Hey there little one,
First of all, I just wanted to take a moment to apologize for all the pain I ever caused you. I made you overthink every conversation you ever had. I allowed you to become friends with toxic people. And I made you stay up countless times all through the night questioning your worth. You should've never had to, but I didn't have a clue about anything back then.
There's a lot you will learn by the time you turn 22. That may seem like it’s forever away to you, but time passes faster than you'd ever anticipate. You will learn so much about yourself, other people, and the big, big scary world.
There are so many things that I wish I could go back and tell you. You’re going to make mistakes — lots of them — but you will manage to move on and learn from them.
The most important thing that I wish I could tell my 12-year old self is that so many things will happen to you and change you in the next 10 years. You will, without a doubt, be intensely happy. You’re going to look around and not be able to help but smile. In fact, the vice principal at your high school will nickname you "Smiley."
You're young, naive, and you try to see only the good in people. So many people will disappoint you, but you'll smile anyway and forgive them. People will walk all over you and take advantage of your kindness. You’ll question too much, and your anxiety will take over your mind. Everything happens for a reason. Take it with a grain of salt and go on with the next day.
There are going to be so many people that come into your life for a reason. It could be for them to change it and make it better, or sadly, it could be for them to turn your world upside down and hurt you to no end.
You will give your heart to a boy who gives you butterflies every time he smiles at you. But he will only break your heart over and over again. The pain will nearly destroy you, but you'll grow back stronger than ever.
Mean girls will gossip and spread nasty rumors about you behind your back. They'll dig at your self-esteem and confidence. You'll have a hard time fitting in. But still, you will forever remain optimistic and hopeful. You will, eventually, learn how to hide your feelings behind a dry, sarcastic sense of humor.
You will find that most days, life is all about your hopes, your dreams and your visions for the future. But some days, it’s just about putting one foot in front of the other. And that's okay.
You will go after what seems like an impossible dream that will forever change your life. People will continuously tell you to forget about this dream. They'll tell you that you're too young and inexperienced. Of course, you don't listen to them, and you chase after your dream anyway.
And you know what? You succeed. You put all your hard work, time and efforts into your dream, and you get it. After everything that was thrown at you in the beginning, after so many people told you that you couldn't do it, you proved them wrong.
If I could tell my 12-year-old self that in 10 years I'd come back to my grade school to create my own musical theatre club, I would have never believed it. Twelve-year-old me was a rather shy and awkward kid who was more of a follower. Twelve-year-old me couldn't even get through a class presentation without quietly stuttering her way through it. Twelve-year-old me would have wondered, "How can I possibly lead a group of kids to perform a musical?"
I'll tell you how: You found your passion, and you believed in not only yourself but each and every kid who joined your club. Even when it got tough, even when you felt like ripping your hair out in frustration, even when you were seconds away from a breakdown, you never gave up.
All because of your strength, perseverance and motivation.
So thank you, because without you pushing through and showing your strength and courage day in and day out, we wouldn't be the girl we are today.
So younger self, I wish I would've told you this sooner before it was too late. Keep your head up kiddo.
An older (and slightly wiser) you