Dear Teenage Self,
We need to talk. There is so much I want to tell you, but I’ll keep this short and as sweet as I’m able.
Smile. You’re beautiful.
Take care of yourself. Exercise. Stop consuming enough food to feed a family of four. Eat more than your parakeet.
Eating disorders suck.
Always remember how much you hate cigarettes, if you forget, they will own you one day.
Turn up the music you love so much and dance. Grab onto every opportunity you get to have fun. I don’t want you to miss any.
Be happy, don’t let depression win.
Be patient with Mom. She’s sad a lot and angry. She’s distant. It’s not about you, so stop taking it personally. You will one day understand, all too well, what she’s feeling and how hard it is to cope with so much pain.
I’m so proud of you for standing up for yourself, for telling the person who wanted to hurt you, “no”. That was a very brave thing to do. Keep that fighting spirit, you’re going to need it.
Prouder still of the way you forgave, that’s something most adults struggle with. Forgiveness doesn’t excuse anything, it gives closure. You need to forgive yourself too, for those feelings of guilt. It’s not your fault. Never again feel responsible for anyone else’s bad behavior. Never. Again.
You tried hiding behind that sheer lace hooker worthy clothing, but that didn’t work for you. I’m so glad it was just a phase. So glad you stopped lying to yourself about freedom and comfort and dressed for the person you really are. Tee shirts and jeans suit you. Cowboy boots are awesome. So are undergarments. Keep wearing them.
Enjoy every moment in those Calvin Klein jeans, they will pass quickly and you will never be a size 6 again.
You will also never be as confident and intent on what’s right and wrong. Black and white will fade to shady grey areas as you travel through the life that’s ahead of you. Try to keep your focus.
Hold on to that trusting spirit, but keep your eyes and mind open as well. Not everyone will have your best interest at heart. But don’t be afraid to let the right people love you. Don’t shut out the good ones because the bad ones hurt you.
Your intuition is always right. Listen to it.
Say no to the dress…and the ring, and the marriage. He may love you, but he’s damaged and he’s going to break you.
Beware of all men who sweep you off your feet, the landing can be painful. Roll with the punches, they won’t hurt as much. Know when to fight and when to walk away and don’t look back.
Move to NYC, the city that never sleeps will go nicely with your insomnia. Learn to play the piano. Take pictures. Your dreams are perfect and special because only you can see them. You will regret not doing what you long to do and your soul will ache for all you missed. Don’t let that happen.
You really do have all the strength and power you need. Know it. Feel it. Use it wisely.
Keep writing. Your words matter. You matter.
You are intelligent and inspiring…and I miss you dearly.
Your Older Self