Dear 16-year-old me,
First off, I would like to tell you to loosen up. Laugh a little more, tell some more stupid jokes, smile at more people, and just have some fun. You only have so long to be young and a little stupid.
You will soon start to become the person you have always wanted to be, but were too afraid to be. Yes, you are still shy as ever, but your true identity will soon come full circle. The braces will come off in a few months so stop stressing, the acne will clear up, and you will become a little more confident.
You are a smart kid. You have a good head on your shoulders and your intuition proves you right every time. Go with your gut. It has never failed you.
Stop putting so much focus on the future and live in the now. Naturally, you are a planner. You have a five-year plan and even a 10-year plan. Try to take a little pressure off of yourself and focus on the present.
Do not get upset when people do not recognize the things that you do for them. You love with your whole heart and sometimes, that is not enough. Those people are not worth it. Continue to be the friend that is always there with open arms. You may not be the most affectionate person, but those who know you best, know there is nothing in this world that you would not do for someone.
Understand that you are not perfect and you never will be. You will probably struggle with this concept until the day you die, but I want you to understand that everything that you are is everything that you will ever need to be. You do not need to change, but only improve on becoming the person that you will be proud of. You are more than the calories you count daily, the number on the scale, and the size of your jeans.
Do not take your relationship with your family for granted. In a few short years you will be at your chosen university and only see the most important people in your life sporadically. Make sure to tell them that you love them everyday. End every night with a hug and kiss because soon you will have to do it all over FaceTime or a phone call.
College is only a few short years away, and while your initial plans with a sport did not go as planned, there are so many good things to look forward to. You will be accepted into every college that you applied to, near and far. You will take that desired leap of faith and move away from home to establish yourself elsewhere other than your hometown. You will gain the independence you always wanted and you will never look back.
Just know that 16, 17, and 18 will be some pretty emotional and rough years. Your depression and anxiety will worsen, but you will have the courage to seek the help you so badly needed. At some point you feel like you have hit rock bottom, but I promise if you keep fighting, you will see that the view is pretty nice from up here.
This is your 18-year-old self writing to you to let you know that you are on the right path. Some things may seem a little shaky right now, but it's all part of growing up. I promise you that these next few years will take you by surprise. You will meet some really amazing people, move to a new state and get a fresh start. You will be genuinely happy. God has a plan for you.
Your slightly wiser, weirder 18-year-old self.