Notes to My Younger Self
Updated: Apr 2, 2020
My younger sister is probably so annoyed at me constantly posting this image circa 2003, but it truly captures our essence and I will love it forever.
A few days ago, my sister was sending me pictures of old notes and school projects she found hidden away in my childhood home. My first reaction was UM HELLO, THAT'S PRIVATE - because my 5th grade bestie and I were most likely talking about how hot Legolas from The Lord of the Rings was in notes we tried to fold as tiny as possible, and I also used to write a lot of letters to Britney Spears that I never actually mailed.
But the little piece of history she found most entertaining was a letter I wrote to her for a class assignment in second grade. In it, I described my current interests and what I wanted my future to be like. Apparently, eight-year-old me thought that I would go to The Ohio State University to become an actress, a singer, and A CHEF. So, applause for past Jordan for being so ambitious but also - what?
Currently, I am a writer and work in communications for a nonprofit. I love eating and watching cooking shows, but actually hate cooking. And honestly, you wouldn't want to eat anything I've made. I put baked beans in a quesadilla a few weeks ago, then microwaved them, making a sticky mess that I forced my boyfriend to eat because I was like LOOK, I AM HELPING!
As I thought about how different little Jordan was, I wondered if she would be proud of who I am now. Did I become everything I wanted to be, and what did I wish I could tell my past self?
1. I would let her know that it's okay to change your mind. No matter how much time you have put into something, it is totally fine to walk away. You do not have to justify your decisions if something is no longer good for you.
2. Never stop dreaming. I sang and performed in college and now miss it dearly. I would like to incorporate music back into my life at some point. I have other aspirations and goals that keep me going forward. Hey, maybe one day I will become a chef and baked bean quesadillas will become a household staple.
3. Do not let your self worth be defined by how attractive you think men find you. You have intrinsic value by just existing, and do not have to prove how pretty or interesting you are in order to feel validated.
4. Take time for yourself. Young Jordan, you are about to be so busy. You have a variety of interests, which is amazing, but learn to say "no" and spend time working on your well-being and happiness.
5. Know that no matter how big something seems, you will overcome it. Something might appear like a huge deal, but if you pause and think with a different perspective - Will this matter in a week from now? A month? Five years? - you can get over anything life may throw at you. Also, forgive the girl who ripped your Arthur backpack in kindergarten, or else you will become a terrible grudge-holder in adulthood.
6. Finally, in 2018, Legolas is still hot.