To my younger self,

Please understand that working hard isn’t enough.  You’re going to have to accept recognition for what you’ve done, and make sure that people understand how awesome you are. Recognition is a good thing, even if you’re embarrassed.  Learn to smile and say, “Thank you”.  Don’t let anyone else take credit or assume credit for your hard work.  Work hard now, so that you can get where you want to go.  Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want, then demand it.  Don’t be afraid to set high goals, and reach for them.  How else are you going to get there?

Younger self, It’s OK to argue your point, and stand your ground.  You don’t always have to be so nice to everyone.  It’s OK if people don’t like you.  Not everyone is going to like you anyway.

Follow your dreams.  Even if they’re scary.  You won’t regret that semester studying abroad in high school.  And you won’t regret taking that really cool internship.  Travel before you have kids, and don’t rush into it.  Don’t be afraid to take risks.  You have an amazing support system, and should take chances to fly.

To my younger self- get off your butt and keep exercising.  Make sure you get enough sleep, and stop drinking the stupid Coca Cola.  Keep the weight down.  You don’t want to have to deal with losing it later.

Younger self- you did a great job taking care of the kids, and having them so early.  That was a great plan.  You also did everything you could for your parents.  Know that it will be a really rough road ahead, but it will be worth every second of it, and when it’s over, you’ll miss them.

Younger self- you did a pretty good job.  I’m proud of how well you set me up, and how far along you got, even not knowing so many things, and having so many lessons to learn.