Dream Live Ball

By: Brittany Graham

To my 18-year-old self

basketball, faith, life, brittanyBrittany Graham2 Comments

It’s been exactly 10 years, yes 10 years since I have graduated from high school. Crazy right? So here's a little letter to my 18-year-old self with everything I know now as a 28-year-old-self.

To my 18-year-old self:

You're so young, you're so naive. You think you have it all figured out, but little do you know you have so much learn. In fact, I feel sorry for you. You're so hopeful for better years that you think lie ahead. But, what you don't know is that the next 10 years of your life will be harder and tougher than you could ever imagine. So knowing what I know now, let me educate you on this game called life.

You don't know or see it now but you are beautiful, absolutely beautiful, and you don’t need the approval of a boy to feel so. You don't need to change yourself and compromise who you are and what you believe to get attention from guys like the majority of other freshmen girls in college. Instead, focus on what matters; school and basketball because boys will come and go but you only have 4 years to live your dream of playing college basketball. Besides, later in life I promise you will see your worth and realize just how beautiful you are.

With that being said, even though you think because you're only a freshman your basketball career is just beginning, actually it's almost over. So, don't let any opportunity to get better pass you by. I supposed I should also warn you of the pain from the only stable thing you've ever had in your life is about to bring you. You've never been told you're not good enough, but get ready because that’s something you're about to hear more often than not. They're not going to believe in you but trust me when I say that as long as you believe in yourself and work your butt off you will make it. I know you're going to try to quit every other week, but just remember why you love this game, and more importantly why you started.

I wish you knew, what I know about you now. How awesome you are. What a good friend you are. How funny you are, and how loyal you are to those who are close to you. But, you don't. You poor thing you just want friends so bad. You just want to fit in, be liked, and you're willing to do just about anything to be liked by people who could care less about you. Learn to accept the fact that not everyone is going to like you, and that's okay. Know who your real friends are and be okay with the fact that you may not see them for years but that doesn't change the fact they will always ride for you, more than the fake friends you spend your time with every day. Stick up for yourself and stop letting people use you. Can I have ride? Oh I'll pay you back, hey I need a favor, help me with my homework, be our DD tonight? You’re going to hear it all and never stop giving to those in need, just don't expect anything in return. Because I'm telling you, those people who you think are your friends won't make it past the next chapter.

2015 vs. 2005 wow, time went by fast!
2015 vs. 2005 wow, time went by fast!

You have no reason to feel the way you do. Confused and lost about who you are. You know exactly who you are but I'm sorry to say over the next 10 years of your life you will question yourself about who are entirely too much. You're going to go through the tough act stage of thinking you know it all and can do it on your own. But, trust me when I say, you don't, and you can’t. I hate to say it but mom and dad will almost always be right, about everything. So, as much as you think you're grown, they will always be wiser. Listen to their lectures and know that at the end of the day they will probably be the only people in your life that will ever fully have your best interest.

I need you to be ready for life after playing basketball because the first few years to follow will be toughest years of your young life. I wish I could give you the strength you have now then, because then is when you will really need it most. I don't understand some of the decisions you are about to make, but I know the void, pain, and misunderstandings of yourself. I'm disappointed in you for being so weak-minded, but I'm proud of you overcoming so many difficult circumstances and fully learning to rely on God, and for the first time ever.

Once and for all, stop letting people use you and learn to say no. You're a smart girl, very smart so learn to use your head and follow your first instinct. Be careful who you open up to because most people are just curious, bored, or lonely. And let's face it, as tough as you try to act you're nice ways and constantly giving so much to others makes you an easy target.

Stop comparing yourself to others, because everyone has a different journey, and we have have a different struggle, and a different story to tell. Focus on yours and yours only and know that your time is coming. So don't get caught up in feeling sorry for yourself, because trust me again when I say that nobody is feeling sorry for you!

I wish you would live Britt, you're only young once enjoy it. Break the rules, get in trouble, and take more risks. Don't always play it safe. Say YES more, and go explore. Do what you love and don't be so afraid of what those useless people think of you, and be okay with being different. BE confident Britt, because you don't realize it now, but girl you've got IT going on and I wish you could see it. Stop hiding behind your computer screen and go do great things. Let the world and everyone in it know just how great you are! You're smart, you're athletic, pretty, quirky, silly...everything. And no you're not perfect and far from it. But, the quicker you learn to accept your flaws and let your greatness shine, the happier you will be.

So with that being said, to my young 18-year-old self, ten years later as a wiser, stronger 28-year-old. I must say that despite our weak moments, the confusion of life and finding yourself in your post-grad 20’s, I am proud of you. So proud of you, for overcoming so many obstacles and adversity that most people never knew existed all because you stayed the course and

remained strong. I just want to say thank you, for the trials and tribulations and for preparing me for the next ten years and next stage of my life as I continue to move forward in this thing called adulthood. Because believe it or not kid, you have fully prepared me for what’s next, and I couldn’t have made it this far without you.

So here’s to the next ten and the future you. We, the younger you, and current you wish you the best. You deserve everything that is coming your way, these next ten years. We wish for you all of things you ever dreamed of as a little ambitious girl. Memories, love, a family, adventure, success, helping others, and continuing to do amazing things with your life. We wish you all of this and more, and we can only hope that these past ten years have prepared you for the next ten.

Be confident in all that you do, continue to keep God first, never be scared and go after the life you want. You’re strong, you’re beautiful, and you’re one pretty amazing kind-hearted person.

We love you, make us proud.