A Letter to my Younger Self

Dear Mak,

You're 15 years old and you think you have it all figured out....you're wrong. Yeah, I said it. I know you're internally screaming right now, but it's going to be okay. Mak, you have to accept that you don't know everything. This doesn't make you any less of a person. I know what you're thinking. "Fine, maybe I don't have my life figured out at 15. At age 20 though? Yeah, I'll be exactly where I want to be." Sorry girl, you're still wrong. Spoiler alert. 25-year-old Mak still hasn't figured out this whole life thing either.

Stop panicking.

I know that planning for the future is kind of your jam. Trust me, I'm still a To-Do List Enthusiast. Things aren't always going to go as planned. Sometimes you won't cross every task off of your list. Sometimes you'll lose touch with the person you thought you would marry. Sometimes you'll realize your dream career just doesn't make sense to you anymore. That's just the way it is sometimes. It's okay to make mistakes. Embrace imperfection and accept failure. The next 10 years are going to be a trip.

The act of embracing imperfection may seem like a foreign concept to you right now, but you'll get used to it. You're going to have to. You are not perfect, Mak. Don't give me that look. Nobody is.

Your body is fine. Stop putting it through hell. Your love life is fine. Stop rushing it. You're fine, Mak. Holding yourself to this unreasonably high standard is going to push you to the edge. You present yourself to the world wearing a mask. A mask that hides all of the negative thoughts you're bottling up. A mask that tells the world that everything is okay. Take off the mask. Take a deep breath. Focus on living a happy life, not a perfect life.

What does a perfect life look to you right this second? A house, a nice car, a dog, a husband, a child. Are you sure? Mak, it's okay not to want all of these things. You have been exposed to the idea of the American Dream for your entire life. The white picket fences in your home town. The nuclear families in TV shows and movies. Not wanting this life does not mean you are destined to be unhappy. Stay true to yourself. I know you thought that at age 25 this "perfect life" would be your reality. It isn't. Let me fill you in.

I am living with four roommates in a house with bright green carpets. My car is hanging on for dear life. In fact, the driver's side door doesn't even open. I have to crawl in and out from the passenger's side. It's actually pretty hilarious once you get past the inconvenience of it all. I am a cat person. I love my two grumpy little babes more than anything. I am far from married and I do not plan on ever having children.

Stop hyperventilating.

My version of the American Dream may look different than someone else's and that is okay. I am so happy. Happier than I've ever been.

You will be happy one day. Some days will be better than others, but overall you will be happy. Let yourself rest. Your work ethic is killer and I promise it will pay off. I know you thrive on a busy schedule, but there is nothing wrong with letting yourself rest. Care for yourself, Mak. Running yourself into the ground day in and day out is not conducive to your mental health. There is no shame in taking time for yourself. Let yourself rest. Let yourself breathe. Let yourself exist. You have a lifetime to reach your goals. Take each day as it comes and I promise you will thank yourself.


You will achieve your goals because you're a hard worker. You will fall in love and you will fall in love with yourself. You'll push through some tough stuff to see a brighter future on the other side. You will be okay, Makenzie Leigh. Buckle up and enjoy the ride.

Love, Mak


- Makenzie D.

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