Dear You,

Here's to all the things that you've left behind, to all the doors you've closed, and to everything you've missed out on.

High school wasn't fun, we all know that. But here's the thing: the things you learned there were things that you've been able to carry into the rest of your life, and I'm not talking about the algebra that they pushed down your throat. No, it was the relationships you fought through, the friendships you lost, and the drama you cried over.

Remember those rumors? They made you a strong human being; they created a tougher skin, a wall around your fragile heart that may screw you over later, but it made you, you. The competitions with your so-called best friend were unfathomable, but you looked the other way because you have so much love in your heart for her. The nights you cried yourself to sleep, or had a rom-com marathon all by yourself because everyone else "forgot" to invite you too... these obstacles are what made you stronger in life.

Here's to you for fighting through the crap of a small-town high school where your dreams and plans weren't seen as important or real. Here's to you for doing your best anyway, through the bad and the good, to get to where you wanted to be, even if you didn't get there right away. Here's to the negative comments you shrugged off your shoulders because of how much you had talked about getting out, only to be let down by admission decisions. Here's to the girl who never backed down from what her heart truly called for.

Well, we thought college would be better, right? Finally out in the world without anyone to really tell you what to do and how to do it, but you're alone, you're scared, and you're falling into a sort of darkness that digs its claws into your side. Sure, you wished college would be a breath of fresh air. In fact, you were the only one to really travel away from family and friends compared to everyone else who told you that you were crazy or "pretentious." You followed the only path that was set out for you, immediately throwing you into this pit of sadness and loneliness. You're finally getting to do what you truly want, and you feel like you're failing.

You hated it there, but even through the tears, you looked for a brighter light to make it somewhat enjoyable.

The tears of anger, sadness, exhaustion. But here's the thing: even if you aren't the person that he wants to be with, you haven't let that deter you from creating a better version of yourself. You thought he brought out the best you, only a few times, and maybe he did, but you go through this life with confidence and a small smile on your face. That's the characteristic of someone who knows what they want and is working to get it.

I'm amazed by your will and your power. I really am in disbelief with the hidden virtues of your love that you wish you could give, yet you're terrified to show how badly you want to be recognized. You are hard like stone. You are also bright like the sun shining down from a clear, blue sky. You walk around with purpose, and you know that with the faith that you keep in your heart that everything has its plan, and you won't be left behind this time.

Sure, we want to plan out our entire lives and hope that we get to see the end of a path dreamt of for years, but most of the time it is the journey that creates us. The hurt you've felt and the tears you've shed have become little parts of who you are, someone that you shouldn't blame for all of the bad things that have happened but for all the good things that have surprised you along the way. You have all the choices in the world, all you have to do is make them.

So here's to all the bad ones we will make, and to all the antics we will do to fix them.

Sincerely,

A girl just like you