Feel Good Friday: What 29-Year-Old Me Would Tell My 16-Year-Old Self


I thought a great way to start off my “Feel Good Friday” series would be to write an open letter to the younger version of me.  A pretty vulnerable thing to do, but hear me out!

What I’m hoping this exercise does is shine some light on how much I’ve learned in my 20s and the clarity that’s come from the many experiences and conversations I’ve had since being a teenager.

Sometimes in order to feel something real, we’ve got to feel uncomfortable first. So, here goes nothin’.

Dear Ari,

I’m sure you’re busy studying or writing on your bed tonight. You’re dreaming about what’s beyond the white picket fences in your small town. I’m sure you’re wondering what the cute guy in class thinks of your baggy clothes or if he thinks your curly hair would look better straightened.

But you know what, soon enough, none of that is the going to be the stuff that matters. The many things you’re worrying about will float away with age. The true values your parents and those close to you have taught you will rise in importance. Your frizzy hair will loosen with age and you’ll actually, in time, grow to love how it stands you apart. Your fashion sense will evolve, and you’ll learn to have fun with style and donate the clothes you no longer wear.

You can stop staring at your figure in the mirror because the real reflection that shines true is the one you can’t see back. And, the body you see will fluctuate, transform, and amaze you with what it can do. Your body will take you to Italy where you’ll study and explore, to college where you’ll meet incredible people and find your passions, and eventually to California where you’ll thrive and build a future beside your best friend.

Hold close to your small-town memories. They may seem petty or washed away in bigger troubles and worries, but they’ll be the values you pocket away or come back to everyday when you’re far from home. They’ll be the lessons that ring true in every adult situation you encounter.

Keep on dreaming and writing. That’s the part of you that won’t—and shouldn’t—ever change.

(Phew! That was harder than it looked.)

What would your current self tell your 16-year-old self? And, if you want, share a snippet of what your letter would look like!

C’mon, get uncomfortable for a second and give it a try. I think it’ll be worth it.

I hope this exercise has you feeling good and looking at life through a much softer lens.

We should be kind to ourselves because the conversations we have within affect our whole outlook on life.

Peace starts within.” I own a bracelet that’s inscribed with those words and the message couldn’t be more true. Think about it…

Thanks for reading,

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