Dear Girl I Used To Be,

You're not even 19 years on this earth but you have done so many things that you should be proud of, but not everything had been a walk in the park. You have changed, grown, and figured out so many things you never thought you would. Although, I am not writing this to talk about who you are now but here to talk about who you were to get you to this point.

On Christmas Day, nearly 14 years ago, you opened up your very first drum set. That night you were able to play it for the first time and soon began to cry because you felt that you were not good enough and assumed you'd never be. That was only the beginning of many lessons, rehearsals, and performances where tears flowed down your cheeks in the shape of a broken spirit. These were necessary tears in order to open the path of confidence you, one day, would find.

Growing up you were a bookworm, and that will never change, but trying to pull yourself away from books and into the real world was always a task that people deemed nearly impossible. You were afraid to talk to adults, teenagers, and even your peers because you were scared you would open your mouth and nothing would come out. Hiding in tales like "Harry Potter," "Percy Jackson," and "Witch and Wizard" seemed like your best course of avoidance but you soon will realize that it is your strongest weapon. Because of these books, and so many more, you will notice how much information and knowledge you will start to gain and how every person and their life is essentially their own story. In middle school and high school, and probably for the rest of your life, people start referring you to "the girl who knows things."

At first, this is confusing for you because it's not like they are calling you a "know-it-all" or anything else in order to tear you down but instead are saying you're the one with the answers. This aspect of your personality will become what opens many doors for so many friendships and opportunities. Once you understand this, knowledge will be your weapon and shield for whatever may come your way.

Finally, as my last goodbye to you, I just want you to know that you will be okay. All the broken hearts you've endured, all the people who you have momentarily or permanently lost in your life, and all the countless night sitting in bed just waiting for the next thing to go wrong will be the backbone of who you have yet to become. Life will never become easy and once you accept that you will feel the weight of the world lift off your shoulders. You are meant to be who you are during these moments in order to change and transform to who you will develop into. Never wish for a dull day because those days will be lost opportunities to learn. Love yourself as you are but never settle for anything less than you can become.

Love, Randi