Letter To My Teenage Self

Hi there, sweet girl,

I just wanted to tell you that it turns out okay, but there will be things you face in the next decade that will make you question everything – love, faith, and you’ll deal with heartbreak and loss, but before any of those things come your way, I needed to tell you, take care of yourself; you need to be as nice to yourself as you try to be to everyone else. I wish I could be there to tell you to eat more and worry less; I wish I could help you figure out who your friends are. I wish I could be there to brush your hair back on that day that you won’t be able to move from the bathroom floor, because your heart is so broken, and you feel so used; I wish I could be there in those moments that you start to find yourself again – I promise you, you will – you will laugh and be charming and feel charmed. I wish I could be there to tell you to skip that next stupid boy, and I especially wish I could point a big neon sign at the right guy that you’ll ignore for far too long and end up with anyway.

Take care of Mom and don’t be mean to her, stop worrying about your clothes, and stop trying to be someone else, be yourself; I know you don’t think much of yourself currently, but someday you’ll be 25 and you’ll feel pretty and like you finally figured a few things out, and you’ll wake up to a guy who loves you and refuses to walk away, even though the other guys did. Stand up for yourself. I mean it. All those conversations that you practice in your head, try them out in real life.

There will be people who tell you that you’re too shiny, or too loud, or too much, and they’ll ask you to tone it down, and don’t you dare, don’t let anyone dim your light. You might love puppies and babies, and laugh too loudly, you might like silly movies, but that doesn’t mean that you’re not tough or strong or smart; you will have to be so tough and so strong and so smart.

Sweet girl, you’re going to lose someone you love, and it’s someone that you would never imagine losing, and when it happens, you will feel lost and broken and like the world will never be right again, and all that is probably true, but just get out of bed, and appreciate the things that make you like Mom. Breathe in crisp fall air, and let the sun kiss your face on summer days.

Take days off, take vacations. Be present sweet girl. Stop taking everything so seriously, learn to let go, to walk away, and if you could learn to want what you deserve that’ll help you too. Know what is important and know that the things that are important are not things at all. Stop comparing yourself to everyone else, whether looks or success, or lack thereof, you will find your way. Remember that everyone has a story that you don’t know and treat everyone as if they’re having the worst day of their life, be empathetic, show compassion, and smile at every stranger.

Most importantly sweet girl, be strong and brave and bold, but honest and gentle and gracious too, and try every day to make the world a little better just by having you.

 

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