A letter to my younger self

Dear 14-year-old Casie,

Hey, it’s you, but just 10 years in the future – crazy, right? It’s weird to say this, but I barely remember what you’re going through right now and what exactly you’re experiencing… I guess that speaks to my memory skills…(yeah, they’re still not great…) If I’m thinking correctly, you’re living it up in Texas, running for the track team, and having a complete blast. If I’m wrong, start having a complete blast – trust me.

Anyways, I come to you with a little bit of advice and the reality you’ll be experiencing in 10 years. Life changes drastically for you this coming summer (Oh my gosh I sound like an actual psychic, oh, you’ll get really into zodiac signs and what not in the future). You’re going to have a fun birthday party where all your best pals (who you only talk to 3 out of the 10 attendees anymore) come and sleep over…in a tent…in your grass-less backyard…in the middle of a Texas summer…no wonder none of them talk to you anymore. Have fun though, I remember the sweaty sleep like it was yesterday. Two days after your birthday, you’re going to get some tough news. You’ll cry…a lot. You’ll try to kick the “for sale” sign down in your yard. You’ll beg your parents to live with any of your friends so you don’t have to move in the middle of high school. But, come October, you’ll be living in Minnesota…a state you honestly had never thought of until that moment and didn’t even know where exactly it was in the United States (oh yeah, you don’t get much better at geography, either).

I’m sure you’re taking a moment right now to understand what I’m saying and that’s cool. We like to take our time to digest big information. What I’m here to tell you is… IT SUCKS. No, I’m totally kidding, I mean, it was definitely hard and it’s going to take you some time to make good friends in Minnesota (seriously, it took us until Senior year to have friends who hung out with us…) However, in this move, you and Molly get a lot closer, I know that’s probably shocking to you, but understand without her, you would have experienced a sense of loneliness few people can comprehend. So really cherish those moments with her, because sooner than you think you’ll be off at college and then she’ll be living out in Washington, D.C. and you’ll only get to see her twice a year or so and it’ll really bum you out.

A few other things you’ll learn from going to a school in Minnesota:

  • What a freshman center is (even now I find it really weird)
  • What it’s like to be gawked at for having a mild accent.
  • What “oofda” means
  • Passive-aggressive-ness (I’ve developed a love/hate relationship with this)
  • What “Minnesota Nice” is
  • How welcoming some people really can be to a girl with no friends
  • What hot dish is (and the fact that you really like it)

I want to be clear, I’m thankful for everything I experienced when I first moved to Minnesota, because it’s made me who I am today. However, I still have strong opinions on certain things listed above that I’ll avoid talking about, but just know two of those things go hand-in-hand and I believe people are blind to it.

Also, I want to give some quick advice on random things, so I’ll make you another bullet list…you’ll know what I mean by it all, if not, you get quicker, so that’s some positive news.

  • Invest in people, but not so much so to where you’ll exhaust yourself.
  • Believe in people, always, but don’t be naïve.
  • He’s not the one for you, stop obsessing over it.
  • He’s also not good enough for you, you’re worth way more.
  • Trust your gut.
  • Don’t be afraid to fail.
  • Start reading Maya Angelou’s work, you’ll really like her.
  • Listen to mom
  • Listen to dad
  • Listen to Molly (she has some of the best advice)
  • Stop straightening your bangs & scrunching the rest of your hair…it looks bad.
  • Also, stop wearing flair jeans and switch to skinny leg, you’ll thank me later.
  • Be kind to everyone.

Listen, you’ll find your path and you’ll be happy when you do, but it’s not all sunshine and daisies as you continue to grow. You’re going to be sad, feel lonely, and finally start to understand your anxiety – embrace those emotions. Continue to create, laugh, and make terrible jokes. Stay sarcastic, use self-deprecating humor when you’re in front of the right audience, and be willing to say yes to new experiences. You’re going to have a lot of moments you might regret, but just remember each one makes you who you are. And you’re pretty damn cool right now if I do say so myself (I mean today I feel pretty cool, but usually I’m just an awkward pile of an adult trying to know what to do next…34-year-old me, are you out there? Please write and tell me what to do…)

Love always & thanks for giving me some great memories,

Cas

P.S. No matter what happens in high school, college really is the best time of your life (so far) – so just get through high school & enjoy the years to come!

P.P.S. Some of our accomplishments so far include: graduating college (with a double major), quitting our first job (don’t worry, we got another one), traveling to 11 countries, getting a tattoo (I know, I never thought it’d happen either), living alone, and having the most kick-butt friends and family a girl could ever ask for.

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Twenty something looking for inspiration, travel opportunities, and all of the dogs to cuddle.

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