A Letter Of Self-Love To My 16-Year Old Self

A Letter Of Self-Love To My 16-Year Old Self

The world is going to be your oyster.

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To my 16-year-old self,

First of all, I want to start by saying that you'll be proud in the future about the level of self-love you'll achieve over the next few years. You are turning out to be the person you always wanted to be, but you were too scared to become. You're turning into that independent young lady that you always admired. You're becoming someone who doesn't care what others say or think about you. You're seeing the world in a completely new light, and your new-found passions are helping you make it through each day.

I know that you're going through so many battles right now. You're dealing with the stress of your senior prom and tutoring lessons for the SATs. Mom and dad are being hard on you, but it all comes from a good place. They just want you to get that scholarship you've all been praying that you get.

You're at that age where you feel like you're grown, so you're causing fights with everyone around you, you're not listening to anyone, and you're just trying to do whatever it is that you want to do. Everyone thinks you're a bad person because of this, but deep down, you know that you're truly a kind-hearted, good person; you just don't know how to show the real you.

You're anxious and worried about every decision you're making. You want to pass the SATs so you can attend college in America like you dreamed, but you're worried about the relationships you'll be leaving behind.

There are so many things going through your head right now, but I want you to know that you handled it all very well and everything turned out for the best.

I know there's a lot going on for you right now, and I'm so sorry about that. You surround yourself with people that take you for granted, and they just seem to use you. You're not being appreciated enough, and no matter how much you give, it's never enough for them. You're being pushed around just because of how nice you are, and your self-esteem is so low that you don't even have the courage to stand up for yourself. I'm sorry you felt like you had to do horrible things to people just to fit in with the "popular" girls.

You'll soon realize that the only validation you need is from yourself.

You have gone through so much in such a short amount of time, but I want you applaud you. Even after going through these things, you did not allow it to change who you truly are. You are becoming a young woman that cares about everyone else and their feelings. You're becoming that voice for others that you couldn't be for yourself. You're fighting against all that toxicity. You're turning out to be a great person, and even though you'll always go through hardships, you'll never give up.

Everything that you're facing right now is part of a bigger plan. Even though you feel like everything is against you right now, everything comes together for your best interest. You are the best person you'll know, and the growing love you're going to have for yourself is going to be greater than anything else.

I can't wait for you to meet yourself in 3 years because you're going to be so proud.

Love,

Your biggest fan.

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The Truth About Young Marriage

Different doesn't mean wrong.
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When I was a kid, I had an exact picture in my mind of what my life was going to look like. I was definitely not the kind of girl who would get married young, before the age of 25, at least.

And let me tell you, I was just as judgmental as that sentence sounds.

I could not wrap my head around people making life-long commitments before they even had an established life. It’s not my fault that I thought this way, because the majority opinion about young marriage in today’s society is not a supportive one. Over the years, it has become the norm to put off marriage until you have an education and an established career. Basically, this means you put off marriage until you learn how to be an adult, instead of using marriage as a foundation to launch into adulthood.

When young couples get married, people will assume that you are having a baby, and they will say that you’re throwing your life away — it’s inevitable.

It’s safe to say that my perspective changed once I signed my marriage certificate at the age of 18. Although marriage is not always easy and getting married at such a young age definitely sets you up for some extra challenges, there is something to be said about entering into marriage and adulthood at the same time.

SEE ALSO: Finding A Husband In College

Getting married young does not mean giving up your dreams. It means having someone dream your dreams with you. When you get lost along the way, and your dreams and goals seem out of reach, it’s having someone there to point you in the right direction and show you the way back. Despite what people are going to tell you, it definitely doesn’t mean that you are going to miss out on all the experiences life has to offer. It simply means that you get to share all of these great adventures with the person you love most in the world.

And trust me, there is nothing better than that. It doesn’t mean that you are already grown up, it means that you have someone to grow with.

You have someone to stick with you through anything from college classes and changing bodies to negative bank account balances.

You have someone to sit on your used furniture with and talk about what you want to do and who you want to be someday.

Then, when someday comes, you get to look back on all of that and realize what a blessing it is to watch someone grow. Even after just one year of marriage, I look back and I am incredibly proud of my husband. I’m proud of the person he has become, and I’m proud of what we have accomplished together. I can’t wait to see what the rest of our lives have in store for us.

“You can drive at 16, go to war at 18, drink at 21, and retire at 65. So who can say what age you have to be to find your one true love?" — One Tree Hill
Cover Image Credit: Sara Donnelli Photography

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I Wonder If You'd Be Proud of Me

Or if you even think of me at all.

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I wonder if you'd be proud of me.

My first thought when I wake up in the morning is whether or not you still think of me. I think about if I am wearing the right outfit if I were to see you that day. I think about if I am saying the right thing for you to want to want me again.

Throughout my day, I think about whether or not you're happy. I wonder if the feeling in my heart of missing who I thought you were is making its way to you. Sometimes I think about what I did to make you hate me as much as you do.

Sometimes when things get really hard, I think about picking up the phone to call you. Time keeps passing from the last time I saw you and during that time I've painted a picture of you that would probably only disappoint me in the end. Your phone number still sits in my phone and I go to your contact, wanting to call, but knowing that at the other end is not the person I used to know.

I wonder if you watch me. I wonder if the posts I make, pictures I post, and articles I write are viewed by you and whether or not you care to even search my name. I wonder if you ask people about me or if you care to know the person I am today.

Without you, I have changed. It has been two years and though time will only continue moving on without you, I wonder what would have happened if I didn't make the choices I made to make you react in the way you have.

When the sun shines bright on the flowers blooming around campus, I think of your jokes and sarcastic wit. When the rain pours from the sky and keeps me imprisoned within the walls of a building, I think of ways I felt imprisoned by you. When clouds form shapes in the sky that I can make stories out of, I think of the way life could've been.

Sometimes I write to you. They are the letters I can never send because I have to remind myself that though we knew each other once, you do not know me anymore. The picture in my mind of who you are now is someone who'd love me with open arms, but I know that there's no truth in that. It's only my wishful thinking out to break my heart once more.

I wonder if you hear me when I try talking to you. I wonder if the words I tell God are making their way to you as you go on living the life we always talked about when times get tough. I wonder if you're talking to God about me.

As I watch the sunset, I think about the last moment I was with you. As that chapter ended, I was only wishfully thinking that walking away would save me from further pain. In the end, I don't know about how life would've been different had it not happened.

When my picture of you gets too bright and I share it with others, I am reminded of reality. The screaming, crying, pushing, shoving, and hitting touches my skin once more in the form of flashbacks that push me further down into the depths of a depression. I am reminded of the hundreds of suicidal thoughts and letters that I've written once before.

No matter what, my heart still yearns for a hug. A hug where I can bury myself into your body and feel safe. A hug where I forget every worry in my mind and focus solely on the love.

I wonder if you'd still love me if I changed myself to be the person you've always wanted me to be. I wonder if you'd forgive me for walking away, even if it was for me to change to be a better person. I wonder if you'll ever even read this.

Days like today, I want to go back in time. I sit on the benches around campus and look up at the sky, down at the cars passing by, and listen to life move on all around me as I remain stuck. I hear people talking, see them laughing, and wonder if there's any way I could one day feel as alive as they do.

The truth is that I was never enough for you. No matter how much I changed, kept notes of what you liked so I could be like that, or just kept my head down and moved silently, nothing was ever enough.

No matter what, though, I still yearn to be loved in the way that I picture you should've loved me. Closure does not exist. You were the ones who were supposed to hold me down. But now I am nothing to you...I was always nothing to you.

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