By the time you write this, you’ll be too old for it to be effective.
I’m trying to remember who you are crushing on currently. Is it Skyler or Josh or Max or that guy who plays piano on Main Street in the summer? What was that guy’s name? Dave? Yeah, it was Piano Dave. Not that it really matters now, you never really kept in touch with any of them. Especially Piano Dave because, well, he doesn’t know you.
I wish I could be there with you right now. To tell you that you’re okay. To warn you that some men really do wear sheep’s clothing. To remind you that you are loved no matter how different you look from your family. To hug you late at night when you feel lonliest.
Some of the things that will happen over the next few years will really define you. The music you listen to and the books you read are still with me today. The bad days that will inevitable come will seem so dark but know that the next day becomes brighter. Time keeps us moving on even when it feels like it should stop out of respect for our pain. It’s important to know that this pain will teach you how resiliant and caring you truly can be.
In a nutshell, here’s what you need to know:
Talk to someone. Anyone. The person you trust the most. Don’t wait until it gets really bad. Don’t fall inside of yourself for days. Let someone know how sad you feel and maybe you’ll learn how to manage it earlier. It’s okay that you get sad, you just need to learn what makes you tick so you can avoid such long sprawls. It will be a problem in college otherwise.
Look up from the books once in a while. Talk to people in your class. Try to be more social and don’t rely on the popularity of Molly and Katie to get you through these next few years. You are friends with them because you share traits. The traits you love about them are in you and you will be as well received as them if you only put down the book and interact.
Don’t be afraid to love. You are, I know, and that’s not completely your fault. There have been deceptions and you fear what’s lurking around every corner. Part of you believes that you don’t deserve love. Part of you doesn’t know what love means. The biggest part of you is still waiting to be swept off your feet regardless. It will happen one day. It’s as cool as we thought it would be, FYI.
That’s it. Pretty painless right? Years 13 through 19 were pretty rough, not going to lie. And even after those years, the road is bumpy. I forecast that it won’t be less bumpy for me going forward either. But you truly are a resilient and strong woman. You can do anything when you look forward.
P.S. In a couple of months, you will want to try and cut your hair yourself like Mandy Moore in “How to Deal” — I know she is perfect and angsty like you want to be but don’t do it. You’ll totally regret it.