I was looking for something in my garage the other day, and ended up spending 3 hours looking through boxes of old photos, yearbooks, letters, and mementos from my past. It was actually fun to just sit there and wallow in it. I found a journal I wrote in every single night during my senior year of high school. I don't think I have read it all, ..ever! I took it in the house with me, grabbed a cup of coffee, and sat down to read it.
Wow, I really was a teenager once, and a lot more naive than I want to remember. It was all full of, "I hope he likes me" "why doesn't he call" "I don't need him" "he finally called, I'm so happy" and all the silly stuff that was so important to my friends and I then; what we wore, who we were mad at, what our parents said, and so forth.
There was lots of fun stuff, but I found myself wanting to talk to the 18 year old Julie, and tell her a few things about her decisions, and her future. I thought of writing a letter to "her", and I even started it, but it was about all the stupid stuff she did and the trouble it caused me in the future. It was full of regrets and should-haves! I started feeling bad, so I stopped. What good was it going to do? It was just reinforcing my own negative self talk. I thought of something I read once that said we should spend 10% of our time thinking about the past, because we can't change it, and 10% of our time worrying about our future, because it hasn't happened yet! That leaves 80% of our time thinking about now, and the things we can do, people we can be with, events we can enjoy, and love that we can give! Who cares if I was a stupid teenager, and I made mistakes? We all did! What matters is who I turned out to be, and what I am doing now to make a difference in my and my family's life! I am not 18 year old Julie anymore, and I am glad!