I’ll be turning twenty-one in a couple of weeks, which is both exciting and terrifying all at the same time. It’s exciting because I’ll finally be able to say I’m legal throughout the whole world. I’m Canadian so I’ve already been legal for two years now, but soon, I’ll have the option to fly to Vegas or whatnot and drink my life away. (Just kidding, but I like that I have the option) It’s also terrifying, as twenty-one is where you are officially considered an ‘adult,’ which comes with many responsibilities. It’s scary how fast time is going by, as it feels like just yesterday I was celebrating my sixteenth birthday. Looking back, I never really lived in the moment. For example, on my sixteenth birthday, I remember being so excited for I was a year closer to turning eighteen and moving away for college, etc. I never accepted the age I was at the time, which I know a lot of people do. We live in a world that consists of planning for the future, and we’re constantly counting down until our next trip, job, ect. With that being said, here are sets of letters to my younger self:
Dear 5 year old Paige,
I know you want to grow up like the bigger kids at your school, but don’t. Life gets so much more complicated as you get older. Right now, the most stressful thing in your life is what outfit to change your Barbie in. Hold on to your imagination, and innocence for as long as possible. Never forget the excitement you feel every time you hear the door opening with your dad walking through after a long day at work. Hold onto these moments, because you’re only a child for so long. Play with your Barbie’s and Polly Pockets, and be proud to hold your mom’s hand in public. Right now, you have no worries. Social media hasn’t entered your world yet, so go outside and play in the sand box. Go on, build a sand castle.
Dear 10 year old Paige,
At this point, you’re slowly starting to get embarrassed by your parent’s presence in public. Please just stop. No one cares if you’re with your mom or not. You have to remember that although you’re getting older, your parents are too. So, hold their hands as much as possible. Hug them. Kiss them. Tell them you love them. When you’re older, you’ll regret this, as you’ll eventually move out, and will miss them terribly.
Dear 16 year old Paige,
I know you’re trying so hard to fit in with the “popular” crowd, but ask yourself why? Those girls that you so badly want to be like are awful. They aren’t real friends, so don’t even bother trying to fit in and be something you’re not. You already have a group of friends who love you for you, and that’s enough. You so badly want to grow up & move out, but when that time comes, you’ll wish you were sixteen all over again. You dream about your prom dress every day, and are so excited to have the perfect dress. You know what? Prom, for you, was overrated and it wasn’t all that cut out to be, so have fun being a sixteen year old. As far as drinking, you so badly want to drink, but remember, alcohol will always be there. You have your whole life to have drunken nights, but at this point, you’re sixteen. There really is no rush and vodka really isn’t that great. Last but not least, as far as wanting a boyfriend, hold off on that. Boys make everything more complicated.
Dear 18 year old Paige,
You’re incredibly stressed for your future, and getting accepted to University, but don’t stress too much. Enjoy the last year with your high school classmates because chances are that’ll be the last year you’ll ever see most of them. Also, don’t even consider buying tequila. It’ll be good for one night, but will haunt you for a lifetime. Last but not least, hold on to your innocence for as long as possible. Be silly. Be weird. Be you.
Dear future Paige,
I know you’re a dreamer, and a planner, but try to live in the moment. You don’t need to constantly have something planned to be happy. You have one year left of university, and then it’s into the real world, so hold onto these moments for as long as possible. Day drink with your friends just for the hell of it, eat as much pizza as you want, and binge-watch countless episodes of Gilmore Girls on Netflix. Right now, you have the time, the energy, and the ability to do these things. When university ends, you can potentially be working a 9-5 job, and will be too tired to go out and ‘party’ like in your younger days. They say these are the best 4 years of your life, and if that’s true, then you better live that last year up! However, work hard at school. You want that perfect job in the end? Well, it’s certainly not going to be handed to you. You got to work at it & I know you can do it and that you can reach your wildest dreams.
I can now finally understand why Peter Pan never wanted to grow up.