Dear Younger Me

Hello my beautiful sisters,

Teaching teenage girls gives me the rare opportunity to closely examine exactly what girls think of themselves and what they say to each other. Unfortunately, there isn’t much love and appreciation for self or others. There’s this openly displayed dislike of their bodies and they are always unsure about themselves. I remember when I was at that age and I was simply unhappy with the way I looked, the friends I couldn’t make, and the outfits that just wasn’t quite right. It was to say the least a very tumultuous time in my life.

So, one day while I was in class I decided to give a writing assignment to my students. I told them to write a letter to their younger selves, giving them advice from their older selves. I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to reflect on the past years’ decisions that may or may not have gone the way they thought it would.

After reading the final versions of their letters, many reflected and shared that there were many moments they wished they had done differently but also that there were moments they were proud of and they had forgotten. This realization strengthen and emboldened  them. I also noticed a genuine camaraderie between them as they talked about their similar experiences.  As it turns out it was the perfect assignment ;especially for my girls.

As females we go through so many uncertain moments in our lives and perhaps we make decisions that aren’t the best but it was what we could come up with at the time. 

So ladies what would we tell our younger selves?

Hmmm, it bears some thought doesn’t it?

Writing to younger me with love

So here it goes,

Dear younger me,

– Stop stressing over your body size. You are beautiful just the way you are. Every bump, roll, and blemish. Love. Every. One. And while these words will not give you solace because of what the outside world think is beautiful this is the best advice I would give you.

Your body is beautiful, love yourself

– Step out of your comfort zone. It’s okay to feel fear of the different and the unknown. The best experiences happen when you do… I promise!

– Don’t tie yourself down too early. 15 is too young to know who you are. What happens little one is you will get lost in others and forget about you.

– Be present my love there is beauty in being still.

– Don’t worry about tomorrow or what happened yesterday. Yesterday is over, though may we wish it, we really can’t change what was said or what we did. Tomorrow hasn’t happened yet, let what you can’t control be.

Hug yourself with love and care

– Hug yourself — I know hugs were foreign to you.. so hug yourself. It feels glorious!

Love you, me

There’s  so much more I would say to my younger self but I will stop here for now.So, my beautiful sisters, what would you tell your younger self at 15, 20, 30?

Empower yourself,
Aminah