Turning 17 in a couple of months. She’s beautiful, tall, innocent, sweet and thoughtful- with a good mix of hard headed, sassy, opinionated, strong willed, & confident. It’s a wonderful time to watch her grow. It’s also probably a nerve-wracking time for her parents. As I wonder what she’ll experience as she grows and matures, there are a few things I’d like to tell her. . . .
Ansley, I am so proud of who you are—your effort in school, your compassion, your talent, and the growth of your friendships. Embrace every minute over the next year. This is the time where you have created some of the strongest bonds with friends whom will carry on for the rest of your years. I won't tell you that HS is the best years of your life, but they will certainly be some of the most memorable.
You should know, above all things, that you have a heavenly Father who made you, who loves you and who wants to be your friend forever. There will be many times when you’ll wonder what He’s doing in your life, or why something did or didn’t happen. Trust that he fulfills his promises & his plan is greater.
Know your worth. Know your value and don’t accept being treated in a way less than you deserve. Now, I don’t mean to start going out there with unrealistic expectations, demands and a sense of entitlement. I am saying that you deserve to be treated the way you treat others, and vice versa. Resist those who knowingly or unknowingly try to bring you down, to make you less than you are. What’s real is what God says about you. Ask Him what He thinks of you. He will tell you!
Don’t let the opinions of others stand in your way of doing something, prove them wrong. Excel at what you do. Develop a reputation for yourself that you can do anything you set your mind to
Remember that you are in charge of the way you think. You are creating the situations you are in and the emotions that flow from those situations. Every choice you make — including the thoughts you think — has consequences. When you choose the behavior or thought, you choose the consequences. You have the ability to train your mind to think good thoughts, to dwell on good things. Practice now to think on good things.
Be spontaneous and grasp opportunities! Now is the time to think about what you want your life to be about—even though you’re only 16.
Keep a journal. They are great to look back on in 20 years. It is hysterical to see what mattered so much then - doesn't mean a thing now.
You go to college to find your bridesmaids, not your husband. The friends you make in college are so important, not just because you are more likely to stay close to them after graduation, but because they are the ones who are with you during a time in your life where you grow up a little and change a lot.
Your mom is almost always right....About everything. Love. Friendship. Health. Family. The big things. The little things. Seriously, she's been through it. Listen to her. You will not regret it. Respect your parents--they truly love you and want the best for you, listen and trust them. And soon on your own, you will appreciate them more than ever.
This one, oooooh how I hope I have drilled this in your head =D - - - Boys are worthless. Wait until they are men. Enjoy your first high school romance, but don't get too attached. High school sweethearts unfortunately don't always work out.
Boys are not worth messing with until they turn 27. Do not stress over a dude who hasn't grown up yet or has no idea who he is. The one you want to share your life with is the one who knows who he is and knows how to be in a stable relationship and actually wants to be in one. And that doesn't usually happen until their late 20s, in my experience. HAVE FUN! I mean you will have PLENTY of time to be in a relationship & grow old with your hubby, one day! Enjoy being a kid & young adult, you don't realize how quickly these days will pass.
Be on time. Be dependable. ou do not want to get a reputation as someone who is always late to something. Just be dependable, because later in life, a flaky person isn't just the type of person who just forgets birthdays or is late to parties. That type of person gets fired or can't manage to keep friends. Don't be that person. Start your on-time habit early on, and you'll have no problem with it in the real world when it really, really matters.
Your siblings will be your best friends. Again, in time. You might despise them now, but I promise, they will be your best friends later in life. You will need them and one day, you won't live in the next room. You will live across the country, or state, you'll see them twice, maybe three times a year, and you will miss them so much. Be with them now, while you still can. I am very proud of the bond you and Rowe Rowe have. It warms my heart to see such a strong love you share. Same with Tyde. <3 I pray you continue to be that awesome big sister because they look up to you!
THIS is important to me because I have dealt with this issue many many years.... You don't have to do what everyone else is doing. Marriage, kids, certain careers…those ideas might be forced on you or you might be forcing them on yourself. This is your life. Decide what you want and don't want and stick to it, even if you are being pressured by someone else to think otherwise. You don't want kids? That's fine. We’re fortunate to live in a time when being single does not automatically strip a woman of her power. You want to change careers suddenly? Do it! Because when you get older, these decisions come with severe consequences and making them will be a lot harder. Find out who you are; don't let others tell you who you are. They are wrong.
Drop those toxic friends. Are there any people in your life who make you wonder why you even hang out with them? Drop 'em. Weed them out and keep the ones who you can call at 2 a.m. for any reason. Those are the ones you hang onto. Friendships change, and it's OK if your BFF isn't actually a "forever" for you. It's about Quality over Quantity. Somebody gave me this poem many years ago and I have to re-read it often to remind myself why some people will come & go from my life.
Keep it close~Read it often~
Be nice to people... You never know what someone is going through. So smile. Say hello. Help them. The smallest gesture could change so much. It's the little things.
And finally, your family annnnnd I Love you more than you’ll ever fully grasp—and that’s how it’s supposed to be. When you crash and burn or get in trouble or make a bad choice, we’ll all be there to pick you up, comfort you and move you back to functioning. It’s what families do. Don’t feel guilty about it or uncomfortable. Lean on us when you’re in need. We are your support and your resources. What we have, you have. There is no end to our love and our belief in you. I hope you ALWAYS remember that.
Looking forward to watching you grow and enter a new chapter of your life. Super proud of you & love you bunches!!! <3