June 12, 2024

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A Letter Myself in Junior High

A few days ago, I went to the junior high track across the street.  It was a nice day and I wanted to go for a run.  Apparently, the junior high girl’s PE teacher had the same idea.  I was about half-way through my run when I was soon joined by at least 20 girls.  As I kept doing the few laps I had left, I had to run around many of the girls who were walking.  The teacher was sitting on the bleachers with a megaphone, yelling things out every now and then like “Run!  Don’t walk!”  or “Come on girls!  You’re working on your endurance.”  Still, the girls kept walking.

As I finished my laps and headed home, I couldn’t help thinking about those girls – I used to be one of them.  I also started thinking about things I wish I could tell my younger self.

Dear Junior High Jayni,

There are so many things I want to share with you.  Things that I’ve learned in the past 19 months I wish you could learn now.

I know that you’ve had a hard time recently.  Nothing has been the same since Dad died.  Nothing will ever be the same.  But it’s ok.  Things will get better.   You are still surrounded by people who love you.  Mom, your siblings, teachers, friends, aunts, uncles, neighbors, etc.  Do not take them for granted.  You don’t know much longer any of them might have in this life.  Also, do not forget that you have a Heavenly Father!  He loves you and will always be there for you when you need someone to talk to.

I know you get sick of people talking to you about your weight, but it is because they love you.  LISTEN TO THEM!  If you don’t want to listen to them, listen to yourself (me).  There are so many things that you may and will miss out on because of you weight.  A chance to do some modeling.  The confidence to run for Miss Payson.  The chance to have a lead in a school play.  I know you tell yourself that your weight doesn’t matter, but it does.  It is not only affecting your health – it is affecting your dreams.

Don’t walk on the track during PE – run!     Running can be fun.  Take that enthusiasm you feel while dancing and put it into your feet.  It is a little hard at first, but it gets better the more you do it.  If you don’t feel like running, find some other way to be active.  Borrow your sister’s bike and go for a ride.  Put some music on in your room and dance around.  Grab a soccer ball and kick it around in the back yard.  Just do SOMETHING!  You’ll feel so much better about your life, and yourself, the more active you are!

You cannot make other people like you.  It doesn’t matter how much you weigh or what you wear.  It doesn’t matter how well you sing, dance, act, etc.  People will not start liking you because they are awed by your talents.  You learned that in middle school.  And that’s ok.  I know you struggle with friends.  However, you are blessed because you have a friend that has stuck by you, and will stick by you, through everything that comes your way.  You are worth far more than the number of friends you have.  All that matters is that you like yourself.

You CANNOT make guys like you.  It doesn’t matter how much you weigh, how you dress, or who you hang out with.  If a guy is interested in you, he will show it.  I will tell you right now – your heart is going to get broken.  Some of the guys you have crushes on will not give you the time of day.  That day you dream of going to prom is not going to come.  But it’s ok.  You’ve always told yourself “If someone really loves me, he’ll look past my weight.”  You will meet that someone.  He will look at you and think you are the most beautiful woman in the world.  And let me tell you something else – all those guys who you will have crushes on don’t even hold a candle to how wonderful he is!

Again, these are lessons I’ve only learned recently.  I truly wish could share them with you.  Who knows what life would have been like!  But I will tell you this – life still turned out wonderful!  And though I can’t share these lessons with you, I hope I can share them with others.




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  • Jebbica

    I love this! If only I knew in high school what I know now…my brain probably would have exploded, lol! Thanks so much for sharing on Food & Fitness Friday this week and come back soon!

    • Jayni

      Thank you for reading, Jebbica! Hope to be joining you weekly!

  • Maegan Dockery

    Hello! I found you from my sister’s linkup party, and I love this so much! It’s so true that the things we think are SO IMPORTANT when we’re young often seem so meaningless now. It’s such a great reminder that even though it seemed like the end of the world then, God has such bigger plans for us! Thanks for sharing your heart!

    • Jayni

      HI Maegan! Thank you for visiting and for your comment!

  • Bree

    Great post! I teach/coach high school-aged kids, and I try to tell them these things, but it’s hard to get them to see your perspective.

    • Jayni

      Thank you Bree, and thank you for being a teacher!

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