Letter to a Younger Me

Usually I stay away from the standard blogger posts like lists – top 5 ways to improve your love life/lose weight/get inspired. Included in that list is the “letter to my younger self” post. Part of me thinks it’s a bit of a cop-out; of course you have a dozen things you would tell the you of yesteryear. How to not allow your pride to be your downfall, the importance of humility and hard work.

As I get closer to 3o…ugh…I see more reasons to get my thoughts like this down. Five years out of school, my point of view about work, love and life goals has changed pretty dramatically. So without further pomp and circumstance, these are my thoughts to a younger Leisa. I won’t pinpoint the age of the younger Leisa, I can’t think of any number more than another, as I learn more about myself every day.

Nothing comes easily. You’ll fight, think you’re more right than who you’re fighting with, try to stand your ground and in the end it won’t matter. One day you’ll learn that the subject at hand isn’t as important as you think, and that there is more power (at times) in learning how to let it go than in being right. It will be a hardddd lesson to learn.

You will struggle to sacrifice for what you want. You want it all, but you can’t have it all, not without hard work. Excuses are tools of the incompetent…you’ll learn the rest. Oh, and the phrase you hated in band practice: “To be early is to be on time; to be on time is to be late; to be late is unacceptable.” Yeah, it does mean something in life. The earlier you apply it to life, the better you’ll do. To paraphrase the Money Team: hard work, dedication. But you’ll never, ever be a morning person. Accept that now.

Love is both harder and easier than you’ll ever make it. No matter where you are in life, never sell yourself short for anyone. Know your worth, and make other people come up to your standards. If they don’t, screw ’em. (I try not to curse on here so you know what that really says.)  You’ll regret some folks, that’s inevitable, but you’ll never regret the lessons.

Hug the ones you love, kiss them, call them, text them, email them, snail mail them. Never miss an opportunity to be an expression of Godly love. Even to those you feel have done you wrong because they probably need love more than anyone else. Stop holding grudges – you won’t listen to that piece of advice for a while but when you heed it, you’ll feel such a weight off your chest. Grudges affect you more than they do the person you’re holding them against.

Above all, never forget whose child you are. You’ll slip, you may doubt yourself and others around you. Stubbornness will have you put your pride above progress. When you put the childish ways aside, that’s when you start to blossom into adulthood.

Signing off with one of my favorite poems: Rudyard Kipling, “If”

If

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with wornout tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on”;

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings – nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run –
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man my son!

4 Replies to “Letter to a Younger Me”

  1. Loved your letter to your younger self. I remember her, back at SMU. I’m proud of your communications work, and that you’re driven to keep writing. And, by the way, 30 is not the end of the world.

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