Tuesday, March 31, 2015

An Open Letter To My YA Self



Dear YA Ginger,

You are about to graduate high school and walk across that stage to receive your high school diploma.  You've just spent the past four years making new friends, losing old friends, crushing on that boy from a far, studying for math exams that literally made your head hurt, staying up late into the night on the telephone, driving with the windows rolled down and the tunes cranked way up, worrying about the size of your jeans and why you are always bigger than your friends, looking to your sisters for advice but never quite knowing how to ask for it, dancing on football fields at half time, eating endless amounts of Whataburger fries with your friends, and jumping into swimming pools long after the sun went down.


You will say goodbye to your high school days with a smile on your face and a longing in your heart. You'll feel anxious to see what lies ahead, anticipating the summer you turn 18 and those last few moments spent at home before you pack it all away for college in the fall.  I know your motto right now is to "live in the moment" and worry about tomorrow when it comes.  You speak those words to your friends, even whispering them to yourself, hoping that is truly in fact how you live.  But to be honest, you are a worrier.  A planner.  Someone who has to think ahead.  Yes, you make choices that make you happy right then, but you also think about the effects of those choices later.  When you turn 30, you will finally come to terms with this about yourself.

You will chase after the boy who never stops running, making it difficult (and painful) to ever reach.  Pay attention to the boy who is standing next to you, asking to run beside you, never ahead of you.  He is the one you should give your heart to, not all those other boys who don't even know the first thing about appreciating such a precious gift that you are.  You are beautiful, no matter what size or shape you are.  You are intelligent and kind.  Your heart has the capacity to hold so much love inside.  You are worth so much more than you'll ever give yourself credit for.

You will be grateful for your parents never putting you through awkward conversations that leave you uncomfortable and wanting to pull away.  However, you'll need those conversations in the years to come.  You'll want to know what your mother would have said in those moments.  You'll long for answers to questions you'll never get advice for.  Ask questions, seek conversation, no matter how uncomfortable it may be.  These are your parents, Mom and Dad, the two people you can trust no matter what.  Open your ears and listen.  Whether you take their advice or not, that is up to you, but at least the words are there to think about.

You have reached the stage, the one that bridges the gap between your high school years and the rest of your life.  I know you'll walk across it with grace and dignity.  You might slip up now and then, falling down a few times, but have faith you'll find your footing again, you always do.  I wish I could tell you that life is beautiful, wild, and free from here on out.  I can tell you that life is an adventure, one that you will truly enjoy and fully embrace.  Will everything be just as you thought it would be?  Absolutely not.  Will you graduate college in four years, get married, and have a few kids?  No.  Will you travel the world, visit enchanting places, and see life through different lenses? Yes.  Will you find happiness when you reach 30 years old? Absolutely.  And it's a happiness you never thought you were ever deserving of.  It's a happiness that took a great loss to truly appreciate.  But its happiness nonetheless.  Hold on to that.

For your graduation gift, I've pulled a few books from my shelves that I feel you'll want to read. I know, I know, you're not much of a reader right now.  But trust me, books will become your greatest escape and the biggest catalyst for your future career.  You are a romantic at age 17 and you'll continue to be one when you reach your 30s.  So naturally I've found some books with a good dose of romance in them ;)  But I've also pulled together some books that will open your eyes, and your heart, to a world of diversity, one you'll thank me for later.

  

  

Dreamland by Sarah Dessen [add to goodreads]
Sloppy Firsts (Jessica Darling series) by Megan McCafferty [add to goodreads]
Harmonic Feedback by Tara Kelly [add to goodreads]
The DUFF by Kody Keplinger [add to goodreads]
Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson [add to goodreads]
The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han [add to goodreads]
Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway [add to goodreads]

I hope you find a romance to fall in love with, a friendship to last a lifetime, and a story to carry your heart through an endless adventure.  Pay attention to these books, I might just be hinting at some lessons you could learn from ;)  Happy Graduation Day, YA Ginger! You did it!!!

Love,
30-Something Ginger

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Enjoy this playlist I put together that brings me back to my youth :)


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For more details on this new feature, be sure to check out my INTRODUCTION POST HERE.  You'll find the full list of participants +  a GIVEAWAY!



20 comments:

  1. Loved the letter! And so many of those songs take me back to my young adult days :)

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    1. Thanks, Christy. I had a lot of fun putting that playlist together :)

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  2. I love the idea of the recommendations being sort of a graduation gift for teen Ginger. I love your letter, Ginger. I got so emotional (in the sad spectrum) in mine and yours is full of hope and wonder and hearts. Thank you for letting me be a part of this great event! <3

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    1. I think the further we are away from our teen years, the more hope we can look back on & see in our potential futures. I wasn't always this hopeful, but I've come a long way since then. Thank you for being apart of it!

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  3. I was fully planning to take part and write a letter to my YA self, but I don't know how anyone could top that! That was beautiful, and resonated with me so much! I feel like I want to write a "proper" post for this, warts and all, but it doesn't half make you feel exposed... R x

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    1. Awe, thank you! I think you should definitely join in :) Writing my letter was so therapeutic!

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  4. Okay, seriously, this had me tearing up. I have so many great memories from high school, but with everything that's happened with my marriage, I know writing a letter to myself would have been impossible at this point. I just felt this ache while reading your letter... there's no such things as do overs, but sometimes I can't help but wish it.

    (Sorry, didn't mean to be a debby downer - your letter is truly beautiful!)

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    1. Don't be sorry, Danielle, I always appreciate your honesty. And I agree, there aren't any do overs, but man I wish there were sometimes, too. So many moments I would have done differently if I could. I try not to have regrets, but its hard sometimes. Thank you for your kind words, xo.

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  5. Oh Ginger, I love this'd! And the playlist? OMG, the best. Beautiful, all around.

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    1. Awe, thanks Jessi! Writing this letter took me back to moments I hadn't thought about in awhile.. especially that boy I mentioned.. I wonder what he's up to now, hehe. And you KNOW I had to include music with this post ;)

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  6. Oh my gosh, Ginger, this is such a beautiful post. I love the music you listed along with it, I know I can remember several songs from my high school years. I remember getting your email regarding this special feature, but somehow it had slipped my mind (of course!). Gah. I might have to join in a little and post something on my own blog (with a link back here of course) over the next month. Anyway, this is such an amazing post. Thanks for sharing it! I can't wait to read everyone else's letters. <3

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    1. Oh I hope you do join in! I would love to read your letter :) Thanks so much for your kind words, Amber.

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  7. I really love this feature, Ginger. I may have to type up a post of my own one day and link it back to your original post. I really like the advice that you gave your YA self. Personally, I can relate to the idea of having more awkward conversations with your parents. Honestly, I think that is one of the things I miss the most when it comes to my dad. We would talk about things and he would give me advice (as long as it wasn't about "female things" as he didn't deal very well with them) but sometimes I can't wish I had more experiences like that with him. I do hold the advice that I was able to get from him close to my heart and use it as a reminder not to take people for granted as you never know when it might be the last time you see them. That is also something I would bestow on my YA self for sure as its something she would really need to know. <3

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  8. Wow.

    So first of all, I had no idea that you were in your thirties until you commented on my letter. I thought you were like twenty-two or twenty-three.

    Secondly, your letter is so sweet! I loved reading it! It seems like you had an eventful high school experience that would translate into a very well=written YA book, especially the stuff about riding with the windows down and crushing on the wrong boy. It just seems like a perfect book.

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  9. Oh G, your letter is lovely! I loved seeing your gratitude for the wonderful things you had, and your advice on the things you might have changed just a little. It's such an honest, open letter and I'm so thrilled you decided to open your heart to us, your readers <3

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  10. Awww your letter is so sweet! It's so interesting reading everyone's letters and seeing how some sentiments are so similar and how we've all changed so much since high school! Thanks for sharing this little piece of your past and your personal life with us! It's so wonderful reading everyone's letters!

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