It’s me again, I hope you beauts are having a wonderful Tuesday so far! Last time I wrote to you it was for my 16-year -old self which I found rather refreshing. Of course, if I had to go back in time, or tell my daughter in the future about my 16-year-old self I would remind her of a bunch of things, the do’s and dont’s of life, the ups and downs, the yeses and nos of life and so forth. But I don’t think I have touched on the later years in life that are shortly down the road. I think it is so important to write dear letters, especially to yourself, it allows you to see things from a different perspective and get all your thoughts down on paper. A lot has happened since I was 16 to now 23 and I feel that I need to remind myself a lot of things, with regards to the struggles I went through to the great memories I cherish.
You made it. You’re here. In fact, you’re almost halfway to 30, so take a step back, pat yourself on the back and congratulate yourself. This wasn’t easy I know, in fact, if I had to do it over again there are things I would do differently and change, but unfortunately, we cannot turn back time, just keep moving forward. 23 is a big year and a lot of things are happening in your 20’s. You most likely are almost done school or decided to maybe continue education like yourself and I am proud of you for doing that. I know you did not want to go back to school again, 4 years of university is a lot, and I know you get really down and hard on yourself. School was not easy for you. You had a controlling boyfriend over the years of university who reminded you how dumb you were and laughed at your ideas. But you proved him wrong. You walked across that stage proudly and accepted your diploma and got your degree. You met another young man who accepted your flaws and would remind you how creative and smart you were, you did good kid. So you did it. You completed that phase in your life, and when another opportunity came up years down the road you took it. That is one thing I want to emphasize the importance of 23-year-old self. When opportunities come your way grab them. Do not be afraid of what’s going to happen next, but take advantage of things coming your way. And your opportunity was social work, and being accepted into a college to continue your education. I am so proud of you. I know a lot more opportunities will come your way after receiving this diploma. But aside from school, there are other changes you are experiencing right now. It’s a word that starts with an “A”. You guessed it. Adulthood. If I had to explain adulthood in one sentence, it would not be easy. We all experience things at different speeds in life, but if I really had to say something I would say this, ” Adulthood isn’t easy”. I wish I was prepared more. But nobody really informed me what was coming my way. I have never really shared a house with someone, especially my significant other before. If I had to give you one piece of advice 23-year-old self, it would be that you made the right move. Sure you had your fights here and there but you tried something new. You had to accommodate and adapt to living with someone else and that is never easy. You really learn a lot about someone once you live with them. Overall, it was a great step and a big one at that. I think you made the right move.
Mental illness runs in your family, we all know that. In fact, I think everyone suffers a bit from mental illness in their life, the severity of it depends on the coping skills you know and the strategies that work for you. You found out after 23 years that you developed social anxiety and you never knew you had it. I think you secretly knew something was up, but never thought anything of it. I am so proud of you for doing something about it. You challenged yourself and took it on. Some people struggle and just keep struggling but you wanted to do something about it which is amazing. Not only did you attend meetings every Wednesday for two hours, but you blogged about your journey to share with others and that takes courage. I know you love helping people and that’s why you chose to do that. You are an inspiration to others and I am not too sure if you see that just yet. Don’t worry, one day you will take a step back and notice the little things you do in life that are amazing, like yourself. Not only have you improved on your social anxiety but you have attended several interviews since then. This was not an easy step for you to accomplish and do. You hate interviews. It’s the fact of not knowing what will come next, or what if you say something stupid and they look at you funny. It’s all these “what-ifs”, but for some reason, in these last few recent interviews, you did not ask those in your mind. You focused on how well you were going to do and believed in yourself. You trusted yourself. If there is one piece of advice I would give to you 23-year-old self it would be to trust yourself and to give yourself a chance in life. Have some faith and hope and use your coping statements, you got this. You are improving every single day, did you notice that? Did you take a step back today to notice your accomplishments? You should do that just to remind yourself. 23 is not an easy year nor is ageing into your 20’s. I honestly wish they had a pamphlet to tell you the do’s and don’ts but then again, you wouldn’t learn from your mistakes. 23-year-old self you have made so many mistakes in life, but you are still here, learning from them, and doing better the next time. That’s all I can ask for. So thank you for making this a not so hard letter for me to write, sure I could write down all the things you did wrong and let you know how badly you messed up but where is the positive in that? I know 24 is going to be the year for you, I can feel it. Thanks for making 23 a good year for me, you have come a long way, as Tom Delonge would say it, “Life’s just waiting to begin”.