I haven't changed much in the last 10 years physically; puberty was weak. But my mind has grown so much. I'm thankful for everything I've ever been. In the moment, I never knew how powerful my inner strength was. I never felt proud enough of myself, but I am now.

Everything you were makes me so proud.

You didn't have all the things other kids did, but you did a lot with what you were blessed with. You had such a hunger for knowledge, an insane passion for the things you cared about and a heart you were never too afraid to give away. You were wise beyond your years and so observant of people and vocal about the world.

You see the world as a blank page to fill with knowledge and you're so good at seeing the value of intelligence. That will start to go away, and you'll get tired of being forced to learn about things you don't care about. But you started in a good place to expand my knowledge on things that really matter. It will stay with you. It sparked free thought at a young age.

People would tell you that you're too young to have an opinion, but you never lost faith in your own mind.

There are plenty of people who will despise you for your thoughts and sometimes for your actions, but there will also be times when people are envious of what's within you.

God lit a fire in you and it's visible. There are times when you let people put it out, but it didn't keep you down.

You knew your worth. You weren't ever too afraid to do your own thing. You kept your interests and didn't fall in line with trends. It might not have seemed like the best decision as people left you behind to chase what was popular. But when people and what powered them went away, your inner beliefs and ways of thinking are what stayed with you.

Your values and morals have been so high on your list of priorities for such a huge part of your youth. That will matter so much more later than it does to you now. When you get to college and pressures come along, you'll know who you are and what you believe.

When you least expect it, people will come into your life and they'll know how big of a deal that is. There will be people who learn your heart and they'll earn the love inside it, and they'll be grateful. I can attest to this. No matter how alone you feel, your time is coming.

Above all things, I want to thank you for your strength and passion.

You held onto who you are and what you think. I know it got hard to be unapologetically yourself, but you did it. You've stood your ground and I'm proud of you for that. Your focus and intuition play a huge role in the balance of your future and goals.

Because of the foundation you built, I am still growing strong.