Hey girl. What’s up? You’re probably about 15 right now and I’m guessing that you’re probably drawing an anarchy symbol on your Converse sneakers and singing loudly to…Fall Out Boy or Green Day or Hedley. You’re also probably confused why this girl who sort of looks like you but doesn’t have black eyeliner everywhere is writing a letter to you.
I guess I’ve just got a few things that I wanted to say to you.
First: relax. Chill out, bro. Cool your peas. I know that you think that you need to be perfect and that if you’re not perfect, you’ll fail or no one will love you. I know that you think that you need to have everything in your life under control and perfectly crafter. I also know that you don’t believe that you can do that, so you get down on yourself. Here’s a secret…people will still love you even if you don’t think you did well enough. You don’t need to craft a perfect life. What you see online and in magazines isn’t real (are you still on MySpace…?). The things that people post, even what you post, are things that they have put a lot of work into. Those images are touched and curated and they are not images of real life. That girl who you think has the perfect life? She only shows you what she wants. It’s not real life and your day to day can never be like that. So calm down and let it go.
Speaking of loving yourself, don’t let people tell you that others will only love you if you love yourself. People will love you. People will care about you despite what you think of yourself. That is just a destructive way to think (because I know that you don’t love anything about yourself right now). You deserve love. Let people love you so you can start to heal.
Also, I know how scared you are. You don’t know what’s going on in your own brain. You don’t know why the world scares you and why you feel so alone. You don’t know why you can’t sleep at night and why you can hardly ever feel happy. Your life isn’t that bad. There are people out there that have it worse than you. It’s just teenage angst right…? No. It’s not. There is nothing wrong with you and you are not imagining things. You had a lot of pain in your life and your brain reacted to it with anxiety and depression. It’s normal and it’s okay. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Start practicing your self care. Eat healthy food. Drink water. Brush your teeth. Clean your space. These are habits that are difficult to do when you’re feeling low but they are the habits that will keep you out of the dark. Try sheet masks. Be ahead of the curve. They’re the bomb.
Keep reading. You love it. Don’t stop reading whatever you can and soaking up everything.
And this is a big one…don’t be afraid. People will try to talk you out of the things you love and those voices will echo in your mind for years. You love writing and art and music and history. People will tell you that you have to be amazing to be a successful writer and you will tell yourself that what they mean is that you’re not good enough so maybe you should study something else. Keep doing what you love. Don’t give up. These things fuel you and make you feel like a full human being. Don’t let the world talk it out of you. Hold onto the things that bring you joy.
You’re going to be okay. You are lucky to have some wonderful people in your life. Just focus on what makes you happy and you’ll be okay. I’m only 25 right now as I’m writing this to you and we still have so much life ahead of us. Just take care of yourself and you will be just fine.
Still learning to love me,
PS. Keep listening to Fall Out Boy and Green Day. They still rock.