Dear Meghan,

You are not taking up too much space.

Your name is Meghan Rand and yes, you are tall. You are towering above other women your age and they tell you they're jealous but they don't know how it feels to just feel like you're just too much. You will be at an airport one day buying food, and a cute guy will start to talk to you and tell you you're pretty. It will make you feel good, but it'll stop you dead in your tracks when he says, "I would ask for your number if you weren't so tall."

It is a measure of how little he is, not how much you are.

You are not too emotional.

For years, the subject of fights between the two of you will be about how you ask too much of him and how you should just go find "the perfect boyfriend" — and it will fill you with so much guilt over and over again that you decide to stop asking for what you want. You will settle. It is not wrong to expect your partner to not break up with you and beg for you back once a month for the duration of your relationship. That is abuse. Asking someone to not abuse you doesn't make you a horrible person.

It is a measure of how little he was as a man, not how you are as a girlfriend.

You are not too masculine.

Your first word was "dude" and you would rather hang out with a group of guys, drink beer, and talk about cars than get brunch and mimosas with girls that all talk about each other behind their backs. You will get ghosted by a guy because you refuse to stop calling him "bro," "homie," and "dude." You have tattoos and ask for what you want and curse like a sailor, and all of that is perfectly okay. You will be told over and over again to be "more ladylike."

But Meghan, you are a lady. You lift up other people more than you lift up yourself. You are the person who stops and listens to someone in a group setting when the rest of the group stops listening to them. You are not the person who laughs along with someone making self-deprecating jokes, you say something nice about them instead. You carry yourself with grace and dignity.

The way you treat people is what makes you desirable, not how dainty you are.

You are not weak.

You have a chronic habit of holding onto toxic people because you know that nobody is perfect and everyone deserves to be loved and accepted. You see the good in them and it makes you ignore the bad because you feel like a bad person if you cut someone off just because they said something that really offended you. You won't be like this forever, just know you will get to a point where this behavior will absolutely destroy you. You will be patient with someone for years because you only believe the best in them despite how many times they prove they only have bad in them, and when they leave you, it will feel like a betrayal. But unfortunately, you have to go through this because you are stubborn, and you will not learn in any other way.

The fact that you give out second chances and third chances and fourth chances does not make you weak. You fight for people- that's how you were raised, and that is all you know how to do. You love people deeply and wholly despite their flaws. That is strong of you. But if you're strong enough to love them, you are strong enough to lose them, too. And one day, you will learn to have a backbone. You will learn to cut somebody out of your life and have it be so painful because you love them. You'll still think of them every single day. But you'll have peace, and you will learn to find that to be the most important thing for yourself. Most of all, you will eventually learn to forgive yourself for all that you put yourself through.

The way people treated you is not a reflection of you — you didn't deserve it. But it was your fault for letting them do it for so long.

Meghan, you are not too much!

I know you were teased in elementary school (and still to this day) of being a teacher's pet. You would always finish exams early, time and time again, and you got made fun of for it. You will be called a try-hard. You will be accused of sucking up to people.

Do not change who you are.

I repeat — do not change who you are.

I know you get lonely and you will be tempted to settle for friendships where your beliefs are belittled, relationships where you don't feel fulfilled, and situations that you know you don't deserve. When the group of people you thought were your friends make fun of you for going to church, walk away from them. When he invades your boundaries, walk away. You will find that it's lonely at the top. Success does not earn you a lot of friends, and often, the realest of people walk alone. Try to keep this in mind when you are sitting alone in your car with good news and you feel like you have nobody to tell it to. You have you, and you are more than enough.

You deserve the best because you are special, and you have a genuinely good heart. Do not settle. Walk alone instead of walking with people who do not deserve you.

I repeat, walk alone instead of walking with people who do not deserve you.

You are not broken.

I know that you have panic attacks, and your anxiety paralyzes you, and you don't even know what you're like without depression because you've been depressed for as long as you can remember. You require a little extra care in relationships because you've been irrevocably damaged. You have to take more mental health days than the people around you. You move at a slower pace and climb more mountains than people next to you. You will have to put in two times as much work as the person sitting next to you to get to the same place sometimes. You will have to set your alarm for an hour early sometimes just because it will take you an extra long time to get out of bed. And some days, you won't win. You won't get out of bed. And that's okay.

You are a fighter. You have a lion heart. You get up every day and keep fighting the same battles from the day before, and you do it alone. You are not broken.

Your illnesses are not a reflection of who you are, it is a simple mess up in your brain.

And lastly,

You are not ready to buy a Mustang.

You have a perfectly good Honda. You don't have a car payment. You do not want to be burdened down with the payment, the excessive insurance costs, and how much more gas you will go through in a V6 compared to your Honda. Do not buy the Mustang. I know it's beautiful and Mustangs are your favorite things in the world, but you will be taking on more than you can chew. You well get there one day. 20 years old is not the time.

But since you're a renegade, I know you'll do it anyway. And you'll forgive yourself for it, because you're stubborn, and that's the only way you learn.

Just make sure you do learn.

Love,

Meghan