To My Dearest Shannon,
You are 16 years old. A sophomore in high school. Continually worried about boys, grades, your size, and still figuring out who you are. I want to tell you that I am proud of you and I love you.
I am proud of you for doing so well in high school (you graduate at the top of your class). But it’s really not the grades that matter. It’s the fact that the classes you took, the effort you put into your coursework truly shaped your future work ethic. You are passionate. You get what you want. Maybe not on the first, second, or even third attempt, but ultimately if you continue to work hard and work towards a goal you can almost always achieve it.
Thanks for investing your time and energy into your friends. The people you surround yourself with now are so good, so genuine, and will continue to be your dearest friends through college and into young adulthood.
You are beautiful. I know you are sad that you aren’t tall and lean. But you are truly gorgeous. I want you to love your athletic build, and your long, thick, sun-kissed hair. You are stunning in your own way, and I want you to relish in the beauty of your youth, for it is ever-fleeting.
You’ve met your future husband. It’s crazy, but it’s true! Learn from him, soak him up, and be kind. Listen to his stories, adopt his patience, and enjoy your pure love and affection for one another. You’ll realize how rare your relationship is in the future. Grow with him, love him, take each other on adventures, and continue to make memories together.
Shannon. You are great. You are smart, and strong-willed. Don’t be jealous of others. Continue to laugh, love, and go to innocent house parties. Enjoy your friendships, long nights with long walks accompanied by long talks. Live your youth. Don’t grow up too fast.
Much love and affection,
23 Year Old You