Dear sixteen-year old me,
Set aside the pencil and journal. Leave behind the engravings that currently reside on those thin and brittle pages. Stop notating the worries of your life — external and internal stressors can wait. For so long you have written of fleeting moments, believing that they possessed the outcome of your fate. You wrote to me hoping that I could solve your problems. Well now it’s time that you listen. Give me two minutes of your focus. Transfer your attention on me – the older and wiser of us two.
The journal that lies beside your belongings carries with it the past. Contained within this minute property are the secrets of your life. Enclosed within are the details that you hide from your best friend. Your worries are your personal dividers from those around you. They fail to connect you with your peers, but strengthen your relationship with me. I understand you. I’ve lived through your greatest moments and those that brought you to your knees. I continue to persist and I promise that you will too.
Without the aid of the journal, I can remember what we've been through – the Lord knows how we've survived. Although, your sixteen-year old self is still entangled in the chaos. I had to crawl my way out of the trenches. Now looking back after five years, I realize how much everything has changed. I'm sorry for leaving you behind, but it was essential. I had to give you something to aspire to. My gradual procession forward is now your claim. Follow in my footsteps and we will meet again!
Because of my ability to not falter at the past, I survived. I made the future my home. I relocated from the confinements of the past. I restored hope for myself and brightened the natural light that burns from within. You must remember that your home isn’t the ground that moves beneath you. You're meant to reside in the limitless sky. You are considerably more than what the guards of this realm tell you. Those shackles won't and can’t hold the fire that burns inside of you. Trust me on this.
Since we separated, I've been forced into greater battles. I’ve had to learn that victory isn't always the original perception. More times than not, what initially feels as a loss is the complete opposite. This lesson you'll witness a thousand time over, but eventually it will stick. It will become the theme of your journaling. Every story that you tell will play a crucial role in realizing it. Ultimately, every aspect of life that breaks your heart crafts this novel. Be prepared. You have endless strength. However, your weakness has always been believing it.
It's time for you to cast away your worries and self-doubt. Time is limited. Do not waste this precious item when you could instead be harnessing your strength from within. You are destined for greater things than your current environment can offer you. Believe me, once you escape from the shackles that others bind to you, your options become limitless. You go on to fight the battles that you choose for yourself. You yield to your passions and let them guide your unsteady heart. In time, they will synchronize with one another and you will be granted the power to feel what is right for you.
Listen to your heart, follow your gut, and reason with your brain. You are stronger than your notions!
Your current self