Thursday, September 13, 2012

Blessing #137 - Dear 16 year old me,

Dear 16 year old me, 

Greetings from 30 year old Stephanie.  At almost double your age, I have lived an entire lifetime beyond you so I thought I'd take some time to tell you a few things.  

There are a few things in life that are still the same at 30 as they were at 16. First, you're still awesome. Just kidding, just kidding....okay, I'm not really kidding. 

As you can tell from this letter so far, you are still a little on the dorky side.

You still get all your clothes from Goodwill, but instead of clothes from the 60's and 70's you've moved up to the current decade.

At 30, you still love Frank Sinatra. For a 15 year old, you have great taste in music, The Backstreet Boys and Nsync will lose popularity, but Frank is timeless.

The “klumsy phase” that you are in never really goes away. It's just who you are. At least you learn to fall with style. (Not really, but I thought that would make you feel better.)

The strange rapid fire, machine gun sneeze that you have, well it never really goes away.
Enjoy the fact that it is still “cute” on you. At 30, it's not so cute. It's scares people.

You will never like change, but you learn to work with it.

You know how Mom says that when you have a house of your own, you are going to magically change and be a neat freak just like her? You won't! You are a naturally messy and unorganized. The part of your brain that makes you creative also makes you unorganized, but you find ways to help that work for you.

Your nerd quotient goes way down when you get lasik and lose your contacts and glasses, but don't get too excited.  It goes right back up when you have to carry an inhaler with you all the time.  

Now, here's a few tips and hints that will help you out along your way.

I know you were so proud of yourself when you got all your hair cut off, but please remember the name of the lady that did it.  She did a great job, but that's an easy hair cut to mess up. Trust me.

Don't ever get rid of the purple shirt that says “awesome” on it. At every 80's night event, you will wish you had it.

I know you hate to hear this because at 30 I still hate to hear this, but Mom is right about many things. When she says, “I think you're going to be a teacher someday,” don't laugh so hard, it will maker her, “I told you so,” a little easier.

For matters of love and the heart, Jenny, your sister by choice, has lots of insight. Listen to her. At just the right moment, she gives you some tough words but the best advice that you needed. Jenny is also a  breastfeeding GeNiUs! She is way better than any lactation consultant.  

I know you just said, "Gross" when you read the word"breastfeeding," but yes, you breastfeed because you birth two babies. Yes, you Stephanie Lankford do the impossible and birth a 9lb.9oz and later a 10lb. babies.

It's okay! Stop hyperventilating! Labor is not nearly as bad as you built it up in your head.  

I know middle school was hard, but there is really only one person that tries to bully you in high school. It's confusing because he's a teacher, and you are supposed to respect your elders, but just between you and me....he's a jerk. Let his threats and comments roll right off your back. He's just full of hot air.

There will come a day when Mom will tell you to call Papaw, no matter how crazy the day is, no matter what is going on, CALL HIM!

Be nice to everyone! The one girl that you are mean to in high school, ends up being the daughter of an important head of some organization that your job depends on. God has a serious sense of humor with you! Besides, you never know what people are going through, so be nice!

On that note, you know how everyone tells you, “After high school you won't ever know any of your friends.” I know this sounds crazy, but that's not true at all! You will not only know how your high school friends are doing, but you might just know what they had for lunch that day.

On your first day of college, a man will tell you, “I think you need to change your major.” He doesn't know anything about you. He doesn't even know your name. He is just making a judgement based on a test, and you are a horrible test taker. (Ironically, 30 year old Stephanie teaches a class on test taking.) Although, his words devastate you for a while, one day when you find your passion his words will be very funny.

At family get togethers you just sit in the corner passing time because you think they are boring. Get up! Give some hugs! Let Aunt Peggy kiss you on the cheeks! Make some memories. Those family get togethers end way to soon, and just when you are old enough to realize how awesome your aunts and uncles are, many of them are taken out of your life.

I know you absolutely hate to write, but writing really helps you process through things. Trust me. As crazy as it sounds, some day you will write for fun.

Trust your instinct.  That "feeling" you have about a situation or someone is usually right.

There will come a day when you become more focused on how you look from the outside than what is in your heart. You will change your clothes, and so much about you just so that people that aren't important will think you are “good.” I hate to break it to you, but you will never be a meek and quiet wallflower. You will only make yourself miserable trying. Don't worry though. It takes a while but you get back to your old crazy quirky self.

God doesn't need perfect. God loves to use broken things.  

Someday, God is going to surprise you when He doesn't fit inside the box you made for him. Once you realize He's bigger than your box, you will only love Him more.

I know you've been patiently reading, but I know you too well. I know, you have one question on your mind. So here it is, yes, your husband is hot!

Shine bright,
Thirty Year Old Stephanie

I wrote this letter to my 16 year old self to celebrate in the release of Emily Freeman's new book Graceful. Emily is a long time youth pastor's wife, and she wrote this book just for teenage girls.  I read the adult version of this book called Grace for the Good Girl and loved it.  You can head over to Chatting at the Sky to read other Dear Me, letters.  


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