As much as I'd like to think that I'm the same as I was four or five years ago—even one year ago, I have come to understand that my experiences have turned into lessons that I would not have otherwise. For example, I no longer think side ponytails and bandanas are a fashion statement but a few years back, those were MY thing. I have made many mistakes, I have occasionally put my trust and faith into the wrong people, but in the long run it has only made me realize what I want for my future self. I'm not perfect, but the girl that I used to be thought that she needed to be.
To the girl proudly rocking her nine assorted pairs of Chuck Taylors, this one's for you.
You and I act a lot on our emotions, even though we are well aware of the not-so-great outcomes that will become of our decisions. But, what I wish you knew is that there are people out there who will take advantage of your vulnerability and use it to their benefit. I also wish you wouldn't blame yourself when this happens continuously. You are not at fault for your sensitivity to emotion and feelings—they are at fault for their willingness to exploit this trait about you for their own benefit. Please respect yourself enough to walk away from someone who does this to you. You can not fix it or them no matter how much you try to.
For so long, you thought what you needed was for someone to love you, but now I know that you really just needed to love yourself. You and I are still working through this. I want you to know that this is not easy, and it's okay to struggle. I want us to work on the inside—even though I know you're more concerned about your hatred on what you see on the outside. I can't promise you that the girl you are right now is exactly in love with herself either, but this girl values herself a lot more than you do. Take that energy you are using to hate everything you are and use it to actively become who you want to be.
You don't need to be strong all of the time. This is something I am currently learning. I know you feel like you always need to be the "strong friend" and the shoulder to lean on, but remember to take care of yourself, too. There are people in your life that are there for you, but you need to reach out. No one expects you to be perfect, so stop expecting yourself to be. You're not weak for wanting help. You are strong for recognizing that you can't do everything alone.
I think you are a lot more naive and ignorant about the world than you would like to believe. It is not as easy to walk away from toxic people whom you care for deeply is way easier said than actually done. Life after high school does get a lot better, but being broke 99% of the time is nothing to look forward to. You want to become somebody great who accomplishes even greater things, but that does not come easy. It is not as straight of a road as you envision it to be, and there have already been many, many instances where you have veered off track a little bit. This does not mean you stop dusting yourself off and continuing on. I want you to remember that anything that throws you off course is only an obstacle, not the end of your ride. You still have yet to reach your destination.
You think what you really want is to be left alone, but I think all you ever really wanted was to be surrounded by people who genuinely want to be around you. Stop closing yourself off to friendships because you're scared of feeling left out or rejected. There are people out there who like you and want you in their life, but you have to stop leaving yourself out on purpose. There are also people out there who will exclude and dislike you too, and that's okay. We are not everyone's cup of tea, just like not everyone is ours. Cherish the ones who do want you around, and don't sweat the ones who do not.
To the girl that I used to be,
We are both still growing, and that's a very good sign that we will become the person that we both want to be. Stop being afraid to take risks and live your life. Please remember that you are the most important person in your life, and to take care of yourself. I know you don't really love you right now, but I am beginning to love you. The only person you need to change for is yourself.
Oh—and, please start wearing the right shade of foundation. Trust me on this one.
The girl you are still becoming.