A Letter to My 18-Year-Old Self on My 38th Birthday

Dear Mattie,

If you ever wondered what your life would be like 20 years from now, I’m here to let you know it works out better than you could’ve ever expected.

You’re married to an incredible man & you guys have 3 wildly brilliant, kind & beautiful kids. You have your own company where you essentially get paid to be yourself working with brands you love. While these are all blessings you’re deeply grateful for, they’re all bonuses. 

Your life is good simply because you’re in it.

The last year has taught you that you will do whatever work is necessary to maintain an overflow of joy in your life.

Those nice things you daydream about having? You can afford them. But the nicest thing about you is your heart. 

You think highly of yourself without thinking lowly of others. 

What I’m most proud of you for is never giving up when you failed. You always remember that failure is an incident but not your identity. When you fall down 7 times, you stand up 8.

You deliberately encourage others, especially women that look like you. 
Kindness isn’t just a value in your home but also in your company. 
You’re far from perfect, but that doesn’t negate your goodness. 

You’re close to Mom & Dad and Maya is one of your best friends. You all live in the same city. 

You become a beauty queen and author like you’ve always dreamed of becoming.

The things you’ve always wanted in your life required much more work than you anticipated. The work is hard. What you find out is that you can do hard things. Between God’s grace and your willingness to do the work, you’re pretty much unstoppable. 

You’re still the first to dance at a party, laugh loudly, and love French fries. 

You’ve changed a lot but in a lot of ways, you’re still the same. But every single year, you get better, smarter & wiser.

At the end of the day, you become the woman you’ve always wanted to be and created the life you’ve always wanted to have. And you have a really good life.

Why? Because you finally let go of trying to be perfect. And now that you don’t have to be perfect, you can be good.

Happiest of birthdays, girl. I’m so proud of you.