Jeremy Statton

Living Better Stories

With Love, A Letter to My Children

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From Jeremy: This is a guest post by Melissa Gallo. Mom to two wonderful kids, Melissa used her experience in motherhood to get her daycare business going. She loves sharing her ideas and tips with other moms who hope to get their start-ups off the ground.

The wisdom and self-acceptance that comes with growing older and having a family is a gift. The gift of seeing beautiful imperfections in the mirror instead of physical flaws.

Or the gift of knowing that without disappointments or failures you wouldn’t have found the inspiration to better yourself.

Aging means we’ve just acquired more tools that help us learn how to respond to life and take care of others. Youthful mistakes, heartbreak, failures and disappointments are rites of passage that not only help shape who we are as individuals but also who we are as parents.

When we think about what we’d write in a letter to our younger selves, we often think about what we’d tell our children. When you really reflect, you realize you’d rather teach your children, rather than change your younger self.

In a letter to my children, I wish for you to…

Thirst for Knowledge

Whether you’re in first grade or completing grad school, keep learning and stay thirsty for knowledge. Like your faith and integrity, your knowledge and education is something that no one can take from you or use against you. You can never learn too much and you never finish learning. Intelligence will get you far in life, from getting a job to getting a date.

Accept Failure & Disappointment

If you failed, learn from it. If you’re disappointed, it will pass. Failure and disappointment build strength and character. Take my word for it when I say that you wouldn’t want to live a life that handed you everything you ever wanted.

Be Who You Are

As you make friends and go to school, nothing is going to feel more important than fitting in. You may and you may not. More than anything, I’ll want to protect your identity and never let anyone persuade you from being who you truly are. If the boy from your soccer team doesn’t invite you to his birthday party or if kids are cruel to you, you’re going to feel like world is against you. Amid feelings of loneliness or insecurity, you will find your place in this world that appreciates you for exactly who you are.

Save Money

Save your money because you’ll appreciate the ability to do so when you’re older. Life without materialism and the need for instant gratification will be a good life. Plus, if you put your money away for a rainy day, then you’ll be able to make the most of when it pours.

Be Kind & Compassionate

“Treat others as you wish to be treated.” Live by that and you’ll make no enemies.

Get Your Heart Broken

Fall in love hard. Get your heart helplessly broken. The ability to love and feel is a beautiful thing, and if your heart gets broken, it only means your human. As long as you’re breathing, your heart is alive and reparable, yet it will break over and over again. People will fall out of love. People will die. Life will go on.

What would you tell your children or to your younger self?

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About Jeremy Statton

Jeremy is a writer and an orthopedic surgeon. When not ridding the world of pain, he helps you live a better story. Follow him on Twitter or Facebook or Google +.

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4 Replies

  1. To my younger self:
    One date is not marriage.
    Those dress pants you’re forced to buy in high school, buy several pairs because they’ll still fit (and fit the best) post-college.
    Never let the gas tank get below 1/2 a tank. It makes you cranky.

  2. Definitely not marriage. I don’t know about the pants. I get cranky when I have to stop and fill it up. Great list, Katie.

  3. Crystal Walton

    You know, it’s very tempting to want to save myself some heartache by avoiding all my past mistakes. But I’ve come to realize those periods of heartaches, those failures, those hard lessons learned have shaped who I’ve become; and, consequently, aren’t worth trading. If I could go back and tell myself something, it would be this: Don’t lose heart. In the midst of the pain, there is purpose. Keep going. You don’t walk alone.

  4. I agree. Even our mistakes shape us in important ways.

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