life Who I Am

Daily Post Day 45: Letter to my 16-year-old self

Hey Helene,


You probably don’t know me yet. I’m your 26-year-old self. Crazy, right? You definitely didn’t recognize me when you first saw me.

What I am about to tell you might shock you a bit but also put you at ease. I know right now you are hung up over boys (like any other adolescent girl), but you are also so intent on proving to others you are a great trumpet player. I won’t say you aren’t, because I do believe you have a lot of potential and focus.

One thing I wish to tell you about boys: stop chasing the ones who won’t show you the affection you desire. Does chasing ever bring about a great result? Sure, wild predators chase and get their prey and enjoy their fruits of labor. But those are animals. When humans chase humans, rarely does it turn out in the chaser’s favor.

There will be a special someone in your life. Just not right now. Focus on your studies first, as Mommy has told you countless times.

And, Helene. About your talent in music: it is a beautiful gift, and I only wish you could have kept it up after that first year in college. That’s okay; what I want you to know right now is that you don’t have to feel like it’s all or nothing with your music. Don’t you feel any other passions coming forth? What happened to your writing from your elementary days? Do you have a mind for business like your parents and your elder siblings? Why don’t you explore that?

And then, about your weight. It feels like it will never come off, all those pounds. I know growing up with a lot of stick-thin classmates does not bode well on your self-esteem. I remember that feeling very well of going to buy that first pair of jeans, only to see that I had to wear a size 16…way before the teenage years! But here, Helene: IT GETS BETTER. To this day, I still can’t explain to myself how it all happened, but it happened: all that weight melted away! Oh, of course I am still wanting to gain more muscle (and lose that pooch on my belly). But honest to goodness, you are going to LOSE IT. And you are going to amaze all those who grew up around you as a girl who wore size 18 jeans and size XXL shirts.

Some things I want you to keep the same over the next ten years: Keep up that smile. Keep up that obsession with shoes (it gets fancier as you grow older!). And stay confident and focused on whatever passion comes up. Never lose hope and keep your eyes straight ahead.