Know this in your heart: Where you are now is just a stepping stone. A test of character. A small fraction of what life consists of. You will continue on this journey, and many things will change and challenge you. The true beauty of this test is that your core beliefs will remain intact, and you will gain strength you never knew you had.
As you wander through these halls, chatting with friends, diligently completing your tasks and assignments, going to practice and games, being a daughter, sister, friend, student, dreamer , and optimist, full of hope and love, know that these experiences are shaping you to be the strong woman you will become. Know that each time you have a unique idea, try a new hairstyle, dance differently than the group, and set yourself apart from the crowd, you are doing yourself a favor.
Your kindness and light-hearted personality can be mistaken, and people may not take you seriously when you want them to. You will learn to overcome this concern as your confidence continues to grow, and you will prove them wrong. Life will try to remove the optimism from you through devastation and loss. Your heart will break. The tragedy you experience will teach you many life lessons, and you will listen. But, you will become stronger and more compassionate towards others.
Know this: Your heart is good. You will share it with others, and they with you. You will realize your weaknesses and work on them throughout your life. You will continue to love many things: books, learning, children, family, the outdoors, conversation, travel, and early mornings among many others.
Know this in your heart: Your energy and passion are true. They are not temporary. You are going to feel strongly about issues and care deeply. You will make choices that do not follow the “norm,” and you will be alright with that. You will make decisions based on your feelings and knowledge and be confident in them. You will have the opportunity to get involved in things that matter to you, and you will make a difference.
Life will try to tell you “no,” and you will say, “I am going to try.” Life will tell you that it can’t be done, and you will answer, “Then let’s do it another way.” Life will tell you that it’s not possible, and you will say, “I am going to give it my best shot.”
Jen Shoemake is the mother of two young children and the creator of The Hive Project LLC. Along with her husband, Kevin, she is owner of Hartland Center of Alternative Medicine, where her passion for health, wellness, and community involvement is lived daily. Contact Jen at email@example.com.