{ If I could tell my seventh-grade-self things to remember for the future, it might go something like this … }

Dear Vanessa,

First and foremost: Don’t change. People say things like that all the time, but like most clichés, there’s a solid ring of truth to this. I’m not saying be static. Evolve, change, grow, embrace your challenges and blessings. But hold on to the core of yourself. That core is truly good. It what makes you you.

Embrace being a nerd. It may make some years of school slightly unbearable, but your nerdiness ends up developing into quirkiness. This is a good thing.

Be courageous. It’s okay to be afraid. But being courageous isn’t the absence of fear. It’s acting in spite of it.

Forgive. Even when it seems impossible. Life is too short to waste energy on grudges.

Don’t try and carry the weight of the world. Compassion is one of your best qualities–but you can’t fix everything. And not everything is your fault.

Do more. If there’s an opportunity that sounds remotely interesting in any way/shape/form–just go and do it. There will be too many times when you can and will say no.

Love deeply and love freely. But know that falling in love with someone else really isn’t the most important thing. Fall in love with yourself first. This can help you avoid a lot of poor decisions.

Let go. Live in the moment. Get out of your head, take deep breaths, smile for no reason, eat every piece of delicious food you want, and at every opportune moment step outside and enjoy the sunshine.

Push yourself. Laziness is never an excuse, and will always lead to regret.

Don’t give up on your hobbies. Those weird teacup collections and horse collectibles? Yeah those become really awesome later.

Stick with things, even when they become hard. The tap dancing, ballet classes, horseback riding, volleyball, piano, and field hockey days all passed far too quickly, and before you know it you’ll look back and wish that you were slightly good at just one of those things.

Writing is your outlet. It’s your craft. Hone it at all possible opportunities. Keep all of those journals, scrapbooks, photo albums, and millions of notes–they become a perfect source of inspiration later, and help you remember why you fell in love with words in the first place.

Read. And don’t watch too much TV. Maybe wait a couple years before joining Facebook.

Try not to grow up too fast. Stay innocent for as long as possible. You spend a lot of your adulthood pining for days that were simple and effortlessly happy, and you end up feeling sad for those that left childhood too soon.

Don’t forget how great you are. Seriously. It gets really easy to get lost in the flotsam and jetsam of the world’s negativity. But you are beautiful and bright.



  1. Sarah said:

    LOVE this! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  2. Camilla said:

    i adore this. but i knew you back then and i think you were pretty incredible 🙂 and still are!!

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