Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Letter To My Young Life Kids

To my Young Life kids,

There's so much I wish I could say to you, so many things I've learned since I sat where you're sitting that I wish I could share with you. Here's a few quick ones. Don't sell yourself short, you have so much potential you can't even begin to imagine it at this point. You are bright, amazing and beautiful people and I can't wait to see where your lives take you.

Family is the most important thing in the world, whether it be your blood family or the family you have built for yourself. You know those teachers that you spend so much time with every week...give them a break. Most of them really care about you and want only the best for you. The love of a friend, the kind of friend who will always be there no matter what, is worth 10 boyfriends or girlfriends...I know you might not believe me, but it's true.

Yes, high school is a fun four years with a lot of learning and growing going on. But your life doesn't end at graduation, it is only beginning...there is so much more beyond those doors. Some of you have already seen more pain than you ever dreamed of. It won't be the last. But you also haven't seen the best days of your life yet. Just wait until you graduate from college, walk down the aisle towards the love of your life, find out you're pregnant with your first child. Yes, there will be many more breathless moments in your life. So don't for a second think that these are the very best days of your life.

Be careful with each other. I wish I could go back and undo all the hurt that I caused while I was in high school. Your words have the ability to hurt or heal, and not just the other students around you but also the teachers and adults as well. Your actions are not without consequences, and you probably can't even imagine how what you say or do effects other people.

Your parents probably wouldn't appreciate me saying this, but not everyone is going to know exactly what they want to do with their lives at age 17. And guess what, that's ok. At age 24, I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up. But you want to know the cool thing? Between here and "when I grow up", life still happens and for the most part, it's really good.

Sometimes you have to make the mistakes for yourself, but when it comes time to pick yourself and dust yourself off, don't be afraid to ask for a hand up.

And now the not-so-quick one:

On the topic of boyfriends and girlfriends...I know you don't want to hear this, but the one you're with probably isn't the one you're going to end up marrying. Of my entire high school class, I think there were maybe two couples who ended up getting married. Ok, I know there were actually more than that, but the rest of them got married because they got pregnant first. And I don't know of many in that group who are still together today. That being said, be careful with your heart and body. I'm speaking from experience here guys. In high school, I fell in love hard, thought I had found the man I was going to marry, and gave him age 15. But the last person who knew what I wanted or needed was me at age 15. My parents tried so hard to help me see that he was abusing me, but I thought I was in love. I stayed with him for three years and it took me another 6 years or so to gather up and mend the pieces of my heart that I had given away. As cliche as that sounds, guys, it's so true. The more you give away your heart, the harder it is to put it back together each time it's broken. And the sad part is that, when you do finally meet "the one", all that breaking and mending adds up to a very fractured heart to give to the love of your life. It makes it very hard to trust and be trusted in return. Thankfully, I have a husband who is very loving, forgiving and patient. I wish I could to back to the person I was at age 14...the person found joy in everything, who loved freely, who hadn't yet had her heart and trust broken, who respected herself. I miss that girl and I'm just now starting to get bits and pieces of her back.

There's so much more I wish I could say. I know that high school, besides being a ton of fun, can also be some of the hardest years of your life. I want you to know that I would love to talk to you about your life, about your frustrations, about the cool thing that happened today. I would love to answer any questions that you have, about life, about how much of an uncool theatre geek I was in high school, about the world beyond high school. Ask me anything, I will answer you truthfully to the best of my ability. And I want you to know that I care about you and that God loves you more than anyone on this wide Earth could ever even imagine loving you. That love can get you through the hardest, darkest moments and lead you to a life you couldn't even begin to imagine for yourself.

No comments: