Saturday, February 14, 2015

Dear 19

Today I am turning 20, and in honor of this birthday, I am writing to myself at 19.

Dear Tori,

You haven't started transitioning over to calling yourself Victoria yet, but you will soon. It will confuse people. Especially with your full name on Facebook. Some people will even call you Ashley.

But that's beside the point.

You're barely 19 and just spent the morning celebrating with friends. It's your last year of being a teenager and that is certainly something to celebrate. But before the year ends, there will be so many times of doubt and excitement, tears cried and lessons learned.

This coming year will push you and stretch you in ways you never thought possible. It's true that most days you will feel like giving up, but trust me, it's so not worth it. Because when you power through you will find the hidden strength you never knew you had. Hold tightly to that strength, for not many have it.

You are so strong, Tori. So incredibly strong. And though not everyone will see it, it's true. Your friends and family will always be there to remind you of that.

Cherish your friends and try not to push them back the way you tend to do. It's okay to be vulnerable. You will learn that this year. Vulnerability is a beautiful thing, not ugly. And it will draw others to you when you take the courage to share your story.

Allow God to use your heart and shape your story to His will. He is writing you the most beautiful story, but you might not see it yet.

Never let this world get to you. For you are in the world, but not of it.

Take chances, because even if you fail, it is okay to fail sometimes.

Trust your instincts but always turn to the Father.

Learn to love and let others love you.

I promise you will not regret it.


  1. Ok, can I just say that first I loved this post because I'm Tori as well?! People always told me I would go by Victoria when I got older, but it never happened. It still feels weird to hear that name sometimes, but I've gotten used to it over time. I would have loved to read this when I was 19... such wise words. Thank you for sharing! Sending love from The Peony Project

  2. I love the reminder that God is writing us a beautiful story. Those are the same words I have been telling myself as I reflect back on high school and make college choices. :)

    1. Good luck with college! These upcoming years are the hardest and best! Thank you for your comment!

  3. This is so beautiful! I love the wisdom with which you reflect on something so recent. Love from the Peony Project!

  4. Happy Birthday -- I love how you were able to reflect on your past year. It's so important to be able to get perspective.

  5. Lovely letter! Happy 20th birthday, love! I'll be 20 in a few days too. :)

  6. Happy Birthday, Victoria! This is beautifully written. I love how to can openly identify how strong you see yourself. That's empowering to me, and too often I see girls not feeling strong at all or needing others' validation. Good for you for owning it!