I Wish I Could Tell My Younger Self How Amazing She Was

When I was young, my priorities were whack and I had no idea how pretty, smart and talented I was. I wish I could give my young self a big hug and let her know that everything — including her — was going to turn out not just okay, but wonderful.

  1. I was so scared of everything. I had no idea who I was or what I wanted. Of course everyone learns those things with time, but I was quite the late bloomer. I wish I had understood myself earlier. I let my fears dictate how I lived my life, and they made me very unhappy. I would definitely go back and tell young me that she had immense power living buried inside her if she’d only let go.
  2. I didn’t know how to be myself. It’s hard to be yourself when you don’t know who that person is. I changed a lot in my twenties, just like everyone else, but it wasn’t until I had a major life crisis and got very depressed that I finally began making the essential changes that would allow me to love myself and be who I really am. I was so scared of being myself that I wasted a ton of time and energy trying to be something else entirely.
  3. I let others determine how I felt about myself. I was so worried about what others thought that I let it consume me. I didn’t understand that I was never going to make everyone like me, so I might as well just be myself and enjoy myself. Life is too short to worry so much, but I was a ball of anxiety. I would take that girl by the shoulders and tell her to stop wasting her thoughts on crap that doesn’t matter.
  4. I didn’t trust myself. I probably could’ve figured out what I want from life much sooner if I had known how to listen to my inner voice. I was so indecisive and unsure of myself that I constantly worried that the way I felt about things was wrong, especially if anyone disagreed with me. I was afraid to stand up for what I thought and believed. This led to a lot of wrong turns, and I wish I could tell younger me to listen to her heart.
  5. I had no idea how beautiful I was, inside and out. I was so insecure and I had absolutely no confidence in my inner strength. I thought I was fat and ugly and a million other ridiculous things, but at the time I had no idea how to feel differently. I was stuck in so many crappy thought patterns and I didn’t have anyone to teach me how to cope. I wish I could go back and be there for young me in all her pain and frustration and help to lead her out of those dark places.
  6. I only saw my flaws instead of celebrating my strengths. For every one thing I kind of liked about myself, there were ten things I hated. I was so hard on myself! No one can succeed when they beat themselves up the way that I did. It was completely self-defeating and I wish I could’ve changed my inner voice to uplift and empower instead of put down and degrade.
  7. I put way too much stock in the opinions of men. Because I was insecure, I cared a lot about how men saw me. I invested all my self-worth in whether they thought I was attractive and worthy of attention. If they didn’t, I was nothing, and if they did, I felt wonderful. There’s no stability in that sort of mindset, and it led to years of co-dependent behavior on my part. I know better now and I wish I could go back and help young me change her patterns.
  8. I placed all my worth in my outward appearance. I have trichotillomania: an impulse control disorder that causes me to compulsively pull my eyelashes and eyebrows. Quite predictably, this has led to a lot of depression and self-loathing, especially in my younger years. I felt ugly all the time, even when others constantly told me otherwise. I still struggle with it, but I want to go back and tell my younger self to be kinder and gentler with herself.
  9. I had my priorities all wrong. I thought I needed to look a certain way and have certain things and be in a certain place in life. I always felt bad about myself because I wasn’t where I “should’ve” been. It was such a waste of my time and energy to feel that way. Instead of growing and improving, it put me in a static and depressive state. I wish I had known everything I know now.
  10. I never believed all the people who recognized my worth because I didn’t know it myself. It’s impossible to believe something other people tell you if you don’t truly believe it in your heart. Someone could’ve told me I was beautiful and amazing and smart until they were blue in the face, and I wanted to believe it, but I just didn’t. Looking back on it makes me so sad, but also grateful to be where I am now. I want to take that young, sad, scared girl and give her hope and joy for the future, because everything turned out okay.
A former actress who has always loved the art of the written word, Amy is excited to be here sharing her stories! She just completed her first novel, and is also a contributor for Elite Daily, Dirty & Thirty, and Thought Catalog. Amy is the founder of What If Journey and can be found on Twitter @amyhorton18. You can also visit her website at amyhorton.net.