It is so quiet in the world tonight. I have scrolled through just about every picture on my Facebook profile and I am left with so many emotions. With the click of a button I seamlessly watched myself grow up starting from 2009 when I had to lie about my age so that I could make my profile. I hardly knew a thing about the world at that time, I only knew the moment and what was important to me. Seven years ago I had yet to have found my voice; writing was just something I did in school, well, because I had to. Words on a laptop screen cannot even begin to describe the changes that have occurred or my feelings towards them, in hopes of doing this I’m writing to my younger self.
Dear 10 year old Laura,
Welcome to Facebook Laura! You’re sitting down at your kitchen table on a school night as your mom helps you start your first form of social media, what are the odds that she would be teaching you how to do this. You’ve made your profile and you are already chatting away with your three other friends whose parents also allowed them to make one. You have no idea that your social media will someday express who you are as a person; it will show every one of your qualities, your thoughts, your flaws, and your embarrassing moments. Your worries are so small at the moment; fifth grade is full of so many of silly arguments that you will soon forget. Remember to be kind to not only your close friends, but your classmates. You will soon branch off and probably never speak to or see each other again so enjoy the time you have with them before middle school.
Dear 14 year old Laura,
First, I just want to congratulate you on making it through the dreadful years of middle school to now being a freshman, also, on getting your first kiss. Both accomplishments are deserving of applause. These next four years are going to be the most enjoyable, yet confusing years of your life. You’re going to see so many new and unfamiliar faces, and they are going to see you. Be kind, be confident, be intelligent, you can never undo a first impression. So many of your middle school friends are going to be changing right in front of you; don’t feel as if you have to change with them to fit in. When you’re sitting in your room alone and crying on a Saturday night know that it is okay that your parents won’t let you go to that party, you are a freshman and have no business being there, and it got busted anyways. You also will get your first serious boyfriend, he’s an older boy and you feel like you’re on top of the world. In coming weeks you will feel so grown up with him in his car, you’ll go on your first date, which you will most definitely be overdressed for. You will fall fast and you will fall hard, just don’t make him your whole life, and remain in touch with your friends, because your identity is not your boyfriend. Know that you were beautiful well before your football playing boyfriend told you so. Also, stop wearing so much eyeliner; you have no idea how to do a wing yet.
Dear 16 year old Laura,
You can turn the countdown on your phone off now; you finally got your license. You will soon realize that you are not as good of a driver as you think you are, and it will terrify mom and dad. You will spend hours upon hours behind the wheel of your car laughing with your friends, playing music too loud, and wasting so much money on food. This will probably be one of the hardest years of your life that you have dealt with thus far. You will be forced to make mature decisions, you will have your heart broken by your first love, and you will hold your grandmothers hand and tell her you love her for the last time. Those eleven days that she spends in the ICU are going to be the hardest days of your life, just stop crying in front of her and let her last memory of you be a happy one. Sit by the edge of her bed and tell her how much she means to you, because it’s your last opportunity. Get back into church, this year has broken you entirely and you need to feel the love of God and of your community. Study harder, put your phone down, and stop crying over stupid boys. You will pick up your laptop one day when you’re lying in bed sick and will feel motivated to write your first article. Writing will be your escape, it will strengthen your confidence, and it will give you the praise you desired, just reread it and catch your grammatical mistakes, there are plenty of them.
Love, your biggest fan, Laura