An open letter to my sixteen year old self

Dear Self,I wish I could start out by telling you that your life is going to be nothing but wonderful and you’ll never struggle a day in your life. But that’s not life – that’s not reality. You will struggle at times, but I promise that the struggle will be worth it. To see all of your hard work and sacrifice pay off is a great feeling.  
Your life isn’t going to turn out like you expected. It won’t be easy – you’ll even drop out of college at one point. But you’ll find yourself in unexpected places doing unexpected things. If I told you that in 29 years you’d have a degree in biochemistry and an MBA you wouldn’t believe me. But those are facts. Your journey to this place will be strange, but you’ll learn a lot both in and out of the classroom, and especially about yourself. Don’t pass on opportunities just because they might be hard, or not something that you want to dedicate yourself to. Take them all and learn from them. The best lessons can often be found in unexpected places.  

Don’t despair that you still don’t have a boyfriend. Because your first real boyfriend? You’ll end up marrying him. And he’s amazing. Every woman likes to think her husband is the best man in the world, but at least to me, mine really is. He’s stuck by me though so many ups and downs I can’t even begin to count. He genuinely is a good man. Pap was thrilled when I married him, and I know that his approval is important to you.  

I also want to tell you its ok to be yourself. Don’t try so hard to put yourself in a mold just to fit in. Your true friends will like you for who you are, not who you try to be. And once you figure out who you are, don’t stick yourself into another mold to fit in with people like you. It’s ok to be nerdy, its ok to be girly, and its ok to be both at the same time. Don’t let anyone dictate who you are or the things that you like. Be true to yourself, and no matter what happens you’ll always be happy. 

So embrace the nerd, embrace the girl, and don’t worry about the lack of boyfriend. It’ll all sort itself out in the end. 

Love, 

The 35-year old you 

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