Many people talk about what they would say if they could write a letter to their seventeen year old selves. Just look at Brad Paisley; he made millions writing a song about it. Well I probably won’t make millions… sigh… but I’m going to take it up a year. And write an open letter to myself at 18. And then sort of 19, 20, 21.. Maybe even 22. But mostly to 18 year old me.
If for some odd reason you really do find yourself eighteen years old and reading a letter from your 23 year old self.. Relax. It really is me. I finally did something that’s been on your bucket list forever and made, us, a blog. Well now that I’ve made the blog I’m not 100% sure what to write about.. but that’s why we didn’t categorize it. We’re calling it an anything blog. Sit back on your twin sized mattress which lays on your floor because your bed frame broke and you haven’t gotten that heavenly new mattress yet, and take in what I’m about to tell you. Some of it may hurt, but it’s important.
Now I want you to keep in mind, if not for the path you’ve taken, you wouldn’t have the amazing friends that you do.. and most importantly your son. So don’t fret, you are going to be okay. I just want to give you a few things to remember when things get tough.
First things first,
STOP LETTING PEOPLE WALK ALL OVER YOU.
You aren’t going to admit it to yourself… it’s going to take a few years but you’re in a lot of one sided friendships. And right now you’re probably in a one sided, almost, kind of, but not really a relationship because he doesn’t want to “put a label on it”? Yeah. I know. It hurt my head writing it. So you may want to save yourself the headache and heartache that’s to come and just slam that door shut while you still can. The positive thing to come out of these one sided friendships is you will find out who your true friends are. One way or another. And after you’ve sat and given some thought to who those true friends may be, you need to tell them thank you. They’re the ones who are going to be right by your side without hesitation taking on the tough times ahead with you. You’re not losing yourself doing anything and everything for them, with little to nothing in return. It’s truly a mutual friendship. When you realize who these friends are and what all you guys do for each other, it’s a breath of fresh air. You’re not going to realize it for a while.. But you are blessed to have them. And in a few years you’re going to find yourself thanking those select few friends, some which you haven’t even met yet, for standing by your side in the best but also hardest time of your life. But you get to this point by weeding out the leeches in your life. It hurts, damnit. It hurts like Hell. Some of the best memories you have in your short life are with those people. But I’m writing to you as living proof that life. goes. on. It will be okay. There is a light at the end of the tunnel.
I’m also here to teach you one little word that will bring you much relief if you can just get past your fear of saying it. You might even know what I’m going to say. It’s all of two letters.. so easy, yet so hard.
Okay… get ready to say it with me..
It’s okay to say no. In fact, saying no to some of the things that are going to come your way soon will save you a lot of unnecessary heartache in the end. Whether it be to friends, boyfriends, family, work. You’re a people pleaser, Meghan. Which has it’s positives and negatives. The negatives will be, you’re going to spread yourself too thin trying to please every body. It’s just not possible. You can’t and will never please everyone..
And that’s okay..
Right now you’re probably finding your self confidence through your work. You’ve figured out you’re good at selling. You’re a hard worker. You love being there. The clients are great, your co-workers are some of your best friends. Everything about this job seems perfect, right?
The tanning salon will connect you to some people that you will still find yourself talking to occasionally when you’re 23. You stay connected with many of them on Facebook. Many of the women you worked with there you still have a lot of respect for. We’ve all gone on to have kids, get married, are in serious relationships, we’re in school or different careers. You’ve all grown up. I promise this happens because I know this may seem like a foreign concept right now, but, there is life outside of work. You are going to miss out on some things because of work, whether at the tanning salon or the bar jobs you go on to have. Some of that is just life. Work happens. But some of it is because you can’t bring yourself to say that little two letter word we talked about earlier.
It is okay to not take the shift sometimes. Your jobs have all taught you so much, trust me. You should be nothing but grateful for the opportunities you’ve had through them and the people you’ve met. But DON’T LOSE YOURSELF IN YOUR WORK. It feels good to hear how great you are at your job. I understand. But it’s not a reason to bury yourself and avoid what you need to get done.
Which is school.
You need to get that paper.
You’re going to have a battle in your head.. “I don’t need school,” “I’ll be fine,” “I’ll just work as a bartender they make great money!” Which is true. Many bartenders you’ll meet later on will make great money. Including yourself when the opportunities were there. But the service industry isn’t for you. You will bury yourself in it. You’ll find your tank so close to empty that all you’re running on is a lot of repeat promises and compliments from customers or co-workers. Everyone should serve for a few months. It humbled you, it really did. The physical and mental work involved in serving, it’s not for the faint of heart. And you’ve met great people at both bars you’ve worked at too. Co-workers that turn into friends and quickly turn into family. One friend you meet at your first bar will go on to be a sister to you! There are positives and negatives to the jobs you will take on after graduating.. I’m just here to tell you…
Don’t lose yourself in it.
Don’t miss out on things with your family or friends because of work. Don’t drain yourself and then try to fill your tank back up with as much vodka as you can at the end of the night. But WAIT. Why not? It’s right in front of your face, right? Go for it. Drink up sister!? No.. in all seriousness, the service industry is not for you long term. You’ll be thankful for your time in it, for the people you’ll meet there, but you’ll be even more thankful for your parents who helped bring you back to reality and realize that it’s not for you long term. So stop burying yourself in work to avoid your low self esteem and your schooling. Get the paper.
I guess I am writing this to tell you, whatever you’re feeling now, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. You’re going to find yourself at times wondering, “why me?” or “when is this going to end?” and I’m here to tell you the pain whether it be physical or emotional, does end. Then new pain comes along.. but that ends too.
I’m writing this to tell you, while we do believe that God puts people in our lives for a reason, don’t lose yourself trying to please those people. Yeah the memories are great, and you’re more than thankful for the time you shared with them.. But they’re not going to be there in the end. And that’s okay.
Keep doing what you’re doing, I’m just here to tell you to grow some thicker skin. That saying “no” isn’t as hard as it physically feels. And I’m here to tell you to be more thankful for your mom. It doesn’t matter if you’re 3, 12, 18, 23, 45, 103. The one true constant from the beginning has been and will always be your mom.
The heartbreak heals. Then turns into different heartbreak. Then heals again. It always heals. Just remember what’s important.
..and your football. ‘Go Big Red‘