To Younger Me – Summerlin Lewis

This is the fifth installment of six of a blog series about, ”What would I tell my younger self? What advice would you give, yourself?” Summerlin is a friend of mine and a great question asker. Here’s her advice to her younger self.

Hey girlfriend.

I know how you are. I know you don’t want fluff; you just want answers, so I’ll not tarry.

University of Tennessee is the right choice. You’re going to go back and forth about it like you’re doing right now. Somewhere in early 2008, you’ll seriously consider moving back to Chattanooga and going to UTC. But if you just go ahead and commit to Knoxville from the get-go, it’s going to be better. Knoxville holds very powerful life-change for you. I know it’s tough to let go–that Chattanooga is your home. But you’re making the right choice by leaving. It will get easier, and the day you graduate, your heart will be broken that it’s over.

CRU is the right choice, too. Invest in it from the moment a boy named Ryan invites you to the weekly meeting at the barbecue in Presidential Court.

The boy that comes around on September 13, 2006 is the wrong choice. I know a lot of these types of letters embrace mistakes because they teach you life lessons or whatever. Summerlin, this is a mistake we are better off not making. Run away from him. Do you understand me? 

And the boy after him, too, in the summer of 2007. Sorry about that. 

Love, your life is going to be way harder than you thought it would be. On October 4, 2006 you will make a list of things that you could never live without. Within two years, most of those things will be taken from you. Every time you will think you can’t cry harder, you will. You will know some deep pain.

There are some things about your family that you’re not ready to hear about. And some things about law school. Summerlin, you will not be Miss Student Council for very much longer. I know you’ve never failed a test. But you will, in more ways than one.

Here’s the thing, though. You are going to like yourself. You are going to stop comparing yourself to other girls and you’re going to stop crying about being ugly. Soon, you’re going to start seeing that you’re pretty. Very soon, actually. Within a year from today. 

And people are coming who are going to love you so deeply. Frankie. Kim. You’ll meet really awesome guys at CRU that you think are too cool for you, and they aren’t. They are going to like you, Summerlin. They want to be friends with you! So don’t waste time being insecure about them.

Get over your rivalry with Missy quickly. She’s a good friend and you don’t need to wait until you live together at the end of college to invest in her. 

Summerlin, there is a rich, rich life coming for you. And the hard things make it as rich as the good things. You probably don’t believe me; I know you! I know how you are. Here’s to hoping this letter will push you off the edge a little quicker.

“No one’s ever seen or heard anything like this,

Never so much as imagined anything quite like it–

What God has arranged for those who love him.”

It’s true, love. It’s true. You’ve no idea what God has in store for you.

Summerlin is a friend, a pretty writer, & blogger at www.turningpretty.com. Follow her on Twitter: @besssummerlin.

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