Sweet girl, seize a little more confidence.
You are more capable than you think.
And the county reporter’s job isn’t that bad.
Keep the music degree.
But for the love of Grandpa, take some business and finance classes and join the debate team.
Take an acting class.
Enter more speech competitions.
I promise, if you don’t, you’ll wish you had.
Stop hesitating on those ideas of yours.
The window won’t be open long.
Get to know your professors.
They would like you to talk to them more, I promise.
Ask Grandpa to talk about the wars.
Stay in touch with JC.
Don’t stop writing letters.
Love yourself enough to have boundaries.
You have a right to safety.
When you head to California next year, take advantage of every opportunity, including sound advice.
Go to Magic Mountain with your friends.
Go on the ski trip.
I know you don’t have the money.
Find a way. It will be worth it.
That campus will close, and you won’t have the time left that you thought.
Also, don’t talk to strangers in CA.
And don’t walk alone.
You have no idea the danger there.
Thankfully a few of your friends do, and they will watch out for you.
Speaking of, you will make many new friends–don’t be afraid of them.
When Elaine asks you to call, don’t forget.
When you head to Texas the year after that, take advantage of every opportunity.
Adopt others into your family.
Take breaks just for yourself.
Accept those free horseback riding lessons!
It’s not laziness, I promise.
Grades aren’t everything.
You are going to break your immune system, so stop it now.
And stop sacrificing sleep because a friend needs to talk.
They can talk to you in the morning. I promise–you won’t miss anything.
Friendship should never bring you to the brink of death.
Don’t get the tonsillectomy, but do see the surgeon in New Orleans.
Remember the people who show up.
Open yourself to new career ideas and swap to a better major.
Watch out for the math classes, though.
That plan of yours to take all your high school math when you were 14, so your grades stayed high?
Yeah, it doesn’t work out so well when you wait a few years before taking college algebra II.
Your authenticity is a strength, not a weakness.
And your loyalty is a breath of fresh air.
Stop beating yourself up for being honest; it’s what your friends count on.
And don’t be timid about keeping up with your relationships.
You may feel awkward and afraid, but so is everyone else your age.
And most of your friends in college have no idea that you’re terrified.
They don’t see you the way you do.
One day those relationships will save your life.
And one day, many will pass away.
Your choice to call and write everyone you can is the right one, even if you don’t get to everyone.
So don’t give up.
Dare to define yourself.
Dare to create something worthy.
Trust your gut.
When it tells you to run, don’t hesitate.
It’s the right choice–never to violate your conscience.
Stop doubting what you know to be true.
It’s OK not to know where the next step is sometimes.
That and compassion will get you everywhere you need to be.
Don’t let anyone tell you it’s God’s will that you be barren.
And don’t you ever feel ashamed for challenging the system.
When your body changes, love it.
She’s so much stronger and heartier than you realize.
Everything you need truly is inside you.
And the right people will accept all of you.
Keep your mind and body plastic.
Keep writing in your journal.
Take a risk making new friends.
And label those photos.
Above all else–
Love and believe in yourself.
September 3, 2022
Copyright © 2022, Julia Meek Chambers, all rights reserved. No part of my post, writing, or words may be copied and shared without my express written permission and attribution.