A Letter to My Teenage Self

Dear Teenage Me,

Who you are right now matters. I know you’re unhappy a lot, but I promise you one day you’ll look back on this time with tenderness and nostalgia. It might feel like your life is going to be like this forever, but it’s not, so try to appreciate it for what it is right now. The world may seem confusing and cruel, but that doesn’t mean that you are broken or not made for it. You’re just young. Be gentle with yourself once in a while. You have plenty of time to figure things out.

As you search for meaning and an identity, you are going to fall into some dark places. But you will learn invaluable things there. You’ll gain some great clothing, music tastes, and memories along the way, and that pain that led you there will grow lighter with time. You’ve been so incredibly fortunate in this life. You’ve found some truly amazing friends that will carry you through the hard moments you’ll face.

Even though you have begun to identify with the darkest parts of yourself, it’s going to be okay. Right now it feels right to hold onto this self-defeating attitude. There is a pleasure in your sense of isolation and depression. You’ve found your place for now, even if it’s not a very positive one. It’s still your place and it’s okay to cherish it.

One day, right when you feel your lowest, like you’ve lost all hope of changing direction, you are going to learn something that changes everything. You are going to learn that your perspective and mindset are not set in stone now that you’re a young adult. You’ll be given the greatest gift, the knowledge that you can still change, that you can still decide to be whoever you want. And despite all the pain you’ve been through, despite how scary it is to let go of the identity you’ve clung to for so long, you are going to set off into those uncharted waters.

You are going to be given so many more life-changing chances. More than you could imagine or hope to deserve. The universe will guide you towards yoga, meditation, self-care, and healing. You’ll find a new identity, a new community, a new resilience and passion within yourself. You are going to have to be brave, and you will be. One day you’ll even be brave enough to fight for those who are vulnerable. You’ll find new purpose in fighting for the animals, the children, and all the other voiceless innocents that are suffering in silence. You’re going to find out who you really are, who you can still strive to be. And even though it may seem impossible right now, you are going to love her. You will love yourself one day, and it will be the greatest gift you’ve ever received. After all your hopeless searching, you’ll discover that your own compassion, understanding, and acceptance is what will safe you.

With that new heart, filled with loving kindness, the kind that only comes from filling your own cup, you will find forgiveness and love for others as well. You will repair your relationship with your mother, that you once so carelessly tried to throw away. You will hold within you a deep well of gratitude for the fact that she would not let you, that she stayed with you through it all.

You are going to be so happy and proud of yourself someday, not despite what you are going through right now, but because of it. One day you will be grateful for all the pain and tough lessons you’re still learning. This suffering will have given you the chance to be strong. And even though you don’t love yourself right now, even though you’re filled with self-hatred, I still love you. I am rooting for you. I know you’re going to be amazing. You already are.

Love,

Your Future Self

A Letter To My Younger Self. Dear Younger me, | by Lilia Donawa | Medium

Letters to Past Selves (Part 1)

Teenage Rachel

Dear Rachel,

I know that life may seem like more trouble than it’s worth right now. But I promise you, in a few years you will be so glad that you stuck around to find out. You’ll probably roll your eyes at everything that I have to say, but I’m here to say it anyway. I know you worry a lot about the future. Primarily you worry about being alone. I know how many nights you cried yourself to sleep, imagining an elderly version of you wandering through a dark, empty house. I know the desperation you feel at times. Even though it doesn’t feel like it now, it will pass. You don’t have to be afraid. You may not believe it, but one day you won’t even care if you spend your life alone or not. Some days you’ll even wonder if maybe you’d prefer it that way.

I know you are experiencing a lot of confusion and strong emotions right now. I’m here to reassure you that that is normal. Unfortunately all of the annoying things the adults are always saying are actually true. “It’s just a phase.” “You’ll grow out of it.” “Teenagers.” I hope to not sound as patronizing. I know that only exacerbates your sense of isolation and being misunderstood. Please believe me. Even if no one else does, I understand you. And I hope that it can bring you some form of comfort to know that things won’t always feel so intense. I can’t promise you that life won’t always be as hard. Life is a cycle made up of many smaller cycles. You are going to find yourself suffering again and again. Life doesn’t get easier. You simply become stronger. And it is a beautiful process.

Remember all of the times that you cried and mentally went back to visit all of the other sad crying selves in the past? You held them in your arms and cried together. You thought that was an embarrassing form of self pity, but actually without realizing it you were developing your own lovely form of self-care. I am here to tell you that through all of this distance, through time and space, I am here to hold you now. It’s going to be okay.

Even though I can’t really be there to help, know that you already have all the support that you need. You have absolutely amazing friends. Be grateful for that. Cherish them, and try to hold on to them for as long as you can, especially Ally. She may get under your skin now, but she is the truest friend you’ve got. She’s your brother. Try to be nicer to her, even when you don’t understand her. I know you don’t want to hear it, but you should also be kinder to your family, particularly your mother. Right now it may seem like she’s to blame for all of the struggles you are facing, but I assure you, you’d be facing much more serious troubles were it not for her. She is an incredible woman. She has always been patient and kind to you. She certainly wasn’t perfect, but no one is. She does the best she can for you every day and that is what counts. She loves you. She loves you like no one else in the world will ever love you, unconditionally. So don’t close your heart to her just yet. Give it time and you will see.

I hope that at least some of these loving words of reassurance and advice will be able to reach you. I may not be able to take away your suffering, but know that someday you will even be grateful for these painful years. You will look back on them fondly, tenderly. You will learn so much in the years to come. You’ll even learn to love yourself more than you ever thought you could. You’ll learn how to be soft, but also strong. You’ll learn how to appreciate the little things so much that they become the big things. You’re going to be alright. You can do this. You already have.

Love,

Your Future Self

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