1. Robin

    *hug* I was just the opposite. Way too confident and full of myself. ugh…
    Being young was hard work, wasn’t it?

  2. I wonder how many of us writing to our 20-year-old selves will find this common thread: “believe in yourself.” Great post—and what a wonderful picture! There’s a story there, I’m sure, and I look forward to reading it.

  3. “The hardest battle you will face in life is to be no one but yourself, in a world which is trying its best to make you like everybody else.” – A quote from a high school graduation invitation

  4. Excellent insights–self-criticism can be just as crippling as over-confidence…and our young selves seemed to have an abundance of both, didn’t they?
    Thanks for sharing this!

  5. This is a great insight: We attract those who validate what we inherently believe to be true about ourselves. So often I thought it was “this guy” or “that situation” but it was always me each and every time. I’m the only one who can change in any given set of circumstances. I only have power over myself.

    I can’t believe how much power I gave away to men who didn’t deserve it. I was so desperate for love and security that I ended up not really getting anyway.

    I love to read these and see how far each of us has come and what we’ve learned along the way. It also amazes me how much we all still look like ourselves. You can see the us we’ll be one day in those 20 year old faces.

  6. Yes Chloe:
    My beliefs about love put simply are: You get what you are, so work on improving yourself! That’s where your power lies.

    Thanks for starting this whole thing! It’s taken on a life of its own, and I love it!

    Laura Lee

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  8. I like the words you put in bold… Believe in Yourself…

    How true these are and if we only would believe in ourselves more and not be so hard on ourselves.

    Wonderful write!!

    Cheers, Jenn

  9. I wonder how many of us used our lack of belief in ourselves to raise our sons and daughters differently?

    I know I did. Of course, the real test will be to see what sort of men they become (they’re both around 20). So perhaps our insecurities led us to become stronger adults and better parents?

  10. Yes, as you noted a common thread of self-doubt and judgment. Some of it comes with the age and the place in time we found ourselves. I think.
    Thank you for giving us this glimpse at your life

  11. Oh yes, this: “I remember being so painfully self-conscious and self-critical back then. No one could convince me of my right to be exactly who I was, or to feel true self-respect.” We came from the same place. Great photo and letter.

  12. Ah, self confidence. For most of us, it is a hard-earned badge of honor. There’s nothing more valuable because with it, you can do anything. Big hugs.

  13. What was it about the twenty-year-olds of that era that made it so difficult for us to believe in ourselves? Perhaps it was the times we lived in–did society do enough to instill self-assuredness in its young women? I’ll bet you’ve got some great stories about Thailand, though!

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  15. Love the post, and the picture of you with the goddess! Sarasvati, right? Goddess of the arts: music, painting, and writing: most pertinent to whom you’ve become.

  16. Amanda Frank

    This is a fantastic post! I feel like sometimes as we age, we lose that natural confidence we had when we were younger, and even though we are much, much wiser now sometimes we long to be young again. I’d love to go back and give my 20 something self a bit of advice because the truth is that we’re amazing at EVERY age. Thanks again for sharing this!

  17. Nancy/Nerthus

    Seems I wasn’t alone, though I thought I was, in my self-doubt, self-criticism, and inherent ability to stay with the wrong guys when I was young. But we are doing pretty well now, per what you said and Chloe reinforced, aren’t we?

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