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Dear… Me.  If you could ever go back in time and speak to your younger self, what would you say?

In honor of International Women’s Day, YouTube created a campaign known as #DearMe for women across the world to do just that.

In today’s episode, I went all the way back to my early teen years:  to my 13-year old self.
There were no cell phones, something called dial-up internet, and yes, the pressures from dating, drugs, and bullying were all the same.

Knowing what I know now, I had a few heartfelt things to say.  It all begins with two words…

Check out my video below to see my letter to myself.

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Dear Me,

The year is 1998 and your biggest concern in life right now is probably going to Jr. Prom and getting into your Photography class for high school.

I’m sending you this message because I want to that at this very moment in your life, things are going to change.

Yes, you will someday live in a better environment.
You’ll even get someday travel the world.
And yes, you will find someone who will love you for who you are and for everything you stand for.

My advice to you right now is to don’t give in to the pressure of sex and drugs.  Just say “no” to both of those avenues altogether.

Don’t play truth or dare with everyone else because you know that deep down, you will only choose “truth” and you really don’t want people to ask you questions in the first place.
Don’t feel like you have to make out with boys just because that’s what everyone else your age is doing.  If you don’t like somebody then don’t kiss them.  Regardless of the pressure, you’re getting from others.

Embrace the things that you like.

If you like to sing, then sing your heart out!  You’re really good at it and your voice will be used for good in the future.
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If all you want to do is stay home and read a book then by all means, do what makes you happy.

You don’t have to change who you are and what you do just because everyone else is going in a different direction.

Guess what?  You were born to stand out!
That’s why you’re going through this now.  You’re going to discover this later on in the future but it would make life easier if you never had to redirect yourself to find your true self, which is what you’re beginning to discover at this very moment.
You are beginning to discover pieces of your personality, your passions, and your dreams.  Instead of running from them because you fear that others won’t approve or accept you, I’m telling you to run towards these things.

Run blindly and faithfully towards the uniqueness that you are discovering in you.

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Run towards the things that make you come alive inside.  Those are the things that are going to try to come out in my day and age.
It’s going to shape your life forever.
Here are a few more pieces of advice that I’m encouraging you to take before you live on the rest of your life:

Never steal.  From anyone or anyplace.  Ever.

Run as fast as you can from the red flags as soon as you see them.  Do not assume that they will go away with time.  They are called “red flags” for a reason, so by all means, when you see them, abandon ship and run!

Lastly, don’t be afraid of who you are.  People think you’re funny, pretty, and a genuine friend.  Now it’s time for you to see it.

Your life is going to be beautiful.  I can’t wait for you to live it out.
I love you.

What beautiful #DearMe things would you would say to your 13-year old self?  Share below in the comments section!

adolescent girl sitting with her knees bent and her fingers intertwined with pink overlay and white text that reads, "#DearMe A Letter to My 13-Year Old Self"

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