Every once in a while my father will randomly text me old family pictures. Sometimes they are of him, my mother, my grandparents and also some baby photos of me. I don’t own any baby photos of myself so seeing these from time to time puts a smile on my face. This week he sent me this one, and it made me laugh because I still do this pose to feel my most confident. Seeing my younger self makes me think of what I would tell her if I had the chance to do so.
1. Embrace your personal style: In grade school, all I wanted to do was fit in. I wanted the same hair, clothes and accessories as my peers, and I would also mimic interests just to seem cool. I remember in elementary school everyone wanted Jansport backpacks and spent the entire summer ironing patches on them. Peace signs, ying yangs and smiley faces. I was more interested in vinyl plastic backpacks personally, but since I wanted to fit in, I begged my mom to iron patches on my Jansport. I would tell myself to follow my own interests and let others be inspired by what I wear, that’s how trends start!
2. Trust your instincts: There are so many times I remember doing things I knew I wasn’t supposed to be doing. Passing notes in class, using foul language and laughing when someone else was being bullied. Deep down, I knew that wasn’t the person I was, but I though that if I didn’t laugh I could be the next one being bullied. Your instincts are rarely wrong and there to protect you. None of that behavior is becoming! In fact, I may tell myself to try to go through life never saying a curse word..even now my friends make fun of me when I do curse. They say I don’t use words in the right way : )
3. You’re Beautiful!: Along with wanting to fit in, I also wanted to try hair trends I saw on other girls. My mom primarily kept my hair braided to protect it and prevent having to pull and tug it into ponytails, but all I wanted was long shiny ringlets. I would remind myself that there were so many other things I got complimented on, why focus on the braids?! I always had dimples, a bubbly personality and positive demeanor. Rock your braids girl! They will continue to come in and out of style. In fact, ask your mom if she has any ideas on more creative ways to braid your hair. Think of some ideas yourself!
4. Meet as many people as you can: I had a group of friends throughout school that I stuck to, but the more I think about it, I should have branched out more! I would tell myself to expose yourself to different cultures, ways of life, morals and interests. It will only make you a stronger person and also help you identify your own personal interests! Don’t be afraid to walk up and say hi to anyone and everyone at school….oh, and also don’t be afraid of rejection either. Everyone gets rejected through life. Keep your head up!
What would you tell yourself?