Dear childhood me,
You’ve got some life goals at this age that are either pretty unattainable or an all around impossibility.
For one thing, you want to be an artist. A real painting, sculpting artist. Now, while your skills are good by pre school standards, they don’t really get much better than that. While doodling keeps you awake in class and coloring calms you down, it’s never really going to take you places.
You also want to be a mom. You will grow up though, and learn you’re really not much of a kid person. 18 year old you really isn’t interested in kid, sorry to crush all your hopes and dreams.
You also want to be a princess. I hate to break it to you kid, but in 18 years, Prince Harry has never once returned your calls. It’s sad I know.
But there is some good news. You will grow up to be just as beautiful as all the princesses you admire. And as brave. And Strong. And smart. You may not grow up to be the princess you always wanted to be, but you will be a person to be proud of.
Dear Elementary school me,
I know, it’s weird. Everybody seems to be growing up so much faster than you are. You like to read American Girl Doll books and watch cartoons about fairies while they’re all having discussions on political things that you can’t even begin to understand.
I’m going to tell you a secret: they don’t understand it either. They just like the feeling of superiority that big words give them.
You’re imaginative and creative and these are traits that will never go away. That childishness will never fade and never hope that it does. It will become one of your best qualities, it will allow you to tell amazing stories, imagine great things, think complexly, and understand deeply. Hold onto that child-likeness and don’t let it go for all of the political debate in the world.
Stay silly, say loyal, stay kind, you will come to figure out there aren’t a lot of people like you. There are bad people out there who will hurt you or others. But as long as you stay the way you are they will never hurt you and you will never let them hurt the people you love.
Dear Middle School me,
You are probably in the darkest place now that you will ever be in.The good news is, after you leave everything will get exponentially better. The bad news is, you need to tough it out there for it to get better.
It will only take a few years for you to grow into yourself and become a person you’re happy with seeing in the mirror. You will be beautiful and confident. You will be the person you’ve always wanted to be, I promise.
The best advice I can give you is to keep writing. Never, ever stop writing. You are good at it, really good, and your choice to pursue it will be one of the most important you ever make.
Also, don’t believe people on what is read or fake, what is sinful or pure, what is moral what is immoral, what is right and what is wrong. I know it’s been a confusing time, but you will figure it out. Just love yourself, accept who you are, and move forward without letting anyone tear you down.
Lastly, forgive your childhood bully. I know they were mean to you and ignored you and said terrible things about you, but the people who are still cruel aren’t worth your time, and you will make amends with the people who changed. They aren’t worth it anymore. I know they hurt, but holding onto that grudge isn’t making it worse for anyone but yourself. Forgive and forget. You never have to go back to that place ever again.
In 15 minutes it will be the day of your high school graduation. It’s been a weird 4 years, filled with love, hate, fun memories, and amazing people. You’ve made friends to last a life time, you’ve come into your own, you’ve learned to love yourself for who you are, and not to let anyone define you for you. You are strong, confident, smart, and beautiful. You are going to go far and do amazing things.
No matter what comes next — good or bad — you’re ready for it. You haven’t had the hardest life, far from it, but you have been able to learn a lot. Put the knowledge to good use and you will be unstoppable.
I will check in with you all again in four years, on the eve of my next milestone.