Dear Young Jay,
There are so many things that I want to tell you and it’s hard to find the perfect starting point but I guess this doesn’t need to be perfect, so let’s start there. Your life was designed by a perfect God who holds the plans and every single detail of your life in His hands. You can let go of your idea and need for perfection because it is robbing you of the joy and passion that lives inside of you.
You were born with an innate overflow of gifts and talents most people work their entire lives to master. Don’t take that for granted. The things that come easy to you and hard for others are deeply connected to your purpose, so do not allow Imposter Syndrome to make you feel that you are not worthy of your gifts. Immerse yourself in everything that lights a fire in your heart and when the world starts to tell you that “you doing too much” or ” you’re all over the place” remember who designed your life. Sometimes people will project their insecurities onto you for their own reasons but stand firm in your purpose and reject every negative thought that seeks to take up space in your mind. You were born and made for everything that life throws your way.
Speaking of life and its curveballs, there have been many and I suspect there will be more. You have endured some gut-wrenching moments in your life. There are days when you look back and wonder how. How did I get through? How do I still believe? How am I still smiling? How do I still have joy and hope? I really need you to understand that the designer of your life worked out every single detail. The things that you worry about, I imagine that God sits back and chuckles saying, “yeah she still doesn’t get it”.
Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? – Matthew 6:26-27
Fear is crafty and it never really goes away but don’t let fear take up space for too long. You have wrestled with fear and imposter syndrome for a very long time but I wish you would believe in yourself, your talents, and your success because you are the real deal. Fear likes to attach itself to your ideas and dreams because attacking your mind and emotions can then birth doubt and disbelief. You have to choose how you’re going to respond to fear based on what you think of God. Read that again, write it down, and carry it with you. Fear isn’t going anywhere but how you respond to the feeling will determine how long it sticks around.
You have had some amazing friendships, some friendships have lasted longer than others and that’s okay. No one teaches you how to be a friend, it’s kind of a trial and error situation which isn’t the best method when dealing with people. However, there are many life-long lessons that are discovered in friendships. You will discern who stays and who should go. You will learn what loyalty looks like. The moment your business ends up in the streets is when you will know who cannot be trusted. Forgiveness in friendship is so important because we are human and are in constant need of grace and forgiveness but at the same time use your discernment for navigating the next steps. You are a great friend who enjoys low maintenance quality friendships and that is okay.
Dating is interesting and the same lessons you learn in your friendships are the same lessons that you will experience in dating. In your 20s, date! Don’t get caught up in the idea that you have to date for marriage, just date and have fun. Go on adventures, figure out if you actually like the person, and pay attention to who you are when you’re around that person. Dating is hard but it doesn’t have to be. You are always in control and when you feel like you’re losing control take a step back and make the best decision for yourself. Also, you have a type, and that’s fine but be careful to not limit yourself. There are other good types out there.
When someone bets on you because they believe in you, HONOR that. There will be many people who see something special in you and because of the favor on your life, you will find yourself in positions and in jobs that you don’t necessarily qualify for. Remember, God designed your life which also means He qualifies you as well. When you get into these positions you will need to work hard, speak up, form good relationships, and show up every day ready to add value. You will find yourself in board rooms with people smarter than you who will look to you for guidance and leadership. SHOW UP AND SHOW OUT because you deserve to see yourself operating at your highest self. Come prepared and do the work because you can.
Your dreams are valid and those thoughts that keep you up late at night are part of the dreaming process. Don’t stop dreaming! When you finally get the resources to pursue your dreams and the adrenaline starts pumping through your body you will become addicted to the process and the results. The world needs your dreams and your gifts so don’t give up when things get hard. You can do the hard things too.
Remember you are loved more than you know and the details are of your life are already designed. Just flow and I think you will be pleasantly surprised and proud of your journey. I’m proud of you.