You were about twelve, when sitting under the shade of a massive oak tree, you day-dreamed about the world in the year, 2000. And now, it’s nearly, 2013. As a matter of fact, to hear some tell it, the world will end today — you might want to check outside, just to see if the sky is falling.
Could you have imagined what your life today would look like, from 1976? Probably not.
At twelve, you dreamed of writing books like Laura Ingalls Wilder, or murder mysteries that Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys might solve. It was a secret dream, one you dared not share, because you didn’t really believe you had enough talent. Your strengths were obscured by your focus on weakness.
In the summer of 1976, you were preparing to transfer from the comfort zone of elementary school, to the unknown world of Junior High. All you wanted was to fit in.
Boys still weren’t on your radar, not in a romantic way, because sports and reading filled all of your time. Besides, you were a tom-boy, and were seen as a teammate or competitor, definitely not a love interest by the boys you ran with on the playground. It was during this period you received your first, and so far only, black eye. You caught the winning touch-down, and then were slammed to the ground in a hammer-driving tackle. With blood trickling over your cheek, and a grin spread across your face, you held the ball victoriously in the air. Your only thought, I didn’t drop the ball.
As a skinny, stringy-haired, too-smart-for-your-own-good, scared pre-teen, you worked hard to please your parents and teachers. Even while you lorded it over five younger siblings, or in some cases, jumped in to protect them from harm. You hid your anxiety under smiles, wise-cracks, and a daily three mile run, dutifully completed, rain, sleet, or shine. After all, you were training for the Olympics — another secret dream.
After each run, you climbed the fire tower near your house, and swayed in its sky laden rafters, while the pure breeze cooled your sweat spackled skin. Your musings about a far off future continued, while creaking steel played in the background.
This is the girl you will write to. The girl you will share wisdom with. The girl you will tell the things you know now, that you didn’t know then.
Of all the things I could tell you, this is most important. The majority of what you fear will never come to pass, so don’t allow your fears to overcome your faith.
Take the risk, and grab your reward.
Don’t give away the best of yourself to people who won’t appreciate your gifts, but will use them up for selfish reasons.
Appreciate the fullness of who you are as God made you. Don’t try to act like someone else.
You are beautiful — accept it, respect it, protect it.
There are some things you cannot get back once you give them away. Treasure these items, and use utmost wisdom, before releasing them into the hands of others.
Don’t let people convince you that you are unlovable, for you are wonderfully made. Love yourself, so that you can give love away.
In everything, take courage to act on your convictions, disregarding all foolishness for the sake of assumed acceptance. You may find yourself in a position to make a difference by setting an example. Sometimes people need an excuse to do the right thing.
With Deep Appreciation,
What would you say to your younger self?
Anita Agers-Brooks is a Business and Inspirational Coach, Certified Personality Trainer, Productivity Expert, Certified Training Facilitator, Communications Specialist, national speaker, and author of the soon-to-be released book, First Hired, Last Fired — How to Become Irreplaceable in Any Job Market.
She’s a partner in The Zenith Zone, a business coaching firm. Member of the Christian Writer’s Guild, client of WordServe Literary Group, graduate of CLASSeminars for Leaders, Speakers, and Authors, a co-founder of The StoryWriting Studio, and speaker on circuit for Stonecroft International Ministries.
Anita’s passionate about business with integrity, healthy relationships, and issues of identity. She travels the country teaching others from her personal experiences and research. She believes it’s never too late for a fresh start with fresh faith. Anita lives in Missouri with her husband Ricky.