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To Tell My 20 Year-Old Self

To Tell My 20 Year-Old Self

Chase beauty, in all places—in words and in art, in nature and in creativity—as food for your heart.

Don’t hurry to grow up—actually, keep the mindset of a child who is curious and unafraid to explore things you don’t know; try things you aren’t good at and enjoy every risk, every attempt to try something new without caring about the outcome.

Take walks and look at the sky; relish getting lost for what you will discover when you feel like you have no idea where you are.

Let the authors of stories speak to your imagination, reminding you of the wonder of places and people unknown—and how even those who are very kind are vulnerable to cynicism when their hearts are closed off to joy. (Be open to joy.)

Be courageous in discovering who you are—the glory and uniqueness of the beautiful you. You have a voice that is true and good; do not be afraid to go out on your own, particularly in social situations. You are stronger than you know. And you are actually not uninteresting. I am so proud of you.

Let your heart feel the pain of your mistakes—the depth of darkness in you without God—and let God touch every space in your heart, removing all deceit, all envy, and all pride. You are dust, the kiss of God, which is altogether perfect. (You are so beautifully imperfect.)

Be honest—and be true—to yourself and to everyone you meet. Consider what it is you truly believe—and what you don’t—and don’t pretend anything different. Live with authenticity and vulnerability. Let these traits be your super power.

You are dearly loved. Stand up.

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