Not too long ago, a friend of mine from high school (we were Academic Team buddies) posted an entry on her blog about writing to herself at 16. I made a comment and Jamie suggested it might be good Blog Fodder, and the more I thought about it, the more I agreed.
And I really agreed with Jamie on a lot of things. I wasted so much time as a teenager, worried about what everyone else thought. I tried so hard to be perfect, so hard to do whatever it took to keep everyone else happy, and I never really thought about what it was that might make me happy. I lived a very long time trying to be what I was expected to be. I got married because I had friends doing it. I was bored, I was tired of going to school, and it seemed like people (cough, cough, former in-laws) expected it, so there you go.
Sometimes I wonder, at 33, what it would be like to have all those years back. To take the time to think about what I enjoy, and what I like, and make decisions based on that, instead of what I thought I was expected to do and be. Figuring those things out now makes the whole process of making them a reality a lot harder than if I'd even thought of it at say 23.
But, there is always time to fix things. And I've come to realize that life is not necessarily about setting these big goals and knocking them down, but more about the little, everyday things that make those big goals more bearable, or more achievable.
So, 16 year old Kelly, if they ever make a time machine, and we collectively decide to go back and start figuring stuff out, remember this - be yourself. Your true, authentic, bottom of your heart self, not the one that fits in with everyone else, not the one that is afraid to rock boats and wants to be popular, but the real Kelly. And never, ever, ever give up. Those are things people cannot decide for you, and that cannot be taken away.