To my 13-year-old self,

There are many things I know now that I wish I had known when I was your age. Yes, every lesson learned is all but a part of life, however, there are certain things that would have been helpful to know as I battled through those awkward, uncomfortable, and emotional teenage years that you are just beginning. If there is one thing I have learned since my young teenage years, that I pray to God you will realize sooner, is to know your self worth. Know your self worth. It will change your whole perspective on your innocent, beautiful life.

Don't pay attention to the other girls in your class talking about their boyfriends and how you need to have one. You don't. Don't pay attention to them when they tell you that you have to dress, act, and look a certain way to win the attention of boys. You don't. Don't pay attention to boys. Not yet, anyway. These years are about becoming comfortable with the skin that you are in, not dwelling on some boy who isn't going to matter weeks or months down the road. Be the girl that realizes young that she damn well does not need a boy to make her happy. Be the girl that forms enough confidence young to dress how she likes, act how she likes, and do what she likes because those are the things that her happy. Be the girl that other girls wish they could be like because you are that amazing; don't be the girl wishing she was everyone else. Know that who you are is more than enough and that you don't need anyone else to complete you.

Don't let people walk all over you; stand up for yourself. You are so, so much more than you would ever believe. Maybe you aren't like everyone else, so what? The world would be a much more boring place if everyone walked around like clones of each other. If someone hurts your feelings, stand up for yourself. If someone makes you mad, tell them how you feel. If you let people get away with stepping on your toes, they're going to keep on doing it until they break them. Fight back, get your hands a little dirty, don't be afraid to feel emotions that scare you, they will only make you stronger. Know that you are better than the words people speak about you.

Don't ever feel as though you are not beautiful. You won't ever have the most perfect skin, or the best hair, or a flawless body, but what you do have is beauty in itself. Your teeth with braces? They're beautiful. Your eyes covered with glasses? They're gorgeous. The pimples on your face? They show that you are human. Always remember that looks are not everything, not even close. You are beautiful because of the heart beating within your chest, the kindness that radiates from within it, and the goodness you serve throughout the world. Please know that you are enough.

Cherish this time,

Your future self