Paisley Layne Photography


Letter to My Younger Self on my 36th Birthday!

ft worth photographerToday is my 36th birthday. I am officially in my LATE 30’s and sh*t just got real! 

Birthdays always make me emotional. I start getting all mushy and introspective. Growing up my parents always made a big deal about my birthday (one of the perks of being an only child). They made sure that I always felt really special on that day and it has carried over into my adulthood….sorry hubby! 

So as I sit here contemplating this birthday I started thinking about everything that has happened in my life that got me to where I am today – and can I just say that where I am right now is pretty f-ing amazing! I know that we all probably have things in our past that we wish we could change, but all those things – bad choice, relationships gone wrong, etc – make up who I am today….so for that reason I wouldn’t change a thing.

Buuuut, I would love to go back and offer some words of wisdom to my younger self. So here goes. Enjoy!


Dear Younger Self,

I want to start off by telling you that you are stronger than you realize. At this point in your life you are feeling a little lost. One chapter has closed and another is beginning. It’s scary and exciting all at the same time, but more than anything you are desperate for direction. Wouldn’t it be easy if I could just tell you how it all turns out and which roads to take.

Unfortunately it’s not that simple, and all the bumps, twists and turns in the road ahead are going to make you better, stronger and more resilient. You are going to make plans for your life…because that’s what you do…but then God is going to laugh at those plans and turn your world upside down. Just sit tight and hang on for the ride. 

You are going to make mistakes. Own them and learn from them. No one is perfect so don’t beat yourself up too much for making a few bad choices. 

Along the way you are going to meet some wonderful people. Some will come into your life for a short time and serve a specific purpose. You value relationships a lot so letting go of these people will be hard, but it’s all part of your journey. Other people will come into your life and stay forever. These are the people you want to really invest your time in. These are the people that will show you what real relationships look like, and will love you no matter what. For that reason you are one of the luckiest girls in the world. Not everyone has relationships like that in their life, so appreciate them, nurture them and treasure them. 

You are an innate people pleaser. The idea of letting someone down hurts your heart. While this is not always a bad trait to have, it will also keep you from doing things in your life that you desperately want to do. You can’t change who you are, but I urge you to take chances. Those that truly care about you want you to be happy and will support you no matter what. And someday, when you decided to take the biggest leap yet, they will all be there cheering you on. So trust in yourself! And while it’s ok to take what others think into consideration, this is YOUR life… your own leading lady!

The last topic I want to talk to you about is loving yourself. You haven’t always been the nicest to yourself. I hear the things you say, and I know the lack of confidence you feel. But know this. You are beautiful…right now, just the way you are! I know you won’t believe me because there are days when I still don’t believe it either. Take care of the body you were given. Eat better, exercise more and love yourself. Don’t worry so much about what others think and please stop comparing yourself to everyone else around you. 

You may not believe me now, but someday you are going to be amazed at where you are in life. Don’t be in too much of a rush to get there. You have to experience everything else along the way first. Take it all in and let it shape you into the amazing, strong and driven woman you are!




And because photography is what I do, I set up my own little birthday photo shoot for FUN! Images by Leslie Christine Photography


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