I’m writing this post for all my young friends. May this post give you something to think about as you live your young life.
A Facebook friend recently posted this meme:
Some of the responses on her time line were
All of these responses were good advice. But the two words that came instantly to my mind when I saw the post were THANK YOU.
I wanted to give my younger-self a big hug and tell her thank you.
Thank you for not drinking or doing drugs or getting pregnant in high school. I could always count on you to make good choices.
Thank you for working hard in high school and getting good grades so that you could pay for college with scholarships.
Thank you for getting a college degree when you had every reason to quit and no one expected you to finish. You were alone in a strange town, dealing with a spouse’s addiction, taking a full course load and working two jobs. Thank you for not giving up and just going home to mom.
Thank you for going without. You didn’t have name brand clothes; you didn’t have a car; you didn’t travel; you didn’t even eat sometimes. Because you went without, your older-self is more grateful for even the small things.
Thank you for working two and three jobs to make ends meet. You don’t take anything for granted because you know what it’s like to struggle. I’m still in awe of your work ethic, stamina, and determination.
Thank you for staying strong and continuing to go to church and the temple even when your spouse couldn’t go with you and when your eternal marriage was no longer eternal. You had weak moments and deep questions, but you turned where you should have turned and looked where you should have looked for answers.
Thank you for not going off the deep end when you went through a divorce. You were young and could have easily turned bitter or placed blame, but you “drank the bitter cup without becoming bitter” and were loyal to the end.
Thank you for giving everything you had to your teaching career. You can look every student you had in the eye and tell them you did your best with what you knew at the time. You still have respect and relationships to this day because of your time as a 5th grade teacher.
Thank you for trusting again. It’s not easy to decide to marry again after a divorce, but you did. Chad is now our biggest blessing. Without your confidence, vulnerability, humility and faith we would not have him.
Thank you for having children. I know it was an extreme act of faith for you. I know your pregnancies were difficult and no one can really know what you went through physically and mentally, but I do, and I thank you for sacrificing your body, your time, your talents, and your well-being to bring four beautiful humans to the earth. They just might be your best contribution yet.
Thank you for doing your best at whatever you were asked to do. From parties to volunteer work to callings to parenting to making a home, you put the time and effort in, even when it wasn’t convenient or easy or accepted. But now I get to ride on your coattails and it’s a beautiful one.
Thank you for staying in the game. I know you wanted out at different times, but you chose the harder right over the easier wrong.
Thank you for everything. Everything you did paved an easier way for me, your future-self. You inspire me to continue to put in the time and effort, despite waning energy and grit, so that my even older-self may be blessed.
So my young friends, live a life now, that your future-self can look back on, and thank you for. Live so your older-self can be proud of you. No one will quite have your back like she does.
P.S. What would be your two words to yourself?