November 4, 2017

75 Notes to Self.

Sometimes I wonder what I might say to my former, less secure, younger self if I had the chance.

Would I warn myself about one-sided relationships? Would I advocate for self-love and more confidence? Would I talk about how much I wish I’d focused on learning rather than achievement?

Would I tell myself to follow my dreams at all costs? I look back at years of lessons learned the hard way and wonder what I might have done differently if I knew then what I now know.

Even if I could go back and speak to that person, would the younger me even listen? Probably not. After all, she thought she knew everything. And in the words of Elizabeth Gilbert, “You don’t know until you know.”

But, what if I were to say the words to that younger me and let them reverberate to the me of now? To the you of now? What if we can take these lessons to heart? Because, I don’t know about you, but sometimes the girl I was creeps up inside of the woman I am now.

I hear her fears and her insecurities and the security blanket stories she’s carried around long after she should have grown out of them. Maybe if I say what I needed to hear then, I’ll hear it now on those days that are tough, when our younger selves creep up on us.

I began to think of the essential truths that are universal to us all. I began to wonder how to abbreviate years of experience into three words or less to communicate powerful ideas.

Right now, I think I should be more fearless so I started with that. I thought about family and relationships and school and careers. I thought about our relationships with ourselves and with others and what we could learn that might make the world a little better, a little kinder, and a little more loving. I wanted to communicate to myself and to others some simple truths that are oh-so-easy to forget in our busy lives.

So here are 75 letters (in three words or less) to our former selves (and to ourselves right now).

Dear Us of Then (and Us of Now):

  1. Be fearless.
  2. Take the risk.
  3. Tell the truth.
  4. Say no.
  5. Just love.
  6. Let go.
  7. Stop holding on.
  8. Live in love.
  9. Respond, not react.
  10. Listen.
  11. Be you.
  12. Embrace authenticity.
  13. Speak your truth.
  14. Find your tribe.
  15. Be at peace.
  16. Accept what is.
  17. Lean in.
  18. Stop resisting change.
  19. Rest—don’t quit.
  20. Be kind more.
  21. Tell a friend.
  22. Learn to forgive.
  23. Enforce firm boundaries.
  24. Seek balance.
  25. Live your dreams.
  26. Chase your bliss.
  27. Break some rules.
  28. Appreciate your education.
  29. Be present now.
  30. Pause before texting.
  31. Ignore other opinions.
  32. Look for opportunities.
  33. Invest in friendships.
  34. Don’t loan money.
  35. Build your savings.
  36. Be more active.
  37. Trust your intuition. 
  38. Prioritize your health.
  39. You are enough.
  40. Love your body.
  41. Love yourself.
  42. Celebrate you.
  43. Stop people pleasing.
  44. Share your struggle.
  45. Ask for help.
  46. You can.
  47. Take responsibility.
  48. Be accountable.
  49. Just keep going.
  50. Never lose hope.
  51. Just be still.
  52. Forgive yourself.
  53. Create art.
  54. Don’t use people.
  55. Don’t be used.
  56. Practice patience.
  57. Pay better attention.
  58. Enjoy your life.
  59. Worry less.
  60. Love more.
  61. Stress less.
  62. Accept your imperfections.
  63. Trust that everything works out.
  64. Trust in timing.
  65. Take more vacations.
  66. Say the thing.
  67. Speak in kindness.
  68. Speak from love.
  69. Don’t respond immediately.
  70. Be more vulnerable.
  71. Cry more.
  72. Laugh more.
  73. Be amazing.
  74. Love every minute.

Sincerely with love,

All of Us


Author: Crystal Jackson
Image: Brad Neathery/Unsplash
Editor: Lieselle Davidson
Copy Editor: Sara Kärpänen

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