Sunday, March 8, 2015

#DearMe - International Women's Day

This post is in celebration of International Women's Day, which is today March 8th! You Tube took a global initiative to inspire and empower girls everywhere through the hashtag DearMe. Encouraging girls to give advice to their younger selves. 

With my passion for girls and empowerment, I immediately knew I had to jump on board and give some advice to my younger teenage self. While we can't go back in time and relive moments or all of high school (which, let's be honest, some days I dream of doing), we can start now to take these lessons learned and pass them on, and that's why I had to get involved. 

This may be a letter to my younger teenage self, but it's also a letter to every teenage girl out there! Perhaps as girls, we can all unite together and learn from one another.


Dear Ashley Marie,

Make more friends!! Get to know others and stop being so inwardly focused. Don't ever worry about what others will think of you! Just be yourself and you'll make more friends than you can possibly imagine. Ask questions, the deep questions that will help another to pour their heart out to you. Be vulnerable and let others into your heart. The only way to make friends is to establish connections.

Stop living in your confined comfort zone. You say you suck at all sports, well how would you know if you haven't played a whole lot! Get up and go live a little. Take a chance on the things you think you're not good at. You won't ever learn to become good at something  if you make up a preconceived notion. You won't ever know your passions and what you enjoy in life if you don't take a chance and explore what this beautiful world has to offer.

Try out for teams more often and learn to enjoy taking chances. Try out for the dance team, even if you don't think you will make it. Join the track team, even if you don't have any friends that will do it with you, I mean hello, what a perfect opportunity to make more friends. 

Stop dwelling on not getting asked to many of the dances. Your worth does not come from boys and their opinions about you. Your worth does NOT come from the amount of guys that are interested in you and asking you on dates. The way your dating life looks in high school is not determination for how it ends up in college and beyond. Dating should NEVER be a popularity contest or where self worth is stemmed from. Just be you and opportunities will arise at the perfect time. 

Homework and studying has more of a purpose than you can imagine, the lessons you are learning right now aren't just going to help you in the career field, they will carry you through life. Push yourself more to study subjects that don't come easy to you. Stretch your mind and obtain all the knowledge you can possibly acquire. I promise your future self will thank you ten fold for it.

Be courageous! The only reason you are so shy is because you're living in fear. Who cares what others think. Who cares what others say! Who cares if they don't like you, and if they don't agree with you. Heavenly Father is for you, so who could ever be against you?

You have SO MUCH power to make a difference that it is unbelievable. Service is your forte', compliments are second nature to you, and letter writing is your greatest strength. Don't ever believe that voice inside that says "You can't make a difference by smiling". Turn off the voices that are telling you that you don't matter or that you aren't even noticed. Just a "Hey" in the hallway has so much power to change a life. You have more compassion than most people your age - USE it! Give everything you have to offer because this is your calling, this is your strength. Notice others more and STOP waiting on others to notice you!

Choose a mentor, someone a grade or two older than you and ask them questions about life, school, boy advice, and friendship. You need more people in your life to open up to and also to help. Be open and forward in finding those who can teach you and build you up on this long journey. You're going to make it, I promise!

When your parents ask you how school was, smile and kneel down right there to thank Heavenly Father for providing you with a mom and a dad who care about you. Don't roll your eyes or get annoyed that they care, be overwhelmingly thankful that you have such a good home to return to every single night.

I think the biggest piece of advice I could tell you is to BE FEARLESS and BE PATIENT! Heavenly Father is in control, boy, oh, boy I wish every second of every day you could see just how important you are to Him and how he is guiding your life. He is in every single detail of your life. He loves you and He will never let you fail. 

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