I am an avid blog reader.
I read blogs for new ideas, to be inspired, to check out work by other writers and designers.
I also love reading blogs for the real-life stories behind the screen.
I love it when writing and sharing can bring people closer together or just make one person feel less like they are alone in how they are feeling or in the situations they face.

One such blogger is Brittany. She is an advocate and an unabashed speaker for the plus-sized woman in our beauty and skinny-crazy culture. She’s funny, well-written, speaks frankly from her mind but one thing I love about Brittany…she makes us feel like we are already best friends! She shares her (sometimes very personal and “PG-rated”) stories about life, relationships, clothing, parenting and much more and her blog has become an inspiration to share our own stories.

This month, Brittany has set out some writing prompts for us fellow bloggers or writers to share our real-life stories. The theme for August is: Body Image. She has given us 31 different topics to write about. You can write every day or choose one or two to write about anytime. Then we post a link to our blogs in the comments of her post and marvel at the wonderful stories we all share with one another. I don’t know a single woman out there who doesn’t struggle somewhat with her own body image and I am eager to read other stories and excited (and a little terrified) to share my own.

Writing about personal feelings or struggles puts us in such a vulnerable position, but I have learned that if only one person feels less alone in their own struggles because of what I have written, then it’s been worth it to share a part of my inner self.

Here’s my Body Image topic for today:

1. Write a letter to yourself 10 years ago. What do you know now, that you wish you’d known then?

Yes, this is me circa 2004-2005. Taking a selfie before selfies were invented!

Dear 25 Year Old Me,

First of all, good for you for going back to University and finishing off your Bachelor’s Degree!
I know it’s not easy and I know it seems like a never-ending journey towards that piece of paper, but it’s worth it. That feeling of accomplishment in our world where we start many things and rarely finish them, it worth it. Work hard, do your best and try not to procrastinate too much!

About how you feel about yourself right now…I know you always put on a brave, happy face and hide how you feel deep down inside. This is something you need to work on. Yes, it’s great to look happy and sometimes it’s not the right moment to show how you feel, but don’t let negativity fester. You will have some low moments, even months, in the years coming up and you need to learn how to let go, forgive and move on from hurts. There will be struggles and there will be times you’ll feel lonely and lost, but you are not ever alone. Hold tight to your Faith and let others speak into your life with encouragement and love.

I also know that you do not like your body and shape at all. I know because I was you. I know how you secretly judge others but only because you fear everyone is always judging you and how you look. Don’t dwell on that! Be confident! It wastes so much time feeling insecure. You are a beautiful person! You have a smile that lights up your whole face. You have a laugh that is infectious. You have a wonderful sense of humour that I never want to see squashed by self-doubt. Be you! Yes, I know we would love to look differently and be more in shape. It’s going to take a lot of discipline and a confidence boost to get us there. Keep working at being active and…maybe eat a little healthier.

I know it may seem like your life is not too exciting and you constantly compare yourself with your friends and peers. Your life is your own right now and you get to have as much fun as you wish. You can enjoy this time of learning new skills, meeting new people, forging new amazing friendships and, sadly, letting go of the ones that are no longer meant to be in your life.

You are soon to be embarking on a new job and guess what? That job will take you places and hone skills you never dreamed of! Be inspired! And inspire those around you! Look forward to working with people in the long term. Don’t be afraid to dream big and ask for ways to increase your knowledge and skills that will benefit everyone at the office.

A few tips:

Practice Patience – learn to wait, learn to take time to get the details right and learn to deal nicely with those around who tend to frustrate you. No one likes an impatient person!

Hang on to Joy – it will be difficult at times, but keep holding onto the joy of the little things. You are naturally a fun person, so keep finding the fun in everyday.

Stop Comparing! Comparison is the thief of joy! You are unique, fun, amazing, creative, skilled, smart and talented in may areas, STOP comparing your beginnings to other people’s middle or ends! You are YOU! Be the best version of You in what ever stage you are at!

Most of all, start enjoying who you are. You will be amazed at the confidence that will rise up out of you once you start believing that you are a beautiful person! You are worth being loved. You are worth being someone’s friend. You are worth more than just settling for what’s leftover. Your life has a purpose and your journey will be full of meaningful moments.

Be yourself and you will find happiness and joy!

Much love,

The Future You