Dear Younger Self,
It was the end of your freshman year of high school. You were sitting in the cafeteria staring at the girl across the room who had a “perfect body” and you were jealous. You kept analyzing every inch of her, from her flat stomach to her long legs and her killer curves. She could get any guy she wanted at the drop of a hat. You looked down at yourself and immediately became disgusted. You thought that you weren’t skinny enough, despite the fact that you were only 110 pounds and hadn’t had more than a bottle of water that day. You thought you weren’t beautiful without makeup on and your hair straightened. You thought that you weren’t enough in every sense of your life, and you could not be more wrong.
You were beautiful, and you still are now. Your self-worth is not determined by the number on the scale nor the calories that you consume. Your body is sacred, it is exactly what it is meant to be and it doesn’t matter that you don’t look like the tall, skinny girl across the cafeteria because the truth is, she probably wishes she looked more like you. When you grow up, you’ll keep that little bit of fat on your stomach, and you’ll come to love it. You’ll realize the fat on your body is a symbol that you are lucky enough to have food on the table and love in your home. You’ll begin to realize that you are beautiful even if you don’t fit in a size two because you are unique, and no one can take that away from you.
You thought that having a boyfriend meant everything, and you assumed that all your problems would go away once you started dating someone. Wrong. The person you were dating was all wrong for you, and that’s okay. You live and you learn and you grow. After that breakup, you learned a very valuable lesson. You are worth more than the words a 16-year-old boy can string together in a two sentence text message. You are worth so much more than anything any boy can ever say to you.
It was the beginning of 10th grade, and you had never fought more with your sister. You just moved into your new room in the attic and spoiler: you will not keep it clean like you tell mom you will. Despite your inability to keep anything clean, moving to the attic was one of the best choices of your life. Suddenly, your relationship with Sissy is 10 times better and you’ve found your forever best friend. A word of advice: Sissy is sweet, sensitive and beautiful, but most of all she is just like you! Cherish all the time the two of you have together because before you know it, your late night Wawa runs will be a thing of the past and you two will be going to separate colleges.
More than anything, you want to be grown up. You want to be done with high school and moved out. You want to be able to do whatever you want, whenever you want, without having to get a ride from mom or dad, or even asking them first. You want to be your own person and you will be, in time. Take these next four years for what they are, slow down and enjoy them! High school will certainly have its ups and downs but it’s so fun. Get involved with as much as you can, especially with church, because you will meet your best friends there. Don’t go too fast through the next few years, because in the blink of an eye, you’ll be sitting where I am writing this letter.