Today is day 10 of the WEGO Health ~ The Health Activist Writer's Month Challenge 2012. I will be writing a post everyday this month and each will in some way focus on what life is like with fibromyalgia (as well as other health issues including migraines, hypothyroidism, and polycystic ovarian syndrome).
Dear 16-year-old-me. For some, that age was only a few years ago, for others it is in the distant past and yet some of us have yet to even reach it. But no matter when you were 16, the age stands the test of time. It is an age of freedom, uncertainty, curiosity, late nights with friends, adventures, tears, laughter, health and lessons learned (the good and the bad). Knowing what you know now, what would the older, wiser, Health Activist in you say to 16-year-old you? Would it be words of advice? Comfort? Truth?
Write about the picture below. I don’t need to remind you to be creative; yall do that wonderfully on your own.
Dear 16 year old me:
19 years! That's how long it's been since I was 16. Hard to believe. Some days it seems like only yesterday. Some days it seems like forever ago. As I think of what one thing I'd like to tell you, my thoughts go to expectations.
There are so many expectations that are placed on you, by school, by work, by family, by friends, by the world and even by yourself. Expectations can be so painful and can destroy and divide and defeat especially when those expectations aren't met. And let me just be frank here, you're never going to be able to meet the expectations of everyone and everyone is never going to meet all your expectations. And you cannot live your life trying to meet everyone's expectations. It will do more harm than good.
I love the words of one of my favorite authors Ann Voskamp about expectations. "It’s the unmet expectations in life that undo us. Expecting the world of ourselves and much of the world — and us all crashing and burning and hurting. What if we laid down the expectations — of our parents and of ourselves and of perfection — so we could hold each other?"
So 16 year old me, take a deep breath, feel my arms around you giving you a big hug, and lay down those expectations that you're placing on yourself and others are placing on you so you can just be you. Be you because you are beautiful and amazing and precious and loved just the way you are!
Grace and Peace,
Your almost 35 year old counterpart
Image Credit: Here and Here