dear sixteen year-old kelly,

I’ve been thinking a lot about you (lately). Especially the last year. Considering I’m twice your age now you will come to understand everything about being patient in life. Ugh, I know you hate that word and I (sometimes) still do, but without sounding too motherly: yes, it’s true, patience is indeed a virtue. You will learn this in the coming years.

You, the shy self-proclaimed nobody, who is impatiently waiting for these so-called big moments in life. You’ve been waiting for them for quite a while now (which seems quite odd these days). Anxiously waiting for that first kiss. You were grown up way before the rest of the girls. While they were still trailing their Barbies around, you got to enjoy (right) the perks (no way!) of womanhood. Way too early, but guess what? That age has become more and more common now. Ah well, suck it up, you’re probably thinking now. And you’re right, it didn’t make things too easy, now did it?

Oh, and the waiting part, it will all just take a little while longer than usual (or average if you like to call it that way). By the time you’re twenty two you will eventually experience that first kiss (don’t lose sight of that guy in the gray coat on your daily commute to college; thank me later).

While you lost your grandmother a couple of years ago, you will meet grief again next year. You will meet grief over the following years as well and you’ll never so much as learn to cope with it. It’s part of one of your biggest anxieties: saying goodbye to those you love.

By now, you will also have learned about that American band called the Goo Goo Dolls. Whether you like it or not, they will have a big influence on your life. You’ll get to know more about the Internet and meet other people online, who live thousands of miles away. But you share one thing: your love for this amazing band. That same Internet thing will also teach you about people who are just like you. You may not have found them in real life but they are out there in this world and it’s the best thing ever to be able to talk about the things you’re passionate about with people your age even though it hurts that they’re at such distance.

Then there’s graduation, you’re looking forward to it, aren’t you? It’s worth the wait: think college, no more PE! However, college won’t turn out what you hoped it would be. It will be a struggle for two to three years. There will be a lot of times when you think there’s no way out… You won’t get the degree you always pursued but instead you will find something that you love to do and I guess that’s most important in life.
Oh, and remember that guy I told you about? The one you will meet on your daily commute to college and turns out to be in your class? Well, as I said, you will learn to be patient in life, also in this case, but he’ll turn out to be the love of your life (no kidding!). Ah well, it had to happen at some point, right? Also, you will attend a college that consists of 90% male students. You just have to pick one (no, just kidding here, he really is the one).

Throughout those college years you will adopt a pet rabbit and name him Mickey. He will prove to be your biggest support throughout the years and saying goodbye to him on your favorite holiday will be one of the hardest things you will come to do in your young life.

You will learn all about family and friendship in the following years. By the time you’re 30 (yes, it will take that long), you will realise what’s most important in life and you’ll have to admit that mom and dad were always right. Remember: they are always right.

I know you have a lot of goals in life and you still do at my age now (I don’t want to say it again, but I’m twice your age now). Many goals will not be reached, but don’t always see this as a bad thing. Again, it will take many years for you to understand this but once you do you’ll be so much more comfortable in your own skin.

You’ll start your professional career in a totally different place than you thought you would at your age now. It will be challenging at some point and there will be ups and downs. You will come to learn a lot about life and people and it will only make you stronger.

Now that you have a job, it is time to spend money! Or maybe not. You will live with mom and dad for a long time, saving for that dream house of yours and eventually it will get to that point. You will regret that you haven’t travelled so much, but you now have your own house instead and that’s worth a thing or two, isn’t it?
But, you will fuel your wanderlust (even though not as much as you hoped you would) and travel to New York. You will explore Europe further and one day in November 2010 you will find yourself in London and you’ll finally see them live: the aforementioned Goo Goo Dolls. You will meet those awesome people you met online back when you were 18 and it will be amazeballs!

There was always this questioning (in particular yourself), but you will find something you love and that you’re actually good at. People will acknowledge it, but being who you are it will take a couple of years for you to realise it really is that way. Tip: it involves a camera.

By the time you are 31 you will finally have your Kelly Taylor moment and it will be worth the wait (more than anything, if I may add).

My advice for you, dear Kelly:

  • face your anxieties sooner rather than later
    They take up so much of your time and really? Do you really want to spend another minute facing them? Once you get older (I’m talking 30-something) you will realise that they have done you no good at all. All they did was take away that precious time called life.
  • always believe in yourself
    You are the most important being in your life and you have full responsibility over it. It’s up to you to make decisions and once you’ve made them: don’t look back. Trust yourself when making them. You are good at them. Just be willing to take a leap.
  • never give up
    Even at the darkest moments in life: never give up. Life is all about challenges, so you will learn over the next couple of years. Never give up on them, they will make you stronger and you will turn into a person who actually kind of likes herself (I’m not saying love here on purpose).
  • cherish life
    Cherish life and its little moments. You already realise this now and this feeling will only grow stronger over the next couple of years.







This letter is part of the #boostyourpositivity project by Activia. I chose to participate in this project myself. Of course all opinions are my own.


  1. ITGIRLKYM februari 7, 2015

    heel mooie brief. werd er beetje stil van om hem te lezen. het zet me aan het denken over mezelf. nice one Kelly! #topmadam

  2. Stijn februari 7, 2015

    Mooi. Erg mooi. x

  3. Akane februari 8, 2015

    This put a smile on my face. =)

  4. Falderie februari 8, 2015

    Heel mooie brief.
    Ik besef na het lezen van je brief dat ik mijzelf er met de mijne misschien wat te gemakkelijk vanaf gemaakt heb… ๐Ÿ™‚

    • kelly februari 16, 2015

      Dankjewel, Falderie! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Ieder zijn of haar eigen interpretatie van zo’n brief, hรฉ. Die van jou was een andere aanpak, maar daarom niet minder goed.

  5. Elke Uyttenhove februari 9, 2015


  6. Julie februari 9, 2015

    Oh, ik zou zo graag jouw 16-jarige zelf haar gezicht zien als ze deze brief leest, en beseft dat haar leven wel de moeite waard zal zijn! ;). Bestaat er geen tijdsmachine waarin we deze brief 16 jaar terug in de tijd kunnen sturen? ๐Ÿ˜€

    • kelly februari 16, 2015

      Ja, haar gezicht vol ongeloof, me dunkt.

      Zouden we dat wel willen? Dan maken we misschien andere keuzes in het leven die ook zo hun consequenties hebben. Everything happens for a reason, right?

  7. […] spending last week reflecting on my 16 year-old self, I spent this week thinking about my take on energy and positivity, in […]

  8. Wacca februari 16, 2015

    Heel mooi geschreven!


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