What was the point? But why did you feel you had to get in after two years? Why not enjoy college more? After all, it's a fortune. 

You should travel more. You need a break. You need to relax, and breathe, and you also need to eat (but I think I've told you that already). 

The person that you trust most right now is actually going to leave your life, and break your heart. This is going to lead you into another really hard time of eating disorder behavior, but you have to trust me that it's not worth it. You have to see beyond this into the future that it's not as huge as you think it is. You are going to meet someone else, who is everything you could have imagined in a husband. Dry your tears. I know it hurts worse than anything you've ever felt before, but with time, it will fade. 

Why don't you go for a run? I know you hate it now, but it's going to become a huge part of your life later on down the road. I know you are out of shape but just take some time to sink into it, release some of that pinned up energy, and start enjoying life more. You cry too much....over everything. Are you ever happy? You have so much going for you. 

You're going to get into pharmacy school, and you are going to stress so much all the time. You are going to think that you'll never make it through but you will in fact make it through. I know that you want so desperately to be smarter, but you have really great work ethic, and it's going to carry you through. I know that you want so desperately to be able to "be somebody" in the field, but you are going to be led elsewhere to do something completely different for a time. You are going to really try to change people's lives and the way that they view food because of what you are going through right now. You are going to be past all of these behaviors, looking at them in the rear view wondering why you ever did that to yourself! You should just stop now!

You're going to move to New York City which is going to change the way that you see life forever. You are going to meet the most amazing people, and form the best relationships but unfortunately, because of circumstance, you are going to have to leave sooner than you wanted to. Thats okay too. Remember, life is all about what you make of it and you need to be happy wherever you are planted. You've moved so many times, and you know what that's like now. This is just one more testament of that.  

When you get older, you think that you have to have everything planned out and the older that you get, you realize that life is much more fun if you just live it at the seat of your pants. Just go with the flow. Work hard every dang day, love the Lord with all of your heart and soul, love people more than you know how to in these moments, be thoughtful, be caring and compassionate, and stop thinking about food!!! DANG IT KATIE, THE THINGS YOU COULD DO WITH YOUR LIFE IF YOU STOPPED STRESSING OUT! 

I know that you won't listen to any of this. You'll have to take the hard road, but you'll get to the end of it and look back and realize that each step was a learning lesson. You'll be glad that you went through it so that you could be where you are today standing firm in who you are, and how happy that makes you in life. 

Sincerely, 

Your 26 year old self

(but isn't it ironic that I feel like that was Christ speaking into my heart years ago but I wouldn't listen!) 


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