For the 2nd year in a row, Angela Adan, will be traveling across the country for her “Girl On A Mission” offering free training for their dogs for those who seek it. She wrote a very powerful letter to her 18 year old self and chose to share it with us. With her permission she has allowed us to share it with all of you…
Dear the 18-year-old Ang,
This is your 28 year-old-self writing you a letter. Some things I’m going to tell you in this letter may not seem true or even possible, but trust me, within the next 10 years you will experience some major self-growth. You will discover just how courageous and strong you truly are. I know right now the anxiety and fear you experience on a daily basis can sometimes feel crippling, but I assure you that will all start to change. It’s okay; you won’t feel like you have to hide forever. It’ll be a slow and challenging process with a lot of bumps along the way, but you come out of it stronger than you’ll ever imagine.
You know how you freeze in a panic when you have to stand in front of the class and speak? Of course you do, how could you forget being up there and not being able to get words out of your mouth and all you wanted to do was sit back in your seat and cry in embarrassment? Well, you can laugh about that later in your life or embrace it, but either way your fears and insecurities of public speaking dissipate. You actually start speaking in front of large groups to teach others about your passion in life on a regular basis. You find your voice when you start hosting your free community pack walks. Oh, and that insecure feeling you always experience, that all changes the first time you get handed a pack of ten dogs and feel like a badass walking them down the street. In that moment a lot of things will change for you, including your own perception of yourself, so embrace that feeling as much as you possibly can.
There were times when you felt shameful because of the shyness you projected everywhere you went and you’d go home and cry underneath your covers. You hated this about yourself which only made you feel weaker. You told yourself that you would never be enough and you wouldn’t ever fit in. You’d go to school telling yourself the other kids didn’t want you around because you weren’t cool enough, but really you just weren’t brave enough then to share friendship with others. Be grateful for the moment you learn about how damaging your own thoughts can be and practice standing up just a little bit taller every day.
If I were sitting next to you right now I’d want to give you a big hug and tell you that you are enough even though you don’t feel that way. Stop trying so hard to be something you’re not in an effort to please everyone around you. It’s pretty amazing to stand out from the crowd. You’ll learn that idea soon.
That gift you have of being selfless for the benefit of others, well that’ll make complete sense to you when you go on your first solo road trip across the United States, but until then protect your heart! Oh and yes, I did say “solo road trip across the US.” Hard for you to believe since you’ve never even been out of California and right now just leaving your house by yourself is a challenge. The moment you cross the New York state line you should probably pull over and soak that feeling of pure joy and strength in. You will cry tears of bravery, accept that shit. It’s okay to cry. This trip will truly change your life and you’ll not only discover your purpose and passion of helping others, but you’ll learn that life is not about finding yourself, but rather creating yourself.
In a few years you will transition from working full time as a veterinary technician to being the founder of a nonprofit dog rescue. You’ll only last three years doing that and it’ll be the most difficult years to come, but see every challenge you over come as a learning opportunity and the stepping-stones for your future. This is the year you will take everything personally and be at your most sensitive, but try and ignore all the hateful messages you’ll receive from others. No matter how many people write to you after you couldn’t take a dog just remember it’ll never be your fault if a dog gets euthanized in the shelter. Keep your head up. You come out alive.
Oh and I can’t forget! You know how you’re always chosen last for teams? Don’t worry because 10 years from now, everyone will want you on his or her team.
Stay true to yourself,
The older and wiser Angela
If you would like to support Angela on her mission please go to https://www.gofundme.com/