When I talk to my younger friends, I tell them that a great advantage on their side is time. How I wish I had all that time again! How much better would I use those years given what I know now. This is what a letter to my younger self would look like.
Dear young Daphne,
How much I would give to be you.
You still have time on your side. Time to initiate small changes that will snowball over the years. Time to tell the people you love that you love them, while they are still around.
Did you hear the birds sing when you woke up this morning? What a blessing to be woken by birdsong. The day will come when your hearing isn’t so good. Much of the world you take for granted now will be lost to you. Savour this wondrous world while your senses are still acute. See the colours, hear the sounds, smell the scents, taste the flavours, feel the textures.
Treat others better
That old woman you impatiently overtook because she was walking so slowly and blocking your path? That old woman was me. I would love to walk at your pace, yet my bones will not allow it. The young cannot know how the old feel at being brushed aside and left behind. A smile from you would have made my day. It would have told me that you saw me, that I still mattered.
The young people on the bus who were so rowdy they annoyed you? You were them not too long ago. Oh how quickly we forget. How foolish the young seem to us! Yet we cannot grow old without having been young. We cannot grow wise without having been foolish. So it’s alright, my dear, to make your mistakes. Enjoy them, celebrate them. And allow others to be young and foolish too.
Learn to recognise and accept love. Know that people will never love you as you want to be loved. They can only love you as they know how to love. Look past their imperfect actions. Look at their heart, and see the love that is there. That love makes them vulnerable. Don’t hurt them by your judgment and your criticism. All they want is your love and approval, just as you want theirs.
Don’t be needy. Just because someone is not telling you all day long that they love you, doesn’t mean they don’t love you. It just means they are busy living their own life, as they should. You’ll be much happier if you get on with living your own life, instead of trying to convince others that they should make you the centre of their lives.
Believe you are beautiful
I know who you really are, because I was you once. And you are more beautiful than you realise. I tell you all this not because you are not perfect. You already are. I tell you this because I see you fret about so many things, and I wish you knew that one day all that you worry about now won’t really matter. All that will matter is that you lived, you dared, and you loved.
How much I would give to be you again.
An Older, Wiser You
More “letters to my younger self”
How about you? Why not write a letter to your younger self, or a letter from your older self? It’s a great way to gain perspective.
If you want more examples of “Letters to my younger self”, read this book for inspiration from 41 famous women.