Be True to You

I can just about guarantee that when I get together with my Mom, she’s going to bring me a box of things from my childhood. From baby clothes to kindergarten crafts, I’ve seen it all. I don’t know where she gets all the stuff, it just keeps coming!

I’ve never been much of a sentimental person, especially for things I haven’t seen in over 15 years, so about 99% of it goes in the trash.

But there was one item in the last batch of childhood memories that caught my eye…

My Grandma, on my Dad’s side, was quite the writer. In 2000, 8 years before she passed, she embarked on a 2 year project of self publishing a book about our family from 1630 onward.

She’d asked everyone in the family to contribute stories, pictures and snippets from their lives to make the book a success. Over 60 of us wrote to her and expressed, in our own words, the world we had around us, and what was important to us.

I was 13 years old when my Grandma invited me to write something for her book. I’d always dreamed of being a writer… and an actress, a gourmet chef, a professional dancer, a lawyer and a teacher ;), so writing my first article in something I knew was going to be read was a dream come true!

I peeled open the pages to the book the other day, found my contribution, and read it aloud to Kevin, stopping along the way to suck back my tears.

At 13, I had respect for myself, love for my body, and a wholesome approach to life and love. I was fearless, hopeful, and full of dreams. Reading my entry helped to affirm everything I know to be true to who I am, and reminded me of how important it is to hold on to that truth and live the life I was meant to live – to not be scared of the fact that I’m leaving my full time job in 47 days, to embrace change, to stay positive, and to take chances.

Here’s a snippet from my entry,

I live my life with this motto in mind…

You only have one life, be diligent.

Work to achieve it all.

You are the only one who can make you happy, so what are you waiting for?


Friends are a gift for your heart.

They show you how to live, how to love, and how to improve yourself beyond your wildest dreams.

Learn to make friends, stay true to them, love them, and everything they bring to your life.

Stay open to the possibility that one person can change your heart and soul.


Your body is the best instrument you’ll ever have. Respect it.

Learn to love what you’ve been given because it’s original, beautiful, free, and 100% yours, forever and always.

Don’t be afraid. Trust it, live it, and be true to who you were born to be.

What would your 13 year old self say about the way you treat your body?

What would she tell you is your most powerful asset?

What would she be most proud of you for accomplishing?

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  1. Oh Leanne, I didn’t care about sentimental things either until I was in my mid 50’s & I so regret that now. In fact a co-worker once told me I didn’t have a sentamental bone in my body. lol & it was true but not anymore. I wish I had kept some of my thing from my childhood & more of my childrens thingscause once it’s gone , sold-trashed whatever it’s gone for good. I just found this blog today & am really enjoying it. I am trying to eat healthy & walk, lose some weight & get my cholesterol & BP under control with out meds.Thank you for this interesting site.

    • I know you’re right, 100%. I’ve kept a small amount of things and may regret not holding on to more.

      I’m so happy you found me and like the blog. Good for you for taking your health into your hands and making some lasting changes that will surely benefit your health. Enjoy the journey!

  2. “Your body is the best instrument you’ll ever have. Respect it.
    Learn to love what you’ve been given because it’s original, beautiful, free, and 100% yours, forever and always.
    Don’t be afraid. Trust it, live it, and be true to who you were born to be.”

    Thank You, been having a very hard time and when I read this today in my email, I smiled and said that is all I can do.

  3. Leanne, thank you for this beautiful post! It’s so heartfelt, genuine, though-provoking..just absolutely tremendous! Wow! you truly ARE a writer!! (Please excuse all the exclamation points!! I am just so in awe!). I cannot believe you wrote that at 13. At that age, I was reading Dr. Seuss and desperately trying to learn English. What would my innocent, daring, confident, vibrant 13 year old self think of me now? For some reason, this question opened the floodgates of tears this morning. I can’t even muster up the courage to ask her this question. She would be so ashamed of my struggles with an eating disorder, depression, relationships, everything! However, I’m on the road to recovery, and hopefully I can ask her the question again with confidence, peace, and contentment. For a start, I just started my own blog for myself. I know too well that I’m not a writer, and there’s grammar and spelling mistakes run rampant, but it’s for myself and for my soul. That’s all that matters! Thanks Leanne once again for this beautiful post!!

  4. Wow,I love your entry! It’s so beautiful.
    Mine wouldn’t have been as optimistic,I guess. When I was 13,depression & my ED determined my life already,issues that haven’t left me until now.
    Your words are so inspiring,though,and I am so glad you shared them with us! Thank you!

  5. I too am leaving my full time job (and career of 13 years) at the end of July — to enter a nursing program. I’ve never been so scared (in a good way) and excited in my life! These words you wrote are timeless and have just as much application and meaning in my life right now than ever. Powerful and thought provoking, and just what I needed. Thanks you for sharing it with us.

    • Congratulations on having the courage to step out of your comfort zone, Kasey! I’m happy my words resonated with you!

  6. oh boy .. at 13, I was no where close to wise! Not that I am now, but I am at least better ;) But that book you mentioned.. you grandmom.. the stories .. how amazing it must be. You should pass it on .. and this book should keep saving stories. yeah! I am kind of a emotional person :)

  7. Amazing! Your 13-year-old self seems like an old soul, with wisdom beyond her years. And I love your grandmother’s book and her efforts to preserve your family’s history – I think that is tremendous!