a note to my 18 year old self

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First of all, I’m still amped up about a sweet (pun intended) friend, Lia Weber, competing on and WINNING TLC’s Next Great Baker!! I had the chance to go to a watch/block party last night to watch the finale and it was, in short, NEAT!! If you like rooting for cool people (even though you already know the outcome), go watch the episode on YouTube here!

We now return to your regularly scheduled programming.

Last week I got to take my little sister to college. On the drive back with my parents I started to think about the time that I went to college. I thought about leaving home for the first time, leaving the comfort of the place I’d lived in for 18 years, and entering in to this ‘real world’ that people kept telling me they’d been preparing me for all my life.

I think about the 18 year old Kayla and I want to do a few different things: giggle, roll my eyes, smirk, mean mug, shake my head, face palm, and pat her on the back while saying, “Oh child…”

I thought I could conquer the world. I thought I knew everything. I thought I knew how to make sound decisions and be an independent woman like Destiny’s Child had made me think I was by throwin my hands up at them.

I was slightly remiss at 18.

So, I got to thinking, and here’s what I wish present-Kayla could have said to 18 year old-Kayla if time travel were a thing:

Dear Kayla,
First of all, break up with him. And don’t go back 8 more times. It’s not worth the heartache.
Get involved in your school. You have NO IDEA what this world has to offer and you have the chance to experience a llliitttllleee bit of it in your back yard. Take advantage of that.
You’ve been given a phenomenal opportunity to learn from some of the brightest minds in their respective fields. Don’t take this for granted. Go to class, listen to the professor, and take detailed notes because your future self will come to realize that she really likes to save notes. So don’t slack off on that.
Also, you’ll have a professor/advisor that will teach you what grace is in such a way that you’ll never be the same. Know that he is more than just a teacher. He is a educator in your life that you will come to find as invaluable. And even though he has a degree from KU, you’ll still like him. Just get over it.
Guard your eyes and your heart. Temptation is everywhere and if you aren’t careful, it will lead to sin and shame that will hurt you deeply. Momentary “satisfaction” isn’t worth years of guilt that will be hard for you to let go of.
If you’re hurting, tell someone. People care about you and love you. If you give them the chance to walk through life with you, they’ll grab you by the hand and start walking. Let them do that.
Understand deeply that a man cannot be your source of security, affirmation, identity…basically, he can’t be your source for anything. A relationship/boyfriend is not a bad thing, but don’t make it the main thing which is what you’re prone to do.
Be with Jesus. Know that He loves you more deeply than you can ever, ever fathom. Know that He will be the only one that can heal your wounds and bind up your broken heart. He is the only source of comfort, love, peace, joy, and true satisfaction that you have in your life. Trust that and go to Him always.
These next few years will be some of the hardest, yet most rewarding years of your life. You’ll meet amazing people, lose some friendships, and gain life experience that will blow your mind. Your heart will hurt at times, but it will get better. God is still God, and God is still good. Always.

Sincerly,
Kayla

ps. your car will get totaled in a hail storm in April of 2012, so just be emotionally prepared for that. And when you call Whitney to tell her about it because your parents are at prom and won’t answer their phones, try not to have a mental breakdown.

*if you’d like to see what made me fall in love with Amy Poehler, click here!

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