Dear 15-Year-Old Me,

Dear 15-year-old me,

It has been two weeks since you received some of the most exciting news you have ever received. You may think that this means you got into veterinary school, but something along the way changed and you found a new passion.

Before I tell you what that thing is, I could tell you to change some of your notorious actions, but if I were to do that you would never be where you are now. So, what I will mention is it may seem like your world is falling apart right now, but trust me when I say you can do this. Don’t let others opinions rule what you say and do. Smile a little more. Don’t get so caught up in your head. There are days when it feels like the pain won’t end, but I promise you, you will grow positively from it. You will have some pretty bad blowouts with your parents, you will make some stupid choices and you will have some nasty injuries. However, in all of this, there is only one regret I still wish I could change, that is when you hurt so much you will turn to sharp objects to release the pain. Reach out to those around you, they may not feel the same, but they will do everything to try to understand.

Your goal has been veterinary school since second grade, and it will continue to be your goal until freshman year of college. This changes when you will begin a relationship with a very special someone. He will change the way you see everything. You will begin to notice that you are more than what you have previously valued yourself as. He will tell you that you can do more than you ever imagined you could. You will continue to stumble along the way. You will make some more mistakes, but you no longer will have to live with guilt, shame, and feeling like the weight of the world is on your shoulders.

You might be wondering what guy could ever make you change your mind like this. You have always been too independent to really give any guy the time of day. However, this one is different. His name is Jesus. You think you know Him now, and in a way you do. He knew you from the moment you were created, and His plan for you has gone beyond the goals that you have set for yourself. He has opened your heart to the geriatric population and, in turn, occupational therapy. You will leave your dream school, Purdue, the school that felt like home for the first time in a long time. Moving back to North Carolina is still the hardest decision you have ever made, but when God says go, you go.

You will end up at ECU, your last choice of schools. You will struggle with feeling alone, you will hate this school with every fiber in your body. You will start to slip back into struggling with fear and doubt. Your family starts becoming a bigger part of your life; you start realizing the hurt that you’ve been feeling for years from the aftermath of the divorce was wrongly projected onto them. Your family will become a pivotal part of you reaching where you are today. Not to mention the friends that you will gain along the way, and the ones that have stayed by your side for years. Just when you thought you had slipped so far away from God, he reminds you that He never left your side with this little piece of news.

At this point, you are probably dying to know what exactly happened two weeks ago that caused this letter. You were accepted into the University of Pittsburgh’s Doctorate of Occupational Therapy Program. That’s right, you, Katie, are going to be a doctor. A doctor, pursuing what may seem like a crazy dream now, but one you will reach with God leading your life. What is that goal? You want to open a long-term care facility that uses animal therapy along with occupational therapy to help heal the residents. A farm setting where instead of waking up to white walls they wake up to something they look forward to and encourage them to keep progressing.

It has been two weeks and you still cry from excitement. You should be very proud of who you are today, and who you will become. I know you have always strived to make Mimi honored to have a great granddaughter named after her, and you will do just that. If you don’t get anything from this, at least take this: God loves you so much that He has created plans greater than you could ever imagine.

Love,

22- year-old me

P.S Next year (16-year-old you) you will visit Pitt’s campus for a wedding. Enjoy!

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