Dear Me,

A letter to my teenage self…

I know you are busy trying to be a cool teenager and all but, I just wanted to write you a quick note to let you know a few things…

First, let’s just go ahead and make a pact now…

…no more perms m’kay? Really, they do nothing for you, and while I’m at it, those jingle bell socks you have on are cute on Christmas Day for about 90 seconds, but whatever you do, do not wear them to school, it will just further the distance between you and the normal kids who don’t dress weird.  I know you love them because you have a thing for quirky and don’t believe me, so please just trust me?

Yep, you and Emily, together as usual. In your freshman year of college Emily will begin to become a friend instead of just a pesky little sister. By the time you graduate, you’ll be a united front to be reckoned with.

You two will always think you are funnier than you are and that is just fine. Not only that but Emily will write a book one day about being a Good Girl and all those times she tattled?… will be worth it.

I know in this photo you are smiling but really wondering what time you get to go to bed.  It’s probably 8:45pm.  Guess what, I have great news! There is nothing wrong with you!!!  It turns out that you are an early bird, it doesn’t go over well in high school and college but it pays off as an adult.  Don’t sweat it.

Being a Young Life leader will be the first time you feel like a grown up and the first time you actually like hanging out with people you don’t know very well.  Again, let me reiterate, nothing was wrong with you in high school, you aren’t a crazy, creepy reclusive hermit, you are an INTJ!  It’s a great personality, no matter what everyone says!

I know, I know, reading all of this makes you feel SO MUCH BETTER!  You aren’t mean, you’re just an INTJ! Phew!

I’m sorry I spent so much time talking about INTJs, but until you found out about personality types, you didn’t know what to think of yourself. Who cares that most INTJs are men? And also villains?  It’s so great to know you can embrace your personality!

Look, what an AMAZING personality you have!!

You will have so much fun with these girls in college.  Don’t worry, you’ll go to Columbia International University (it will be called Columbia Bible College when you are there) and there will be fewer people in your freshman class of college than in your high school graduation class–big sigh of relief!

You’ll meet your future husband when you are 18 and yes, you’ll have that picnic table that you always dreamed of.  You always did dream big.

Lastly, all that “playing Barbies” you did up until you were 15?  No need to be embarrassed, I figured out you weren’t actually playing with the dolls, you were just playing with the furniture.  Don’t question it, but it will serve you well.

signed, Nester

(oh, wait, I guess I should explain that Nester thing too…)

This Dear Me post written to my teenage self is part of my baby sister‘s celebration for her newest book, just release called Graceful. It’s a book for young women (remember her first book, Grace for the Good Girl, for us grown ups?–it’s like that only really different because it’s for teenage girls).

Find out more about the book here.

This letter was so fun to write, you should write one too! Emily is hosting a link up this Friday for anyone who wants to write a Dear Me letter to their teenage self.

Me, Emily and Michael Jackson

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  1. LOVE this! You guys are a hoot!!

  2. Aha! You know the one thing as good as learning what your personality type is? Learning what your husband’s is. Whew.

    You are really something, girl. I do love you and Emily! And, oh, how I hope her book will picked up by the thousands of girls who need it! It’s exciting to think what a difference it could make in the lives of our future daughters-in-law, isn’t it?

  3. I loved this. And, I think we had the same wardrobe. So many things I could say to my teenage self. Will have to think about this.

  4. OH MY… is Emily Freeman your sister. I am reading that book right now. Wow. Anyways, your posts are always great.

  5. Oh my gosh, that picture of you and chad is AMAZING. I love it.

  6. How in the world did we not understand that those enormous shoulder pads were NOT flattering? I always get a kick out of your posts but this may be one of your best!

  7. From one INTJ to another, sweet post, great insights. Thanks for sharing.

  8. My husband is an INTJ, laughed all the way through it, especially the last photo of all the emotional response (or lack of). I’m an ENFP, he says I help him get in touch with his feeling side. :) Love your letter and the photos are awesome. I can imagine how much fun it was to go through them.

  9. As an INFJ who is so close to the T that she sometimes tests as an INTJ, I loved this! We’re a rare breed.

    I’m convinced it’s the perfect personality type for blogging. We can be social without leaving our houses, and blogging lets us draw strong boundaries around our precious alone time–something I can never seem to get enough of. :)

  10. I love this post! My good friend just started a MBA program, and in class they are exploring personality types, so this has been a discussion topic for us the past couple couple of weeks. She is an ENTP and I am an INTJ. I love our discussions because it is funny to see how accurate these personality types are.

    There was a big meeting at work where they were going to discuss processes. I was so glad I wasn’t invited to go, because I could not sit in a room with a bunch of people that did not think logically. I would have been banging my head against the table for sure. That’s the curse/blessing of having a “mastermind” personality!

  11. As a fellow INTJ, I really enjoyed this post. Have you read “Quiet”? It’s a pretty enlightening book. Below is a link to my review of it.

  12. Apparently, I’m WAY behind times. What is an INTJ and an ENTP?

  13. Another female INTJ here who has never met another in real life, but loves that we’re out there at least on the internet.

    And I want to share those graphics with everyone I know.

  14. :) loved reading this and getting a little insight on you! My parents and husband were Young Life leaders as well! I always wanted to go to a YL camp but was never able to. Would your sister’s book be good for say a high school girls book/bible study? We are always looking for good material!

  15. This is too much awesomeness.

    I adore you, Nester. Every bit of your INTJ self!

    • BTW? I just showed this to my hubs and we both died laughing as he is classic INTJ. I’m pretty sure my BFF is too. And I totally am not. Ha! I always find it interesting that we are attracted to personalities different from our own!

  16. Dear Nester,
    Great post! I will try do write my teenage self a letter (oh, what dreadful years) and link up to your sister! All the best to her and her new book!

  17. you know you’re doing well when you can put those old, awkward, back-in-the-day pictures out there for the whole world to see … and laugh in the process! and when you can resurrect good memories out of times you thought you’d never want to recall.

    from one introvert to another, congrats …

  18. What a wonderful post. I love your blog and your sister’s blog and book and wish her the best of luck with her new book. What a treasure that will be for any woman who wants a lovely tool to help her guide a young female.
    I am an ISFP working in a very process-driven company. I know my right brain self drives my colleagues crazy. My antidote to this environment is to be completely creative, even eccentric, in my personal life.
    Thanks always for your wonderful blog.

  19. I love these words of wisdom to your teenage self! Young Life was a huge part of how God started to show me who I am! I am still involved with the ministry if Young Life! Now I help with our Capernaum Club! Young Life for students with special needs! God is so Good!

  20. Oh my gosh, I was DYING!!! Tiny Michael Jackson put me over the edge. I’m an INFJ but with a slightly off-beat sense of humor and a brain that’s a bit too analytical for it’s own good. I think there’s some strong “T” leanings in there too. I so wish I’d known there was a “label” for me earlier in my life. All along I just felt like a misfit.

    I’m loving these “Dear Me” letters. I have one of my own I’m working on this week.

  21. I think we were YL leaders at Windy Gap at the same time! Same hair. Same sweatshirt (Champion one in the girl on the left). I probably still have it.

  22. Another INTJ checking in! Loved this post.

  23. Oh Nester, you are speaking my (Myers-Briggs) language! I understand you so much more now. My husband is an NT and enjoyed this article that I forwarded to him regarding “insane NT bosses” (lucky for him I didn’t send it to his employees)

    • I am laughing so hard right now~NTs? are MONSTERS

      “The “NTs” tend to do whatever it takes to achieve the organization’s goals—even if that means going past you, around you … or over you!”

      “The NTs’ followers, however, tend to feel more like hostages than part of an empowered team. ”
      (when my mom used to help me paint she said I treated her like a slave–making her wait for a water break until one more wall–oh my gosh I am so crying and laughing so hard infront of God and everyone in this coffee shop where I am reading this!)

      Dear world, forgive me for my personality?

  24. donna attaway says:

    Love love this post!!! So fun to see pictures of you and Emily when you were younger. Also enjoy your humor…love the reference to barbie doll furniture :)

  25. I’ve taken that personality test and I can’t remember what I am. Maybe some anomaly that is a little of all of them. :s Awesome post today!

  26. Oh MY GOSHHHHH!!! That hair, those socks and wanting to go to bed at 8:45!!! hahahaha! love it!!!!

  27. The best part of this? The last photo. Michael Jackson? DYING.

  28. …michael was pretty lucky to be in your presence (both emily and you)…and now we are too…blessings laney

  29. I loved this!! I hope my girls stay as close as you and Emily!

  30. I am an INTJ too! No matter what personality test I take, that’s the answer. I call it the “over-thinking, anti-social, judgey-pants” result. I do not, though, like to be criticized. I make all my decisions for a reason, and when people have an opinion on them it’s just annoying.

  31. I, too, learned how to enjoy being social through Young Life leadership. And now my husband and I have been on YL staff for 15 years–God’s funny like that!
    I know you already know this, but you have the gift of giving grace…whether the grace to enjoy and have fun with our houses or the grace embrace our personality. I’m laughing the whole time I’m reading this but also feeling such relief–there’s something about seeing your personality defined in front of you that gives grace to be who you are. Well done:)

  32. Cool post. ;-) I just took a short personality test, and it said I was ISFJ. Ha I knew the “I” part already, of course.

  33. Oh goodness gracious! My three sisters and I played Barbies until we were way old, too! Our reason? We made the.most.beautiful.Barbie.houses.ever. Don’t worry, there is no shame in it. ;) Great post!

  34. Oh my gosh I hope no one is watching me because I am laughing so hard but trying to hide it in public right now. Such a great post! I’m going to have to do the personality test myself to figure some things out…

  35. as an intp I loved the little personality insight tips. we are in vacation but it prompted me to make everyone here take an online personality test. I already knew mine and was surprised to find how much my husband and I differ. fun stuff. and a good reminder about why I don’t like to hear people’s sob stories. I’m not mean just practice.

  36. Haha Love the INTJ stuff. I am an ENFP so I am the one annoying you all the time. :-) Michael Jackson-ha-that is the first thing I noticed!

  37. Oh my, I think I’m married to an INTJ! Thanks for enlightening me! I so wish I could give my teenage self a talking to! I really needed a mentor back then. Someone who could say, “there’s more to life than boys and the world won’t end if you’re not married by 20!”

  38. How cute are you two! I just got Emily’s book in the mail today for my cousin and sister in law who are little teens. I felt like I wanted to cry reading the first chapter of the book. I relate so much as an adult who is still figuring this all out. Emily is on to something. Praying these try hard young girls will figure out their worth sooner than we did. Love you both.

  39. I’m an ENFP. Thanks for loving me anyways. :)

  40. I can’t remember if I’m IN -FJ or – TJ … but I love those descriptions! :)

    What a sweet recollection of your teen self, and neat way to partner with your sister and her new book!

  41. Oh, and I forgot to write that I played with my Barbies until 14 or 15 too … setting up house. And I helped with YL in college, went to YL’s Malibu in BC, Canada.

    What fun memories!

  42. From one INTJ to another – I loved every word. Let’s hang out sometime and argue.

  43. I’m an INTJ too; love your images, especially the Putin faces.

  44. So fun to read this! Of course, the pics really just make it delightful. Especially MJ there at the end – priceless!

    So excited for your sister’s book and the good things our God has planned to do through it.

  45. the picture with the michael jackson shirt is making me laugh so hard i’m crying…all alone…in my kitchen…
    i think i had that shirt.

  46. So what you are saying is you are an INTJ….

  47. Melanie Miller says:

    This was delightful, Miss Nester. Just last week my 12 yr old son did the Myers Briggs test and I guessed he was INTJ before he told me. He was so surprised that I figured it out! Grin. So today, I had him read those pet peeves and facts and he agreed with most of them. I’m an INFJ and my hubby is ESTJ (of course, right?) so it wasn’t too hard to figure out the boy. But as a teen good girl, I didn’t accept that the way God made me was enough, I kept striving to be more/different/better. I’d tell my teen self to believe I am approved of by the One who made me and that is enough.

  48. Fun letter to read! My husband works for Young Life…we’ve been Young Life leaders since college…very fun to randomly read/hear about others who have been involved!

  49. hahaha! I am an IN something or other. I think it might have been INTJ? I took that test a long time ago. But I love the “emotions” picture! Hilarious and SO true. The only part I don’t relate to is the arguing, I’m not much into confrontation or debate… unless it’s with my hubs lol. Great post!

  50. Love this! I’m an INTJ too! Loved those facts and pet peeves you shared – too funny because they’re SO TRUE!

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