Sunday, May 10, 2015

A Thank You to Those Younger Than Me

Dear Sweet One,

I don't even know you and yet I do... because I sat in that same place (or a place somewhat similar) just a few years ago.

Ok, maybe it was a little bit longer than a few years ago, and maybe it was in a different gym, but there were still balloons festooning the bleachers and lights flashing as the DJ played some sappy love song that will be out of season before the night is out.

I see you there, spinning on the dance floor, the skirt of your dress flaring out around you.

Tonight, you are magical, and you don't even know it.

YOU are beautiful.

Not your fancy dress or your makeup or your nails or your updo.


Even when you go home and collapse into bed (which by now you already have) without washing the hairspray out or the makeup off...

when you wake up and that eyeliner is smudged around tired eyes, you'll still be beautiful.

The dress doesn't make the girl, and it's high time that we realize that.

As I sit here, admiring how the light sparkles off the sequins of your dress, I'm envious of your youth.

You have the whole world at your fingertips.

But hindsight is 20/20 and even 20 years down the road I still don't have it all figured out.

I do know this, though.

You are beautiful. You are you... in your Chuck Taylor converse (blinged out for some of you!) or your short puffy dress or your multicolored hair.

Oh, you may not be the most beautiful...

but comparisons are silly and are ruining us.

There isn't a comparison between apples and oranges and it's high time that we stop comparing each other, too...

because I wasn't the smartest or the prettiest or the most eloquent... but I was me. And it's taken me 20 years to figure out that was enough.

I'm not sure when I started thinking that I wasn't enough...

I'm not sure when that less than attitude kicked in...

I just know that sometimes as a teenager one becomes overcome with emotions and hormones and start to see how you may or may not look in the eyes of others.

And as vain human beings, we tend to think that everyone is judging us...

and sometimes they are.

But the thing is, we too often judge based on what the outside looks like, and that is crazy...

because air is freshest just after it rains and sometimes even on the sunniest days, things aren't beautiful because you can't breathe.

I wish I knew all of your names. I wish I could tell you that the mirror sometimes lies and that we are often our own biggest critic. That sometimes you may feel like hiding in a corner but it is never worth it. I wish I could tell you to take a deep breath and relish how special you feel, that excitement of the perfect dress... the intoxicating rush of being a princess for a day... because who doesn't want to be a fairy princess?

And maybe your evening didn't even start out that way because your dress isn't perfect and your hair won't stay up and for the love of God you've never gotten the hang of painting your fingernails and you can't afford a manicure.

You know what?

That doesn't matter.

We aren't beautiful because of what we wear or how much we weigh or how fancy our hair is.  You aren't beautiful because of who you are... but...

You are beautiful because you are you... and no one else can be you.

And today, as I'm reflecting on being old and watching youth in all its glory last night...

I say thank you....

Thank you, even if you don't realize you are beautiful.

Thank you for helping me affirm to me that beauty is contagious.

Keep on keeping on, and keep on being you.

The Older Me, who Wishes I had Realized this a little sooner.


  1. My granddaughter is going to her senior prom this coming weekend - I believe I'm going to print this out and give it to her! xo

  2. What a beautiful letter to the beautiful young ladies out there who are of inestimable value but have lost sight of that in all the brouhaha of trying to keep up with someone else.

  3. Oh I love this so! You are speaking my language here! I am so passionate about knowing our Identity and knowing who we are in Him... we are enough... as is... no 'new and improved' needed... just as we are... because we are His! Love this!

  4. Comparisons are indeed silly and are indeed ruining us. Oh how true those words are! I wish I would have known this years ago today. Beautiful!!

  5. Very well put. We are beautiful because God delights in his creation and He does all things well. It is nice to feel beautiful sometimes. that was a wonderful piece.