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.
Your Future Self