Dear 20-Year-Old Self,
First, I love you. I am proud of you. You are a good mom. No one really ever tells you that, but you need to hear it. I know that having a baby at 18 changed everything. You had to grow up fast, but you are going to be ok.
My advice to you would be to not worry if you are living up to anyone else’s standards. Don’t let anyone make you feel ashamed of yourself. Be proud of the woman you are becoming and strive to grow into the best version of yourself no matter what. It’s ok if not everyone likes you. People will judge you for the rest of your life, but the only opinion that really matters is your own.
Spend quality time with the people who do matter. The people who understand you and see the best in you. These people will be in your life for many years. Invest in these relationships. Sometimes we expect these people to be our parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, grandparents, but oftentimes, it isn’t. It might be a neighbor, someone you work with, or someone you meet at the coffee shop. Go with your gut. You will learn who loves you, who is in your corner, and who you need to leave behind. Unfortunately, many of the people who you thought mattered really don’t. So, focus on what you want, and go for it!
Also, don’t expect too much of the people around you or you will be left disappointed. Let go of resentments of people who have hurt you. All the time and energy that you waste on people who don’t matter could be spent on your own personal growth.
Have fun. Life is long, but you are only young for a short period of time. Even though you have a daughter now, you can still enjoy life and push to accomplish your goals and dreams. In fact, it’s even more important for you to accomplish your goals and find happiness because she is looking up to her mama. She will be ok if you do something for yourself. Don’t settle for the safe career or the safe relationship. If you aren’t happy with what you do or who you are with, you will not be satisfied, and you will be resentful about your choices.
Life is going to challenge you in many ways. You are going to go through times that are so defeating that you might want to give up. You might not think that you can make it through it, but I promise you that you are strong and will persevere.
Again, I love you. I am proud of you. You are a special young woman who deserves to be loved. Always remember that you are enough.