Dear Younger Me,

Dear Younger Me,

Wow, we have so much to talk about. I know you may think you wont live past 17, but I want you to know that you at least have 10 more years. So stay calm and hear what I have to say.

You also probably think you will not get far in life. But I want to let you know that you/I have dreams now that are terrifying, but you are doing everything in your power to get there. You will travel the world and go places you thought you would never go, meet people you thought you would never meet, and push through all of the things you thought were limiting you.

You will make friends along the way. In fact you will meet LOTS of them. However, you will eventually learn that it isn’t the size of your circle that counts but the true quality friendships you invest in.

You will learn that people can be trusted. But you will also learn which ones you shouldn’t trust. There will be people who will pretend to be your friends. The things they say behind your back about you will hurt, but none of that matters now. You will eventually learn that the opinions of others are simply just opinions.

You will learn the importance of having a mentor/friend to guid you. The wisdom that they share with you will encourage you to grow and move forward.

There are a lot of things that you will learn about yourself. Some of them are amazing, but some of them not so much. You will learn your strengths and weaknesses, and learn that neither are limiting factors.

You will make MANY mistakes, but you will learn from them.

You will learn that not all people were meant to stay in your life forever. Some will walk out and others you will have to move on from. Neither are easy, but you will be stronger for it.

You are still awkward… Extremely awkward… But you will find that there are going to be people who like you anyway. You don’t need to pretend you have it all together, because trust me you still don’t. But you will feel nothing more liberating than when you finally realize that you can only be yourself. There will be people who wont’t accept you for who you are but that’s ok. Not everyone is meant to be in your life, and there is no way that you can please everyone.

I know you’re asking a lot of questions about God right now. And everything is confusing but you will find spiritual peace. You will also learn you do not need to strive for God’s love. He already loves you despite your flaws.

You will have some regrets. There will be times you could have helped people or times you could have said, “thank you”.  These moments will teach you to never turn a blind eye towards those in need and show gratitude to the people who sincerely care for you.


Stay far away from those who are nosey and want to gossip. Although they may always be in arms distance to talk to when you have something interesting to say, these are not the people who will shape you into who you are supposed to be. They are not your true friends. They will be the first to laugh at your failures and criticize your success. Although they may be outspoken and always ready to talk, don’t mistake their loudness for confidence. They are insecure in themselves and are only looking for a cheap way to make themselves look better. Your true friends will better themselves and be confident by working hard, not by tearing you down.

IMG_8694You will go on a few casual dates here and there but you will eventually meet your soul mate. You will also learn that marriage is an option when you meet the right person. Stay away from the guys that put others down. Although they may never say anything unkind to you, their actions towards others only reveal who they will be in the future. Ask lots of questions. Stay away from the men that lack ambition. Know the difference between a tyrant and a leader. A tyrant is insecure, will put you down only to have a doormat to stand on, and will not be able to handle your success much less their own. But, a leader is confident, will run with you, and encourage you to succeed. You will also be able to celebrate his successes, because you know he worked hard to get there.  Don’t worry, you marry a pretty incredible guy.  Yes, you did ask him quite a few questions.

No matter what it looks like now, you will recover from anorexia. It wont be an easy process, but you will make it out. You will also be surprised that there are going to be some amazing people who love you for who you are regardless of how you currently look. There are going to be people who care and want to see you happy.  Your fake smiles will also not fool them. They will be able to call you out when you’re truly not ok.

Above all I wish you knew your true worth in the eyes of God. You are not an accident. You were made on purpose for a purpose. You may not see any of this now but it’s true. You will struggle with this idea even as an adult. You will have days you don’t feel good enough. But those days will no longer consume your life when you start believing in who you were created to be.

You won’t have to pretend to be happy anymore. Because you will be truly happy. You will also learn that it’s ok to cry when your sad. Your real friends will accept you when life is amazing and when you’re having a rough day.


I know all of this is hard to believe. And things are going to be very dark before they become brighter. Regardless of what you’ve been told you’re not a quitter. Don’t give up. (I already know you won’t)

Hang in there kid, it’s going to be ok.


P.S. For any of the kids out there struggling to find themselves, don’t quit now. Whatever you’ve lost faith in (yourself or your future), I promise you will find it again. You’re not alone. Don’t settle and Don’t quit!

*You true friends will see through your face smiles “Your true friends will see past your fake smiles” Left: May 2007 I was spiraling down  a dark path. My smile is quite convincing but I had just cried earlier before this photo/ Right: 2017 me now. I am 8yrs recovered from anorexia. I smile because I want to.

*Parents and Teens

Please note that all before photos of me are not healthy representations of what a 17yr old female should look like. This post is in no way supporting the “thinspo” lifestyle. If you or anyone you know is suffering from an eating disorder, please contact (800) 931-2237 or text NEDA to 741741.



  1. So incredibly wise. Such a beautiful soul!
    Joy you are an inspiration to all women. I found so much of what you write about to be comforting, thank you for sharing. You were always a joyful little girl. Smart and sweet and beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. As I’ve told you before, the night we met I thought you were one of the most appropriately named people EVER, because Joy poured out of you. Knowing the story behind it just makes you that much more beautiful!
    Traci (Marietta, GA)

    Liked by 1 person

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