Advice, Body Image, Identity, Personal Growth, University of Oklahoma

Dear Younger Me

dear-younger-me-2I know you probably won’t want to read this. You would rather be doodling, taking a drive with nowhere to be to clear your head, or doing anything but taking advice from me. But if I could go back and give you some advice in hopes of making anything easier for you, it would be this:

You spend so much time planning out every minute of your day so you can find a sense of control. Don’t. You constantly stress about what you need to eat for your practice later in order to feel light enough to tumble, but energetic enough to make it through your floor routine…just enough that you don’t feel too heavy to make it over the vault table, but enough to feel focused for beam. Don’t try to fix your body. It was never broken. I know you don’t believe it, but it’s all in your head. Trust me. Trust your coaches. Trust your body. You made it this far.

You are not perfect. No matter what you do or say or how hard you try, you are human and infallible. You can’t change that so quit trying. It’s wasted energy. You are destroying your body for a peace of mind you’ll never get. You will spend too much time disliking your looks. That’s time you won’t get back. Be you. You are beautiful. You alone are enough.

I know you’re scared…You’re scared of being your “best” self because you’re scared that still won’t be good enough. You’re scared to take off your mask because you don’t want the real you to be too disappointing. You self-sabotage instead. You fail; you screw things up every chance you get. You’re scared that every day is the day that people will stop liking you. It’s not them, sweetie. It’s you. You don’t like yourself. But you will.

I know you’re lost…confused…desperate…ashamed. You will make mistakes. You will act on the belief that you are defective, bad. You’re not. You are human. You are a good person who has gone through some bad times. The sooner you grasp that, the better you will be.

Allow people to love you, Hunter. Don’t fear their abandonment. If you are constantly afraid that they will leave you, you won’t be able to enjoy the fact that they don’t intend or want to. Accept that people CAN love you, WANT to love you, and DO love you. It’s hard, but you’ll get there. Not everyone leaves.

I know things are a mess right now and you’re sure they’ll never recover. But they will. You’ve come a long way. You are stronger than you know. You are worthy. You are lovable.

Stop worrying so much and breathe. Seriously. Freaking breathe. It will be okay!

Sincerely,

Your Slightly Wiser Self

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