In 9th grade, our English teacher had us write a letter to our future self. I’m sure it was filled with inside jokes and things I thought I’d want to remember. I probably did my best to sound wise. We talked about our hopes, what we thought we’d being doing as college freshman, and what we saw ourselves doing long term. At that time, I definitely didn’t know what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. So, I can only imagine what 9th grade me pictured herself studying. I remember someone in the class put $20 in that envelope. Freshman year of college, she mailed them to us. I remember my excitement getting mine. As I write this, I cannot remember one single thing from that letter. It’s funny how what was once so important is completely forgotten. The small memories of the past fade quickly. However, there are some memories from our past that stay with us longer than we’d ever want. They set up camp and constantly remind us they exist, as much as we’d rather forget.
Some songs catch you off guard. If you know me, I have two main types of music taste
1) Things with an indie/folk feel
2)Things with a 2000’s punk-pop/ emo feel
So, for me, it’s even weirder when the typical Christian radio stations catch me off guard. They’re normally positive, and upbeat, just not my preference. The first time I heard “Dear Younger Me” by MercyMe, it got to me. It was Mrs. Mccormick’s 9th grade project in reverse. It wedged itself in my brain as I thought about what I would tell myself. In the song, they weigh the options. Do I tell myself to avoid the dumb decisions, give some pep talk about making the most out of my life, or somewhere between those two options? In the end, what the song decides is simple.
Here is my condensed version:
Dear Younger Me,
Be nicer to yourself. You are your own worst enemy. Stop second guessing yourself and trust your gut. You’re not the worst singer ever;so, try out for select choir and stop being afraid. Don’t walk away from people who make you feel less about yourself; run and don’t consider looking back. Never stop thinking for yourself. Care little about what others are doing. Don’t be ashamed and don’t hold back. Know what is not worth compromising. Write and sing and read and learn.
It’s not forever. It gets better. You get better.You matter so much. Learn to believe it. God matters all the time. Everything else is garbage. Absolute garbage.