Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Letter To a Younger Me

Write a letter to a younger you. I seen this in Oprah (the magazine) the other day... thought it was a great idea. I thought hard about what age I would write to me at and I picked 18. That is the age that I made many life changing decisions and now I see i wasn't mature enough at the time, or too stubborn to really realize what I was doing. . I am thinking, maybe, I will show my daughter this when she is 18.
Letter to 18 year old Dana
Dear Dana,
First off I want to tell you that your life doesn't revolve around a man. You don't have to wonder if you are making him happy or not. You do have to worry about whether you are really happy, or whether you think you feel happy because you are with him. A relationship is give and take. You can only give so much. Don't give so much that you walk around unhappy, suspicious, and wondering what you did wrong. You are smarter than him. Don't stroke his ego and give him the power to control your feelings. Deep down inside, you know it's really you that has the power to control your heart and decide who you share it with. Don't ever slap anyone up if a man cheats on you, because BELIEVE me it is not worth it and drags you down to that level. You deserve so much more.
Speaking of what you deserve, you mama taught you better than that and you know it. It is ok to buy yourself a 40 dollar bottle of perfume and not feel guilty. Treat yourself. This is an example of making yourself happy. Listen to your mother more. She is the strongest woman you know.
Get your education. As soon as possible. Life is hard and only going to get harder...especially if you want children. I would never discourage you from having children, they are a joy and will make your future so much more enjoyable. But, get that education. Don't look at obstacles as road blocks...only detours.
Keep your journals.
Don't ever ever mistake sex for love if you are single. As I said earlier, you control your emotions. Love yourself before trying to fall in love.
Take care of yourself in all aspects; physically, emotionally, and secure your future with an education. Nothing can stop you and believe that.
Some pointers.
Just because a man can be sweet, do your hair, do your make-up, make you wear clothes in your closet you never dared...and take you out on the town, doesn't mean you can trust him. Just because he is gay, doesn't mean he is automatically cool or a saint. He is still human....be careful and choose your friends wisely.
Don't lose time with relatives over petty stuff. Treasure that time.
Don't ever.....EVER break up with a guy because he is "too nice." Bad boys will only break your heart.
Don't ever get a perm to make your hair curly.
Don't sell yourself short on your artwork....especially if you make a beaded painting.
Don't ever bartend in a dress that seems too short. People will lie to you and tell you it's not. If it feels too short, it is. Stick to the skirts or slacks. Assuming, of course, that you will bartend someday... though you may not since you should be in school. Of course, that is if...you are an exceptional 18 year old that can take advice and not know it all already.
If you ever work for a place that sends you to Florida for two weeks, it is ok to go out and party a couple of nights. Don't feel guilty if the rest of your family is sitting in the cold. PARTY! (Please for the love of god, party at least one day)
And keep better in touch with friends....the true ones, that over the years are still friends. .
And remember...don't ever wear glasses that are trendy! No matter how cool you think you look at the time!

I found writing a letter to my younger self to be very therapuetic and healing. Even if we can't change the past, we can recognize and move on. Give it a try.


Alissa said...

I remember reading this at that other place. At the time, I wasn't up to the challenge, but now, I think I might give it a try. Thanks for the inspiration.

Josie said...

Wow! This was great reflection and writing! Maybe I'll be brave enough to try this exercise. Look how much you've learned about life since 18... you are lightyears ahead of where I was at 35, so by 50 you should be a very wise "old" woman! I think your message has much to say to all young women. Have you thought about using this for a column? LOL on the curly hair perm - been there, done that.

Gina said...

THAT was the best letter to yourself I have ever read....i am taking your advice, sister.

You are a fountain of wisdom. Ya'd think you were past your prime and you are just gettin started!

Dana Dane said...

I just submitted it, we'll see if they use it. Thanks...I think in a way writing makes you wiser especially when you can look back and reflect on certain things.

Amanda said...

This is a great letter. I wish my younger self would have received a similar one...

Daisy said...

Beautiful, as usual... You have inspired me and I may steal the idea from you...

Everything you had to say... just wow. You are so introspective and honest. THIS is why I love reading you!

Josie said...

Amen to that Daisy... Dana's is the first place I check for new posts, she always writes from the heart!