Dear Brace-faced, Four-eyed, Pimply, Awkward Me,

I just wanted to let you know that you're going to be okay. I know that what you're going through is hard and you feel like the world is against you; it's not. Trust me, I know that you will survive. Trust me because I'm you.

That awkward teenage body shape will eventually grow into what it's supposed to be. That ponytail, t-shirt and jeans that you're wearing will turn into heat damaged hair and brand-named clothes, then will quickly turn back into a messy bun, hoodie and leggings. You'll go through stages of feeling uneasy about your body, your style and your hair, but you will figure it out. You will get those braces off. You will discover contacts. You'll go through not knowing how to do your makeup, then you'll go through a stage where you only feel confident wearing makeup. Then you'll grow up and realize that there's more important things in life than appearance. You'll wear whatever you want and gain confidence in your body.

Those friends that you have, they're going to come and go; except for that one, she will stay and she will be "your person." The way that girls talk about each other at the lunch table when someone is absent - that never stops, you will just learn to be careful of the things that you share. You're going to fight with your best friend, but you're going to make up. You're going to be popular, a loser and a nerd all in the same school year. You'll constantly meet new people, you just need to give them a chance. You're going to go on plenty of adventures and share some of the best moments you'll remember forever with these people.

That boyfriend that you have, you two will break up. You're going to be sad for a little while, but then one day you're going to wake up and everything is going to be okay. You're going to realize that you don't need him, and that you're okay by yourself. Then you're going to meet another boy, and he's going to make you happier than the first. Then you're going to break up, and you're going to be sad again, and swear that you'll never love again. Then you're going to fall in love again, and this cycle is going to continue, but each time it does, you're going to be stronger than the last.

Your family loves you. Your mom constantly fights with you about your attitude problem and how you "never listen to her." Your dad is overprotective and won't let you out with those older boys, and you tell him that "he just doesn't understand." All while your grandparents complain that you're growing up too fast and need to slow down, but all you want to do is be an adult. The truth is, you remind your mom of herself, and she will always have a sassier attitude than you. Your dad was young once too, and you need to listen to him. Your grandparents are getting older, and they just want all of the time with you that they could spend before they don't have any left.

You're going to go through a lot of different stages, and this is just one of them. I promise you that it gets better. So hang in there, I know you're going to be okay because I'm okay now, too.

Love,

Strong, Independent, Loving, Caring, Confident and Beautiful You