Hey honey,

Right now you're probably sitting in your room, crying your eyes out wondering why you aren't good enough for anyone. Why you aren't the first choice. Why you aren't skinny. You're not pretty. Why you don't look like those girls in the magazines. I'm here to tell you, to hell with all that. Things have been rough I know, it's your senior year, it's April, you just lost Granny and nothing seems to make sense anymore. You're struggling to get into Richard Bland, something you've never told anyone, you don't have a date for prom, you can't decide what to do with your life. One day its Zoologist, then it's teaching, then it's writing, then it's publishing.

The list goes on and on, trust me I know, it took quite a few turns to get us to where we are now. I'm here to tell you that everything is going to be alright. You made the decision to chop off all your hair, I'm so proud of you for that. It'll actually be the best decision you could have made. It gives you the confidence boost you've needed for a really long time. I know things don't look great right now, I know losing Granny hurts like hell. I still struggle with it every day. She was your first best friend, and one of your biggest supporters, I know it kills you that you didn't get to see her one last time. I know it hurts that you just spoke to her yesterday, and I know those last words you said to each other are going to haunt you.

"Hey Granny, yeah I'm doing okay, I bought my prom dress the other day, I can't wait for you to see it! It's white and pink with big flowers on the skirt, I bought some gold t-strap heels to match it. How are you feeling today? Oh, that's good, I'm glad you're feeling better. I miss you being just down the road, you need to get better soon so you can come home. Mama wants to talk to you now. Yes, I'll call you when I get home from school tomorrow. Yes. I'll be careful. Okay, I love you too."

The next day Mom pulled you out of class during your third period, you had this sinking feeling in your stomach. Mom looked like she'd been crying, she signed you out, and when you two got outside she told you Granny had passed away that morning. I don't remember much after that, besides screaming and sobbing. The next few days passed in a blur, and I will always be thankful for Kayla for coming to pick you up and take you out the Brother's the afternoon after she died. It was a nice distraction. At this point, you didn't want to go to prom, you didn't want to do much of anything. But you figured out quickly that Granny wouldn't want you to do that, she'd want you to be happy and to go out and have fun.

Graduation came and went, you got accepted into Richard Bland after a few weeks of stressing over it. You could finally start your college journey. It was rough at first, adjusting to the college-level work, and trying to find your footing with yourself, school, finding a job, and just trying to find someone to spend your time with. In swoops, the guy that is going to turn your entire world upside, shake it around and change you. You're going to feel on top of the world, you're going to fall in love, and everything is going to be okay. I won't go into full details with that, it's a chapter for you to navigate on your own. It'll be one of the messiest, most beautiful chapters of your whole life, enjoy it, cherish it, and learn from it.

What I can tell your baby girl is, everything is going to be okay. I know it seems like everything is falling apart at the seams, but trust me when I say this. You're going to meet amazing people, you're going to get into your dream school, you're going to do amazing things, and even become a blonde of all things. It's going to be great Em, and I mean that with every part of me. Remember great things aren't achieved all at once, but one day at a time.

Love,

Yourself