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Letter to my 18 year old self

A letter to my 18 year old selfDear Dawn,

Hello! Please don’t be too freaked out- it’s me, the 42 year old version of yourself. I know that seems rather old. Just remember, I was once where you are now, and it really doesn’t seem that long ago.

I’m not going to become your soothsayer and spell out what happens to you. That would ruin all the surprises that await you.

What I am going to do is give you a little advice to help you ease into the life that’s ahead of you. I hope you don’t mind. But knowing you (me), I don’t think that you will.

  1. Relax. Things will work out. It’s hard to imagine that they will sometimes- but trust me on this!  Drop those shoulders (something you’ll be hearing a lot!), keep your chin up, and ease up on the throttle a bit more.
  2. Laugh. Humor will help you through even the most difficult hurdles in your life. Watch for and embrace it.
  3. Always Be YourselfBe yourself. Someday you will learn just how valuable your own assets are. Learn to stick up for your ideas and talk so that you can be heard.
  4. Don’t settle. You know what you want. Go for it. It is out there!
  5. Take care of yourself. I know it seems that you can do anything, eat anything, sleep..whenever… but the more you take care of yourself now, the better I will feel later. (Don’t worry, I’m not a blob, but it’s taken a lot of work not to be so!)
  6. Use caution.  You are a trusting person. Most of the time, that will be rewarded. But sometimes, you will be used. Learn to trust your instincts and don’t do it if you’re not sure. ‘nuff said.
  7. Keep in touch. Your friends may seem like everything to you right now. Don’t forget your family, they will be your constant through all the transitions and changes in your life. Embrace them even when you feel they aren’t in tune with what’s happening. They love you no matter what, and not everyone will.
  8. Always Use CautionDon’t sell yourself short. Perhaps some things don’t come as naturally but it doesn’t mean that you can’t, it just means you may have to work a little harder at it.
  9. Write Thank You’s. A good habit to get into. One that I’m still working on!
  10. Give back. You have many talents and skills that others can benefit from. You’d be surprised how rewarding it is to use them in helping others. Stop making excuses and start now!

I’m not going to sugar coat it, your life will be difficult at times. But there are also many blessings in store for you. Continue to follow your goals and stay true to your values.

OK, I’m going to break the rules with a few more specifics that I’ve learned the hard way!  Perhaps this could prevent them from happening…

Don’t look up at a gigantic tub of laundry detergent that doesn’t seem to be coming out correctly. The results could be very painful!


Remember #9? Don’t wait around for your significant other to help you with wedding thank you’s, it may never happen!Always give back

One more piece of vague advice: If something big happens to you and you haven’t seen it coming, don’t panic. Allow the process to play out on its own- it will be ok! I wish I could be a little more specific on this one, but you’ll know what I mean when it happens!

Hang in there and enjoy your life!

With love,

You (A bit older and somewhat wiser)

 If you could give your 18 year old version some advice about what lies ahead, what would it be?

Have a Fun and Enlightening Week!

P.S. Would you like to hear some stories behind the advice to myself? Sign up for my upcoming monthly Newsletter, where I’ll decode this letter, offer helpful tips to make time for creativity this summer, and reveal future events and projects for Art At Dawn. I’d love for you to join in on the fun!

3 Comments Post a comment
  1. Dawn I love this. I’ve been keeping journals for about 3 years now, and even to look back to the 20 year old Erik, how he wrote, thought, what was important in life is very interesting to see. Things change, what you value, but I agree if you be yourself that’s all you can ask for in life


    July 3, 2014
    • Thanks, Erik! I’ve kept a journal on and off but I wish I had been better about it. Not too late, I guess! You are right about how values change, and what seems so important now may not seem so later on. But if you stay true to yourself then you’ll never veer far from the path.

      July 5, 2014
      • Its always good to look back. That is some sound advice

        July 5, 2014

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