To my sixteen year old self,

You have just celebrated your birthday with your friends, which you’d be surprised to know that they remain the same people in your early 20s. They have basically become your second family and with each adventure you experience together, you learn to love them more. They make you smile and you know for certain that you can grow old with them. Cherish them in your youth, and value their presence as you become older.

You have just gotten your braces removed and you feel fierce and ready for the “new” you. Smile, baby girl, boys will fall in love with your pearly whites.

You have just gotten in a fight with your family; I don’t want to scare you but the struggles are harder now. Throughout the years, you will try to keep an optimistic mind however, you will learn to be strong for your sister and for yourself. Most times you will feel like you need to protect her; you won’t realize how much she is thankful to have you in her life. Let her know that you are proud of her.  You will also learn to voice your opinion in a family who shuts your voice down. Be brave, young warrior, you are amazing. Speak your mind even if your voice quakes. Always remember that your family does work hard because one day you will feel like they’re worthless and you will feel as if they let you down…eventually, they will but be grateful that they are still in your life. One day in your 20s, you will appreciate all they’ve done for you despite their current struggles.

 You have just come back from a weekend retreat and believe you found “the one”. He was your first kiss, and he was the perfect ideal boy. You will believe that God brought you guys together. You will fall madly in like with him. You will feel butterflies with the sound of his name. You will always remember him, even in your 20s. He still sounds so familiar even if what you had was just short term. Baby girl, he will leave you for months. He will ignore your messages and you will always wonder why. But one day, he comes back to your life and it all picks up where you left off. Calm your heart and be still. He will make you feel important, kiss you on the lips multiple times, text you in the morning and call you late at night. He will play the role of Prince Charming in your fairytale but break your heart like the Evil Step Mother. Once again, he will leave you and that will be the last time you will hear from him. You are allowed to cry over a boy who was never yours to begin with. You are allowed to play the music as loud as you want. You are allowed to be comforted by your friends, let it be. Let him be.

You have just finished watching a boy sing a song for you. You thought he will be able to erase your previous heartbreak, but he won’t. He is not interested in being your boyfriend but rather your friend. You will be disappointed once again, yet he will still invite you to his birthday parties at his house. Keep his video safe and play once in awhile to remind you proof that a boy sang a song dedicated for you.

You have just given up hope on the eve of your seventeenth birthday, a problem that will become a yearly thing. But don’t worry…relax and be surprised because the next day will be one of your favourite birthdays ever. Go to sleep and wake up blessed.

The world is a scary place, even at the age of twenty I know that I’m not prepared for reality. I’m scared of a lot of things but there are people in my life that remind me that it’s okay.

Your family will always be with you, and at times you want to pack up and leave them. You will always return home to them.

Your friends are your second family. They will learn you inside out, and in the end, they know what is best for you. They know how to make you laugh when you really need it, especially when life hits youhard in the face. You will appreciate them whole heartedly.

 You end up losing someone really important to you. This loss feels more like a breakup, and you will miss him more and more each day, you will miss him. Nothing you do will make him change his mind, nothing you do will bring him back into your life. You will believe there are methods to bring him back, you will think cases, in which you are soul mates, and you are meant to be…but even those thoughts are lies you will tell yourself. It is hard to let him go. Please, take every advantage and opportunity to be with him. Go on adventures, try new foods and places, road trip far away, take classes together, play music together, stay up late at night with him on the phone, make him more breakfast, and make him happy. Once he is out of your life, you won’t be able to do those things with anyone else, even your future boyfriend.  Savor your best relationship.

You will end up lost and alone plenty of times, but everyone gets lost so it’s okay. You don’t have to worry; you are going to be alright. Situations will get worse but please don’t lose hope. You can always be the change of your path, and making mistakes are just part of life. You are a soldier and a fighter, and you will always be a lover. You are amazing, and at times you will not believe in yourself but there is a light at the end of the darkest tunnel. You will be your own hero.

Sincerely,

Your twenty year old self

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