I think there are many things that I’d like to tell myself five years down the line. Here’s my open letter to younger me:
Dear 16 year old me,
Everything ends up okay. I know at sixteen the world feels like its falling apart, nothing’s going right, college seems terrifying and you’re not even considering university. But I can tell you now that everything turns out okay. Trust yourself and it will all come into place.
I know you’re having problems, problems not anyone else can dream about, but once you start to trust your life and your body and your mind, everything works out. That’s the one thing that I’ve learned, you have to trust yourself and believe in yourself.
You’re terrified of college, starting somewhere completely new even though you can’t be yourself in your old life. In college, be completely yourself and be confident about it, because it will be the best two years of your life. Go in to everything with no regrets and stay focused on what you want. Don’t hide your true self from anyone. Don’t apologize for who you are and what you are becoming, be proud.
You’ll fall in and out of love, constantly, but remember that It’s not the be-all and end-all. You’ll meet people you’ll be infatuated by, and you’ll have to let them go. It hurts, but it’s okay. Also try to learn that you’re okay on your own sometimes. This one might be a little harder to learn, and trust me, at 21 you still might be learning the ways of dealing of loneliness. Remember that relationships don’t define you, your family and friends are important too.
Speaking of family and friends, don’t push them away because you’ll need them the most in the next few years. Keep the best ones you’ve made and stay as far from the others as possible. The amount of friends you have doesn’t matter, how they treat you does. After 16, you’ll meet the most incredible people that will stick with you for the rest of your life. Don’t cock that up and push them away.
At 16 years old you think you know everything. And at 21 you’ll look at 16 year olds and shake your head, thinking they have so much to learn about life. The difference is, at 21 I’m prepared to look back at myself at 30 and think ‘wow, I really knew nothing.’ But things get a lot better after 16 and that I can promise.
You’ll still have doubts, worries, panics that you can’t find a job or you’ll fail an assignment (trust me, that still feels like your world is over). But you’ll also have adventures on beaches with new life-long friends. You’ll road trip to Liverpool with people you’ve not met before, you’ll go on dates in the park, you’ll have picnics with your best friend, you’ll make friends through work, you’ll read books you fall in love with, you’ll eat a full jar of chocolate spread in one sitting, you’ll make the perfect pancakes on Sunday morning, you’ll lounge about the house for a day and feel on top of the world and you’ll wake up in the middle of the night and roll over and have sex with the person next to you and it’ll feel amazing. You’ll kiss people you never thought you would and you’ll hold hands with friends walking in town centers and sneak cookies in to the cinema on a weekly best friend date.
Life will get so much damn better, and you need to believe that can happen for it to come true.
I hope it gets better soon,