To The People We Used To Be

I wanted to write an article about the person I used to be. In theory, it was a great concept, until I quickly realized how difficult it was to think of the things I’ve overcome since my four-eyed brace-face days. I think it’s so easy for us to forget where we came from, especially if it’s a point in our lives we’re not particularly fond of. But what I’ve concluded is that no matter how much I evolve as a person, to some extent, I will always be the person I once was. If it weren’t for her, I wouldn’t be who I am now. But as a twenty-something who refuses to forget who she once was, I do want to share the things I have grown out of (and surprisingly, I’ve grown out of more things than my glasses and my braces).

At 21 years old, here are 21 things I would say to the person I used to be:

  1. What you feel and everything you’ve accomplished are what you are… not your appearance.
  2. But it’s absolutely OK to be a girl that does her hair and makeup, and it’s also OK to admit it’s for a guy. But also remember that you don’t have to do anything to impress anyone else but yourself.
  3. Only say sorry if you mean it. Not everything is your fault, but accept it when it is.
  4. Be passionate about the people and things you love.
  5. Grow a backbone and stop being a doormat to someone. You. Are. Better. Than. That.
  6. Be the type of person you would want to be best friends with.
  7. We can’t control everything, but we can learn to let go.
  8. Don’t lose yourself over people that chose to lose you.
  9. Remember when you were put on time out? That’s because it was a lesson to be accountable for ourselves and our actions.
  10. The most perfect thing we could do for ourselves is to accept that perfection is unattainable.
  11. But there is also no such thing as having too high of standards. Patience really is a virtue and settling should never ever be an option.
  12. In order to make someone proud, be proud of yourself and who you are.
  13. Life will get better than this.
  14. Stand up for yourself and what you believe in, and don’t do things you wouldn’t choose to do just because they may seem “cool.”
  15. Even if they don’t say it every day, your family loves you. And it’s not childish of you to remind them that you feel the same way.
  16. There’s always two sides to every story.
  17. “Gay” and “retarded” are not adjectives for stupid, and you sound stupid for using those words in that way.
  18. Your intuition is never a coincidence. Don’t ignore it.
  19. It’s OK to have feelings.
  20. That jerk who made fun of you for being a four-eyed brace-face all of middle school is going to hit on you when you finally grow out of your awkward stage.
  21. Don’t worry your life away.

Photo taken by Colleen Scobie

Ella
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