Dear "Perfect" Me [A Letter To My Other Self]

Dear "Perfect" Me,

     I know you think you are living the high life.  You got a boyfriend, and a best friend that lives next door; you go to school and live so close to town that you can ride your bike.  You have a group of friends you take to the mall, an Iphone, and a walk-in closet filled with the newest fashions.  You'd probably sneer if you saw me in my last-year's-trend clothes and dirty sneakers.  While you're posting pictures to Instagram of your prom date, I'm at home taking pictures of a dying rose because I can use it in a blog post.  You'd laugh at me giggling with my sister about that one 12-year-old that flirted with me, when you have boys looking at you all the time.  You'd want to gasp in horror at my nail-polish-covered cracked phone case and my lumpy, old comforter that I refuse to throw away.  You don't know what it feels like to sit alone at lunch, or to be the last one picked for any sport.  You'd have a fit about my fast-food-wrapper-filled car, with missing knobs and only one working window.  You never have to worry about hiding your tears from the world.

But, despite all this, I know I got the better end of the deal.

Because, you see, you don't realize how hard your heart will break when your boyfriend leaves.  You don't realize how much you are going to regret what you gave him.  You won't know how happy I'll be on my wedding day knowing I saved my heart and love-filled-glances for my husband.  As tough as homeschooling can be, I know I won't have the same spiritual struggles and temptations that you go through.  Living close to town is pretty cool, but not as cool as being able to race across open land and explore woods.  You may think that you have a better relationship with your best friends, but I know who my true friends are.  The hugs are a lot tighter, the laughs a lot deeper and the smiles a lot sweeter when a love stands the test of time and distance.  A lot of clothes and expensive stuff is nice, but closet space is a small price to pay for a relationship with siblings.  My sneakers might be dirty, but they tell a story of everywhere I've been.  I know it feels good when boys look at you, but that isn't the kind of attention you want, darling.  You don't know what it feels like to be depressed and lonely, but you also don't know what it is like to have your wall covered in "I love Jessica" notes from 8-year-olds.  You don't know what it feels like to be the worst at soccer, but you also don't know what it is like to be the first-choice-toddler-watcher at church.  You've never sat alone, but you've never struck up a conversation with someone who needed a friend.  You don't know what it is like to drive a hand-me-down car, or how much fun it is driving that car across-country or singing to the radio.  You don't know pain, but you don't know victory.  You don't know the joy of spinning words into poems, or the fun of always having a little sister tag along.  You don't know the excitement of dropping coins into a pasta jar saving for a dream trip, or the smiles that Bible verses on sticky-notes produce.

So you see, dear, you really don't have that much.  Your hair will always curl, and your handwriting is perfect, but you miss a lot of little joys along the way.  It's the rough spots and the little things that grow us, not our possessions.

In the end, I'm so thankful I get to me instead of you.

Love, the Real Jessica Joy.


  1. That was awesome Jessica. You are awesome just the way you are. I love you just how you are.

  2. This is literally wonderful. Love you, Jessica!:)


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