Today, I got a Facebook message from my friend Amanda (side note: check out her blog, it's great!). Anyway, the message was asking if we could tell our junior-high self one thing, what would it be? And that got me thinking. What would I say to my junior high self? What would I say to my high school self? What would I say to the girl that walked into this school nine months ago? What would I say, if I could?
It may be silly to think this way, but I know I would have a lot to say. I would tell my junior-high self to keep my eyes on Jesus, always. To never walk away. To chose my friends very wisely. I know, now, that my junior-high self would have never listened, as rebellious as I was. I would have done the opposite, but I now wish someone had told me these things. I wish someone had told me that life isn't perfect and the world I was finding out about is a scary place, but that doesn't mean you have to hide away from it, burrowing deeper into yourself, not allowing anyone to even come close to cracking your shell. I wish someone had told me that the friends I chose then were going to impact me in ways I never wanted to be impacted. I wish someone had told me to never, ever pick up that razor blade for the first time. I wish someone had told me I was worth more than every scar, every lie Satan had thrown at me. I wish someone had told me, and I wish, with everything in me, that I had it in me then to listen.
I would tell my high-school self that those four years suck. They suck, but they are filled with memories that will last a lifetime. I would have told myself to hold onto the few good moments and cherish them because they won't last long. I would have told myself to work less and spend more time with my best friend, because moving 700some miles away makes your best friend a stranger. I would have told myself that those friendships weren't going to last forever, they simply weren't, but that they were friendships I should have been more grateful for. I would tell myself that my worth is not found in relationships with boys. And, now, too, I wish someone had told me these things. I wish someone would have told me that high school relationships are the most pointless things on the face of the Earth and that boys lie and it sucks, but that there are actually good ones out there, so don't lose hope. I wish someone would have told me that a broken heart is not the end of the world, that there are much worse things that could happen to you, and that sometimes you just have to suck it up, delete his number, and move the heck on. I wish someone would have told me that girl talk is a deadly thing, that you need to spend more time praying about something than you do talking about it, and that gossip destroys friendships. I wish someone would have told me that the mistakes I made didn't define me. I wish someone would have told me that high school is pointless - that you don't need to work your butt off and freak out about every grade, because North Central really doesn't care anyway.
I would tell my nine-month-ago self that it gets better. That the first month of college is the hardest month of your life, that you will spend hours crying and praying that God will bring you through this. But I would tell myself that God will, in fact, bring you through this. I would tell myself to spend as much time as possible with Phoenicia, because she is going to become the most incredible best friend you will ever have. I would tell myself to loosen up a bit, that it's okay to be silly and be yourself around people. I would tell myself to cherish every moment, every memory, every trip to Applebee's, every walk to the Stone Arch, ever all-nighter, every baseball game, every ounce of laughter, every friendship, every late-night talk about God, every chapel service, every second in the prayer room, every Just Dance game, every movie, every single moment. I would tell myself to hold onto them with all that I've got because those moments have been all put together to make up the best fricken year of my life. I would tell myself that in nine months, I would be crying and begging God to make the time pass as slowly as possible because I love this place so much. And I wish someone had told me this. I wish someone had told me that the time flies way too quickly and that the friendships I made this year are going to be the people I'll know and cherish for the rest of my life, so I better take my time getting to know them. I wish someone had told me that the last week hits you like a brick, that it's the hardest thing in the world to realize that your best year of your life is almost over. I wish someone had told me to slow down and to cherish all of this.
I wish I could tell myself. I wish someone had told me. And perhaps someone did. Perhaps someone told me in junior high to chose my friends wisely, or in high school to focus more on God than relationships. I'm sure that somewhere along the way someone had told me these things. But I didn't listen. It went in one ear and out the other. I didn't pay attention to their words of wisdom and that's a shame, but it's something I can stop doing now. I can stop going back and wishing I had told myself these things or that someone had told me these things, and I can realize that right now, this moment, I will look back on it someday. And I don't want that day to be filled with "I wish I had listened"s. I want to take advantage of the wisdom of the people around me and actually listen to them. I want to listen to myself. I want to listen to God. I want to look at my life in the light of "in ten years, what am I going to want to tell myself now?" and I want to listen to those things.
So I will. I'll try, at least. To listen more. To myself and to my God and to my parents and to my professors and to my friends. I'll try to make it so that ten years from now, when I look back on the best times of my life, I won't have anything to say but "good job."