ear teenage self,
This is your future knocking - and it’s terrifying and wonderful. You’re probably thinking, “what the hell do you know?” - and you’re right to think so. The truth is , your future self doesn’t know a whole lot more, but if there’s anything I can assure you of is that no feeling is permanent. You're probably rolling your eyes behind that thick black eyeliner and are about ready to launch this letter into the trash, but hear me out first.
I know you think the microcosm that is high school is all-encompassing and never-ending, but it gets better. But I should warn you, it's going to get worse before it does. Thankfully, there are no life yearbooks to compare yourself to, no cheesy quotes you have to come up with to sum up your existence. The friendships you think are genuine are not, but on the plus side, all the people who are bullying you right now will disappear from your life on graduation day. The nights that you cry yourself to sleep and fail more than you fly is going to feel permanent, but I promise it isn't.
I want you to know that your heart will break. As it should. And that you’ll find the pieces little by little, in unexpected places. But that no heart is ever complete, for that is what we strive for - there is no use in being perfect , it's the effort that counts.
You know how you think it's so cool how an online chat room brought you to the only person who understands you right now? Just wait until you see what amazing friendships blossom around the world through various interests you have! Hold tight to these people. They will be known as your "good vibe tribe" and show you the support in all your endeavors and highs and lows.
I can confidently say that anyone who tells you that "fangirling is just a phase" is lying. You'll still fangirl your happy heart out at anything from live shows to new music and so much more in between. Go see Linkin Park as much as you can. You're going to be within touching distance of Britney Spears - and you'll survive. No heart attacks involved, although it may feel like you're having one at the time. There will be a couple moments with Michelle Branch that you'll just have to wait and see how they play out, because I'm afraid your future self would become deaf from the scream that would come out of your mouth if I ruined the surprise.
You will become a creative professional (round of applause for both of us right now that we actually made a living out of doing something we love), a business owner (who saw that coming?), along with so many more titles you can add to your killer resume. Although you may let your mom down by not knowing what the hell you want to do when you start college, you'll figure it out and she'll be proud. Keep ideas fresh and avoid stagnation. You are not a hardened fossil - embrace your inner chameleon and have fun. Experiment. Forget about rules, especially if they were imposed by “adults.” Everyone is still a beginner, that will not change. I am convinced adulthood is an idealism that people created after they lost their innocence and were afraid to follow their dreams. On that note, keep a journal and focus on filling it with dreams and goals to go along with those angsty song lyrics you write. You’ll find some interesting patterns arise. But don’t take all of that too seriously. Just as you shouldn’t take yourself too seriously.
Don’t fall into the trap of ‘busyness’ - your time is more precious than any paycheck. So are your friendships. Hold them close to your heart, and water them like the flowers that they are. Some will bloom in every season, and some will stay the same, providing a comfort and consistency necessary for the changes that will come your way. But that said, learn to let go. Let that shit go. Learn to walk away, or even run away when your gut and your heart tell you to steer clear of toxicity. Nothing grows in acid. You don't have to keep anyone in your life who isn't serving you positively.
Don’t rely too much on other people’s opinions of what you ought to do, trust your intuition. Especially when it comes from a place of love. It is the steady compass that you’ve carried since birth. We can’t fit into ready-made categories. Remember where you come from, but open your mind and eyes to the possibility of newness - to new love, to relationships that challenge you and make you want to stay up all night and debate. Hustle hard for yourself and no one else. The Spice Girls taught you about girl power at an early age, and it couldn't be more important to fight against all odds that come your way.
Your transition of late twenties to thirty is going to be a little strange. Professionals call it your "return to Saturn", and those theories are absolutely true. Your personal life will fall apart while your career is soaring. The pressure of getting married and starting a family is going to be breathing down your neck, even from people you don't even know. All of these experiences will make you realize your most authentic self. You'll feel more yourself at thirty than you have ever before. You're going to get to see the world just like you always wanted to. This time of your life will also knock you on your ass as soon as you think you may have things figured out. It's alright, though, it's all part of the journey.
I know you're not of legal drinking age, but since that never stops you, let's raise a glass to us. Here's to the rest of our life.
Love,Your 30 year old self
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