Letter to my 16 Year Old Self

Dear Me,

Yeah, this is me...Er, you... In the future... I know what you're thinking - but this isn't a dumb prank your friends are pulling. You're quirky and aren't one to dismiss strange things, so I'm going to assume that about half way through this you're going to just take my word for it. I also know that you're crazy busy but please just listen and give me the benefit of the doubt. So, yeah, this is you in the future... I'll let that sink in a minute. Ok. Now that we're on the same page (or at least the same book), I'll begin. You are 16, and unlike most 16 year olds you don't take yourself to seriously. That's good. Hold onto that. The adults in your life really do respect you and what you have to say. You don't have to try so hard to impress them, or anyone for that matter. For some reason (believe me, you'll spend years trying to figure this out. You'll come up with some theories, but nothing earthshaking. No crazy revelations.), you feel that you must be the best. Quit chasing that coveted #1 spot. In everything. I know that working your ass off only to make it to the top 5 (in everything) is frustrating - and for once it would be amazing to actually be the best in something - but top 5 is actually really awesome.

After that speal I feel compelled to tell you that you don't even need to try for top 5. No matter what anyone says. You don't have to exhaust yourself trying to impress everyone because of some idealized notion society has placed on you. Everything is not a competition. That also goes for your love life. Let's face it, it's not even about the boy anymore. It's a competition. If you could just move on it would save a lot of heartache for several people. Teenage angst and melodrama aside, you really can stop competing with yourself. Stop pressuring yourself to be the "ideal" daughter/student/friend/etc. Let go of that incessant need to be "perfect". To have zero flaws. LET IT GO! It could help us tremendously in the future if you would just realize that you already are perfect. There is no need to keep chasing the mirage. That's all it is, a twisted little mirage. In two years someone will say these words to you: "you ARE perfect" and they will resonate with you more than any truth ever before. I know that 2 years seems really close, but it is actually light-years away. You're rolling your eyes right now and are thinking, "Yeah, yeah, yeah. Whatever. Everything is going great right now. I have awesome friends and everything is going according to my plan. I have a high GPA and am on track for a stellar transcript. I have scholarships lined up and it's all because of my hard work. That hard work that you're telling me to let up on. If I let up, I am never going to make it. I'll fail."

That takes me to my next message.
In a year your world is going to come crashing down around you. You will have no warning (other than this right now) and you'll panic. You'll panic like you've never panicked before. Yeah, I thought that would get you're attention. To be honest, I'm conflicted with whether or not to disclose certain details of this chapter. If you know before hand and somehow manage to side-step it, it would change everything about you... I know I would have liked some warning, so I'll tell you anyway. If for some reason, through some kind of divine intervention you do see it coming, just let it happen. If nothing else, let this be of some comfort and hopefully it will soften the blow of what is to come. In one year life is going to test you. Big time. You MUST survive. No, I'm not being dramatic. This is a real. It's life or death. Ok, don't panic. You're panicking, aren't you? Stop. Breath

It's nothing like what you are thinking, or could possibly think. You aren't going to be stalked by some crazy serial killer or anything. When your world is bleaker than anything you've ever been through, trust in your friends. They really are great friends. They will stand by you through everything. Don't cut them out. You won't want to talk to people, but try. They care more than you realize. Give your parents a break. They aren't trying to control you. They are scared. Terrified. Stick to your guns. Just because they are supposed to be "experts" doesn't mean they know what's best. Listen to your inner voice. Above all else, remember: This too shall pass When it does, wonderful things will happen because of it - but I can't say anymore about that ;) Be strong. Your life may not happen as you so carefully planned, but it will be perfect. *Thank you, Carrie at Just Mildly Medicated for this great blog idea. I loved it :)

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