If you could give your younger self any piece of advice, any at all, what would it be?
That’s the premise behind this really cool YouTube initiative I just happened to stumble upon (I may or may not be procrasti-writing). This particular initiative encourages people to upload a video letter to the site, addressing their younger selves and the struggles/challenges/insecurities they faced growing up.
While it’s a couple years old, it’s worth a watch (or three). #DearMe is an empowering and inspirational campaign that asks the question, “What would you differently?” More importantly, it is a strong reminder that you, yes YOU, are enough just the way you are.
That you, yes YOU are amazing and beautiful and smart and all around kick-ass. I absolutely love this idea, and while it was originally created in coalition with National Women’s Day which takes place on May 8th every year, I don’t feel that it should be just directed at women alone, but everyone in general.
Every one of us has our own insecurities, even the people you least expect. I think it’s up to us to help this next generation who is beaten down by bullying not to just accept who they are, but to also, and more importantly, love who they are.
In observance of this awesome campaign, I was inspired to do my own #DearMe entry. Here are just some of the things I would like to tell the younger me.
- #DearMe, happiness is found when you stop comparing yourself to others and celebrate your rocking individuality.
- #DearMe, take risks. Don’t be afraid to fail. Try. Try again.
- #DearMe, you may not be able to change the world, but you can surely try.
- #DearMe, when you smile, smile with your whole self. When you laugh, laugh from your whole soul. When you love, love with your whole heart.
- #DearMe, learn that it’s okay to say, “no.”
- #DearMe, crimped hair would be a good thing to say a big, “HELL NO!” to. Just leaving that little nugget here as an example. And because CRIMPED HAIR!
- #DearMe, your value has nothing to do with a silly size or any number on a scale. Nor does it have anything to do with the clothes you wear, the makeup applied or the way you style your hair. You are beautiful; freckles, scars, sweatpants and all.
- #DearMe, not everyone is going to like you. And that is OKAY.
- #DearMe, sometimes it’s okay to treat yo’ damn self! Necessary in fact. So grab that book, take that bubble bath and go to town on that pint of Ben & Jerry’s. You’ll thank me future me later.
- #DearMe, don’t ever take for granted your family and friends. Call them just because. Pop over to see them. Tell them you love them as much as you can. If you’re lucky enough to have people in your life who love, support you [and make you ugly man laugh and smile] unconditionally, don’t ever let them go.
- #DearMe, just because you’re an adult, doesn’t mean you can/should eat ice cream for breakfast. HAHAHAHAHA!! Just kidding. Of course that’s what it means!!!!
- #DearMe, you will fall in love, you will get your heart broken, you will doubt if you will ever be able to fully heal. Don’t worry. You will. You will eventually meet someone who is the peanut butter to your jelly, the chocolate chip to your cookie, the Jim to your Pam. And when you do #DearMe, enjoy every damn second. When you smile with and because of this person, smile with your whole self. When you laugh with and because of this person, laugh from your whole soul. When you love and love because of this person, love with your whole heart.
- #DearMe, relaxxxxxxxxxxx the fuck out. Stop trying to plan everything, to control everything and just…be. Everything will work out. You’ve just got to have a little faith and a lot of hope (and a fully-stocked emergency chocolate stash).
- #DearMe, be brave. Be strong. You’ve got this in the bag! *But I was dead serious about that crimped hair thing.
If you could tell your younger self anything, anything at all, what would it be?