My dear brave and beautiful niece Hannah turns 16 today. My sister asked our family to tell her what advice we would give our 16-year-old selves.
Here’s to you Hannah. This is what I would have wanted to know.
I know you think that you have it all figured out and the adults are going to tell you that you really don’t yet kid and you don’t want to believe them (what do they know any way?). But they are right. You don’t know it all just yet kid. So keep listening. Even when you don’t want to. Especially when you don’t want to.
But I also want you to listen to you. Your gut is solid gold baby. Keep listening to that guiding force and that feeling at the pit of your soul. Your body is your compass and it will give you the clues of what is right and wrong and not meant for you. You just have to pay attention and trust your intuition.
Also listen to your happiness, your laughter, your passions and what makes you feel lost and found in the same moment. So much of what you do now and the next years to come will shape you. The things that you do that bring you glorious deep joy- these things will most likely ALWAYS bring you deep joy. We get so distracted and busy in life that we sometimes lose sight of them and neglect to make time for them and then we spend so much time chasing other things that we forget what used to make us so happy at our very core. Don’t stop doing the things that make you feel alive. Art, music, writing, reading, baking, day dreaming, dancing, whatever it is- just keep going with it even if it makes no money. Happiness is priceless. And whatever you do, don’t you dare apologize for it. Never say sorry for what makes you you and makes you whole. Own it. Be smart. Be different. Be you, brilliant you.
Also this: work hard. Have fun. Clean your room. Be home by curfew. Complain less. Procrastinate sometimes. Forgive often. Pay attention in finance class. Have more sleepovers. Tell your family you love them. Hug your momma. Thank your girlfriends. Don’t settle. Ever. Dance as much as possible. Wear sunscreen. Drink so much more water. Spend time with people that lift you. Learn the power of the word no. Save some money. But if you can afford it, buy the shoes. Self-care is invaluable. Freedom is beautiful. Know that your credit score matters. There is healing power in time. Be confident. Go on day trips. Spend more time by the sea. Say yes to the happy. Speak up. Take up space. Make peace with your reflection. Embrace your imperfections. Wait a little longer to get your first tattoo. Laugh with wild abandon. Know your worth. You will want a pixie cut and it won’t be your best look but kudos to you for trying new things. Your heart will break. And it will scar and mend and have great stories to tell. Be gentle with yourself. Fail often. Fail forward. Learn. Grow. Repeat. Take a public speaking class in college. Get some stamps on your passport. Find your tribe. You have infinite permission to chase your dreams and reinvent yourself as much as necessary. Kiss some frogs but know that you don’t need a prince. Know that you can reimagine your own fairy tale. You can build your own castle. Breathe deep. Love out loud. Don’t stress about the future, it will all be okay.
Darling, you deserve the world. And there is enough time for all of it.
Katie has a new book out that is a collection of quotes and mic drops to embrace your inner warrior. “Girl Power” is available now on Amazon and is the perfect gift for all the warriors in your world. You can find out more details and book signing info on her instagram @katieyackleymoore. Endless thanks for reading. Xo
Katie Yackley Moore is a freelance writer, real estate agent, yoga instructor and a momma of four navigating life and a separation and finding herself in the process. She adores coffee shops, laughing until it hurts and impromptu dance parties. Her work has appeared on Scary Mommy, Mamalode and HuffPost Parents. She has published a journal entitled “Dream a Bigger Dream” and the children’s books “You Are a Warrior” and “We are Family” and just finished her first novel. Catch up with her between tea breaks at The Naked Mommaand on Facebook.