What I would do to sit down and chat with the 8 year old me. Chelsey: the second grade child who loved to read and play pretend and kiss her parents goodnight. Would she be proud of the woman sitting before her? Would she recognize me? Would she love me.
I imagined myself in Mrs. Jansen’s second grade classroom with my friends, Courtney and Emma, and think back to the carefree recesses and simplistic lifestyles we led. I desperately wanted to grow up, only to turn around and wish I could be 8 again in that basement classroom with only the people who cared about what we were eating for lunch and not the clothes we wore on our backs.
Oh, the life.
So, if I had the chance, what would I tell her? What would I tell that sweet, child that I was over a decade ago?
1. Do it for the story. Say yes to as many things as possible. Whether it turns out well or terrible, it becomes a part of your story, your journey, and will ultimately shape you into who you will become.
2. Stop worrying about your weight. If you want to get fit and strong, DO IT. But don’t walk around all self-conscious about your appearance. You’re a beautiful, young girl. Wear it proud!
3. Hang out with people who make you laugh. Don’t underestimate laughter and humor in everyday people. Life is too short not to laugh too much.
4. Learn as much as you can. Absorb as much information from your education as possible. You can never know too much.
5. With that being said, never play the dumb girl. EVER.
6. Find some hobbies you love. Maybe one to spend time with mom or dad and maybe one to make you a more well-rounded individual. Find some hobbies and practice till you bleed (sometimes literally.)
7. Never stop writing. Whether you’re keeping a journal under your bed or you blog to a million followers, never stop writing and producing and creating.
8. Don’t sweat the small stuff. That one race you didn’t win in track? Doesn’t matter. That one sleepover you didn’t get invited to? Forget it. You’re bigger than your circumstances.
9. Fall in love with yourself before you let someone else do it. Seriously, when you know and love yourself first, you won’t hurt as badly when it comes crashing down around you. You’ll walk away just as full of an individual as the strong girl who walked into that relationship. Remember: you are so much more than someone’s significant other.
10. You do you, girl. Seriously, do you so hard. Life is too short not to. You want to pursue something? Pursue it with everything you have. And when you think you’ve given all that you’ve got, give it 110% more. You are capable of so many wonderful and incredible things. You are not just a daughter or a sister or a roommate or a student. You are a woman, an individual who has a world of opportunity lying ahead of her. Choose to take the path less traveled. Does it make you uncomfortable? Yes. Good. You’re doing something different. Stand up for what you believe in, and don’t back down. You are capable. You are worthy. You are enough.