Grace Notes

a blog about life’s everyday magic

December 22, 2016

To the Girl in Braided Pigtails

Photo by Emma-Simpson

Words: Katie Anderson
Photo credit: Emma Simpson



It’s funny how life never turns out how you envisioned it would as a child.


I am at an age where I recognize this, accept it, and can laugh at how this unpredictable world likes to keep me on my toes.


Growing up, I was not always so understanding of this unruly world.


And I was no stranger to difficult moments that made me question, “Why? Why is this happening to me?” But now, as I look where I’ve ended up, I can appreciate how these difficult moments shaped who I am today.


What I wouldn’t give to go back in time and share this understanding with myself as a child. How I wish I could offer guidance on what’s to come to the girl in braided pigtails, the one riding her Little Mermaid bicycle at full speed down the corner hill with a relentless young heart and wonder in her eyes …



To the girl in braided pigtails,


In 20 years time, your views of what matter will look nothing as they do now.


Being nominated for homecoming queen or being liked by all the “right” people when you get to high school will mean nothing in the grand scheme of things.


Your parents are actually looking out for your best interests and not “trying to ruin your life.” When you’re a parent, you will understand.


Listen to me, young self.


Listen to me when I tell you to hug mom and dad often. You take this for granted now, but once you’ve grown and moved away, you will miss the moments they held you tight.


Listen to me when I say your heart will be broken many times. Don’t be scared. Take the risk. You will gain invaluable insight and strength from the moments you thought you’d never overcome.


And when times do get tough, remember you do not have to deal with them alone. Reach out for support. Those who love you will be there with open arms. I promise.


Stop comparing yourself to the girls at school and in magazines. The flaws you perceive in yourself are a deception. You will learn to love them one day.


Slow down and savor every moment of your journey. This life is not a race to the finish.


Remember your courage.


Find magic in everything you do, stay curious, and continue to let your imagination run free.


And this will be hard to believe, but …


You do not know everything.


Trust me when I say it will all work out in the end. You will experience moments of disillusionment, times when you are unsure of your purpose or which road to take. The world has a funny way of unraveling exactly how it is supposed to.


It will all work out.


To better understanding,
Future Self



What do you wish you could tell your younger self? Share with us in the comments.



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Comments ( 2 )

  1. Renee Howard Cassese

    April 19, 2023 at 4:25 pm

    My mother always told me nothing lasts forever; not the good and not the bad. When life threw hard licks at me she said, in five years this won’t mean a thing.

    I would tell that little girl and the teenager she grew into, that her mother was right and that, as Mom also said, it all truly does come out in the wash. The cleansing and gentle wash of
    time and and experience.

  2. Tisa Hosford

    April 19, 2023 at 4:25 pm

    Have faith…this too shall pass.

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