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Thursday, April 22, 2010

What I Wish Someone Had Told Me

Before we get started, please remember to cast your daily vote for Mason! He's doing great, thanks to my wonderful bloggy friends! Link goes directly to his page, click on 5 stars, and you're done! Vote HERE

I was reading the blog Pink Moss and came across a very worthwhile project. It's no secret that I have three little boys and no girls. Well, Janae has six girls. Not that I won't have my own set of problems to deal with when my boys are teens, but teenage girls? Yikes. How do you teach your girls to see how fabulous they are?  This phrase of hers caught my attention: It is always easier to visualize the beauty and greatness held in others, than to capture it within onself.

And so, she is starting a project, where women can give their advice on how to see the beauty in themselves. This advice should come in the form of a letter to your 12 year-old self. What you wish you'd known. You can see all the details if you go to the Pink Moss link above. She is looking for more people to participate in her project- it doesn't have to be posted on any certain day. Think about it! What do you wish that someone had told you back when you were 12?

I chose not to get caught up in trying to prevent the mistakes that I made, but to focus on the outlook I wish I'd had. Attitude makes so much difference.

Dear Shell,

Did you know that you are beautiful? Don't roll your eyes at me. I know what a sarcastic 12 year-old you are. Listen to me: You. Are. Beautiful.

You are entering into a time in your life where you are going to compare yourself to others and find yourself coming up short. But, let me tell you a secret: you are every bit as good as everyone else.

The only difference is confidence. They have it and you don't. Learn to love yourself, accept who you are, and be yourself LOUDLY.

Those hips you complain about? Darling, you are an absolute stick. Yes, your hips stick out.- but that's just BONE. There isn't any fat on you. Please don't obssess.

When you get to college, please relax a little and have more fun than I did the first time through. Yes, grades are important, but shhhhh: no one cares at this point what our grades were back then. So, allow yourself to get lower than a B every once in a while if it means that you get to go out instead of studying. You learned this a little bit in your science classes. Yes, you, who LOVES science, will get your lowest grades in science, all because of various boys. None of them are worth the tears, btw.

I wish I could spare you the heartache that will come in your early twenties, when you fall madly in love. But, maybe it won't hurt so much, if you listen to me and have more confidence. See, you will be convinced that this man is the most beautiful man on the face of the earth and constantly be asking yourself what he is doing with you. You mistakenly put him up on a pedestal and are completely crushed when he doesn't live up to your expectations. Maybe if you have more confidence this time around, instead of asking how you could be so lucky as to have him in your life, you will ask how he could be so lucky as to have you in his.

You will have a broken heart. It will feel worse than any illness you've ever had. You will sob yourself to sleep for months. You will wonder if it will ever stop hurting. You will wish it all away.

But, you will come out on the other side of that dark time a strong and confident woman. You will decide to try new things and to be yourself. You will become much more discerning as to whom you let into your life. And, my dear, trust me when I say that you will see the life that that man makes for himself and be thankful that you are not a part of it. You will feel lucky.

You will adopt a philosophy of "Don't say no right away" which gives you permission to realize that you don't have to turn down every opportunity that comes your way. That it's okay to say yes and try new things. Just remember that your philosophy is not to say no right away, but that you can say it if you really want to.

Be on the lookout for the guy who sticks with you through all these things. The one who listens to you and whom you tell everything to, the one you aren't trying to impress. You will probably think that "oh, this is him!" a few times, but hang in there, he's coming, and he probably isn't the one you'll think at first.  He will see how special you are and help to make you feel that way, too.

I want you to know now, instead of finding out the hard way, that marriage is work. That you can't put someone else in charge of your happiness and quit when things get hard. Fight for your marriage. Because it's worth it.

So are the three beautiful boys that you will have. Yes, I'm telling you now that girls are not in your future. Maybe if you know this now, you will be adjusted to the idea by the time you have them. They will be the loves of your life.

You'll have ups and downs in your life. Friends whom you thought you could count on will turn their backs on you. Family members will let you down.

Though, you'll also make amazing friends and do things that you never expected to be able to do.

You get through it all, a confident woman. I remember being you and it was the uncertainty of how things were going to work out that caused you to stumble. Maybe, after reading this, and knowing that you do make it through it all, that will be enough to give you the confidence to make your way through our life with your head held high.

Time passes much faster than you think and when you look back, those things that you think are such a big deal at the time, you will hardly even remember. It's the big adventures or the small meaningful moments that will stick out. The rest is a blur. Try not to worry. Try to have fun. That's what I wish: that I'd had more fun. Don't be me. Have that fun.

P.S. Could you please make sure that someone takes plenty of pictures of us when you are 24? Trust me, you'll want them later.


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Blogger Oka said...

Before I read, only 2 more votes till 300 :D

April 22, 2010 at 7:03 AM  
Blogger Sugar Bear said...

I had a done a letter like this back in January..I'll have to search through the Klutter.

I also wrote something along the lines of how important the little things seemed when you are 12 or 13...and NOW, now we really see what is important.

April 22, 2010 at 7:16 AM  
Blogger Oka said...

awesome idea. I could think of a few things I wish I would of know.

the biggest thing I wouldn't have wanted to know was I was having kids, and how many of what (that's a mystery I love that I had)

April 22, 2010 at 7:37 AM  
Blogger The Mommyologist said...

Wouldn't it be great if someone could invent a time machine?? I'd love to go back to when I was 12, 16, 21, 25, and oh hell, even a few months ago and tell myself to quit worrying about what other people think and just be happy with who I am!

Great idea for a post!

April 22, 2010 at 7:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is hard for girls - with all the peer pressure from both boys and girls... how do we survive?!?

What a good idea! I will have to ponder it and write my letter soon.

April 22, 2010 at 7:47 AM  
Blogger Foursons said...

Great letter Shell! 12 year old girls have such a hard time. I will have to consider this, it'd make for a great LOI.

April 22, 2010 at 8:05 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Awesome letter Shelle, as a mom of 3 boys I totally relate to the not expecting only boys but they are now the loves of my life..hmmmm I would have alot of stuff to write about.

April 22, 2010 at 8:18 AM  
Blogger VKT said...

Hi Shell darlin,

I left you an award on my blog if you want it. Have a great day!

April 22, 2010 at 8:22 AM  
Blogger Rachel said...

I love this :) Sometimes I think about how insecure I was in middle and high school, and it makes me sad. I have grown to be a confident person, but I was a whole other person when I was younger. I wish I could tell these poor teens today that high school is so insignificant, and not to worry about a thing. My brother also had a hard time and I kept reminding him of this saying that he would love college. At the time, high school is the whole world and you can't see past it, but he and I always laugh because now he is a sophomore in college and is like, "You were right. I barely remember high school anymore." Too bad we REALLY can't write these letters to ourselves.

April 22, 2010 at 8:30 AM  
Blogger Steph said...

You brought tears to my eyes...

Reminds me of Brad Paisley's "Letter to Me" which I love!

It's hard to think about 12 (I'm old, you know), but I'm going to think hard about this and write. :)

April 22, 2010 at 8:35 AM  
Blogger Evonne said...

What a neat idea!

I am so different now than I was a 12, 18, 25. I wish I had a letter like that. I don't think I would change any major decisions I have made, but it would have been nice to go into them with more confidence.

April 22, 2010 at 8:36 AM  
Blogger MommyLovesStilettos said...

What a great idea! :)

April 22, 2010 at 8:58 AM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

Beautiful letter! I am right smack in the middle of this teen angst right at this very moment. My oldest daughter will be 12 in July. Oh, the things I want to tell her! Well, I tel her but she doesn't listen. I'm the mom, I don't know what the hell I'm talking about, right? I'm gonna have to give this a try.

April 22, 2010 at 9:02 AM  
Blogger Jules AF said...

I prefer not to even talk to my 12 year old self. She was terrible.

April 22, 2010 at 9:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That sounds like a really good idea. I love the idea of getting to write to yourself back when. There's so much that can be said for ourselves at 12 years old. I will definitely check out her project. Thanks for telling us!

April 22, 2010 at 10:02 AM  
Blogger {Kimber} said...

Great idea!! ah...the things I would tell my 12 yo self! :)

April 22, 2010 at 10:04 AM  
Blogger Hair Bows & Guitar Picks said...

Awesome letter!

Thank you for sharing!

April 22, 2010 at 10:10 AM  
Blogger Momma Fargo said...

Awesome letter! Great post!

April 22, 2010 at 10:11 AM  
Blogger Jenn said...

Okay, Shell, I WOULD go and participate in this letter-writing project except .... they'd just think I copied your letter! Everything you just wrote is me to a T. Everything. Attitudes, experiences, etc. Maybe that's the one thing I'd add to my letter ... that 'you're not the only one who feels this way!'

Seriously, even the pre-motherbitches were probably just mean to hide their own insecurities.

Great letter. I'm heading over to Pink Moss now. I've always thought that we, as grown women, should start some kind of campaign to empower younger girls. Thanks for sharing.

April 22, 2010 at 10:13 AM  
Blogger Jene said...

What an awesome idea! I can't wait to compose one of my own.

I wish someone had told me all of these things.

April 22, 2010 at 10:22 AM  
Blogger Claremont First Ward said...

That last P.S. Should be framed for everyone to see. :)

April 22, 2010 at 10:53 AM  
Blogger Your mom said...

Oh I love this idea. I'm going to have to do this to! Thanks for sharing (that's what she said).

April 22, 2010 at 11:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

that's Awesome Shell!

April 22, 2010 at 12:06 PM  
Blogger Honey B. said...

Awww....made me teary! I wish I could have said these things to me back then...

April 22, 2010 at 12:29 PM  
Blogger Sara said...

Six girls? Lord have mercy.

That's such a wonderful idea, though. I mean, your mom can tell you you're pretty at that age until the cows come home, but you never believe her. And some people weren't lucky enough to have a parent that did that.

I like to think I would've listened to myself, though.

I would've told myself to stop drinking Dr. Pepper 5 times a day, give up the wide leg jeans and work on my strut.

Love this.

April 22, 2010 at 12:41 PM  
Blogger Adrienne said...

A wonderful post Shell...I am certain that at age 12 I never realized how awesome I was but young women need to know that they control who they become !

April 22, 2010 at 1:11 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Great letter, I could have written one just like it!

April 22, 2010 at 2:44 PM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

Oh this is such a great idea. If only we all had letters to our wee selves..maybe just maybe it would make it just a little bit easier!

April 22, 2010 at 2:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love this Shell. Beautiful.

April 22, 2010 at 2:55 PM  
Blogger Kmama said...

That's a really good letter. I wish I had just a glimpse of my life now when I was 12. I can't say I would have done things much differently, but I would have enjoyed myself more and stressed less about the little things.

April 22, 2010 at 3:00 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Such a fabulous letter! And, what a great project. I'm headed over to Pink Moss right now.

April 22, 2010 at 4:21 PM  
Blogger Queenie Jeannie said...

Loved every word!

April 22, 2010 at 4:33 PM  
Blogger MommyLisa said...

Very cool idea...especially since I have a daughter!

April 22, 2010 at 4:56 PM  
Blogger Liz Mays said...

Now you should do that every 10 years and save them all!!!

April 22, 2010 at 6:10 PM  
Blogger Tammy said...

There is an award over at my blog for you!

April 22, 2010 at 6:22 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Oh, if I could just go back to take my 12 yr old self by the shoulders and talk to her...have her truly listen and learn...

I loved your letter, Shell. It was beautiful.

ps-voted :)

April 22, 2010 at 6:37 PM  
Blogger TheFitHousewife said...

What a beautiful letter Shell! If only we knew back then what we know now...and are still constantly learning.

April 22, 2010 at 6:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is a great letter. I know there is a lot of things I would tell the 12 year old me.

April 22, 2010 at 7:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

What an awesome letter. If I could go back and tell my high school/college self what I know now I could have saved myself a lot of heartache. I'm your newest follower.

April 22, 2010 at 8:45 PM  
Blogger Karls said...

Such a good idea! If only I could go back and tell her what I've learnt - although I think the lessons needed to be learnt. The self image thing is big though... it's the main topic of discussion with my newly aquired psychologist (big jump... sometimes perhaps ignorance is bliss?)

April 22, 2010 at 9:31 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

What a great letter!

April 22, 2010 at 9:40 PM  
Blogger Brenda Susan said...

Great idea! I did a letter to my new mom self, but to go back to 12 is a really fun plan. I'll do it tomorrow maybe!

April 22, 2010 at 11:02 PM  
Blogger Mrs. Micek said...

Love this!!! Fantastic letter!! Wish I really could have had this back then!! :)

April 22, 2010 at 11:42 PM  
Blogger Laurel said...

I love love love love this. Absolutely beautiful.

April 23, 2010 at 3:27 AM  
Blogger Secret Mom Thoughts said...

I wish I had this letter at 12 myself.

April 23, 2010 at 7:53 AM  
Blogger Emmy said...

What a wonderful idea and what a wonderful post! You are so right, it is all about confidence. I always say I never want to go back to that age unless I could go back knowing what I do now. I am so scared of the teenage years for my kids.. but I guess we all have to go through them.

April 23, 2010 at 10:06 AM  
Blogger Lothiriel said...

I wrote a post like this a while back. It was to myself on my graduation day of high school. It was part of a group blog. I loved this post!

Wish I could REALLY go back.

April 25, 2010 at 4:33 PM  
Blogger Janae Moss said...

Thanks for posting!
I have been out of town, but I am going to start contacting everyone that sent me an email about it while I was gone. Thanks for the help, it means a lot!!

April 28, 2010 at 9:30 AM  

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