To my dearest 14 year old self.
I am here to tell you that you’ll make it. You might not believe me, but there will be a time when you feel so much happiness, that you can’t believe you ever felt this way. I know things are hard right now. So hard. You struggle with the voice in your mind and you feel like no one understands. Well, no one does understand because they aren’t you. But there are people around you that see you. They’re with you and they’re rooting for you all the way.
There will be a time when your family will fall apart and you will try to drink the pain away. You’ll spend many days in your high school therapists office. You’ll cry and cry and a part of you believes that it will never get better. It will.
You have a deep rooted belief that you’re not lovable, but I ask you to try to meet patience half way. Because you’ll meet a boy who believes in you. He will love you for who you are and you will know for the first time, what it means to feel safe. And when you almost lose your life (I should’ve warned you that was coming) he will stand by you. And when you struggle through withdrawal and many sleepless nights, he will have faith in you. When you want to end it all and think long and hard about if, when, and how, he will be there every time. Once again you will feel safe. It is here that you realize how important family is to you. You also realize that family does not require blood. You have forever sisters from this beautiful family, and they will pick you up again and again many times down the road.
You’ll struggle with heartbreak. And loss. You’ll feel once again that you are an ugly person because you hurt him. But in the end you’ll know that the pain was essential. You’ll fall in love with a woman who knows adventure. This will spark a light in your soul that you can never dim. She will teach you to be brutally honest. She helps you to trust yourself and shows you how to be playful. You will laugh… a lot. You’ll travel to foreign lands and dream about never going home. You’ll learn that home really is where the heart is. You think it will never end. But it does. You’ll experience another round of pain you think you can’t survive. You’ll feel as though you’ve lost your life. And in a way you have. But only because you needed to make room for a new life and a new freedom that you couldn’t have dreamed up before.
It is through being alone, living alone, and loving alone that you reremember the importance of friendship. You’ll fall in love so hard with every beautiful person in your life that you often feel your heart cannot contain the song that it sings. You know that you’ll do anything for your friends. You’ll lose a friend and it will bring pain that will shatter you. You’ll never see fire the same way.
You’ll contemplate long and hard about life and loss and wonder how any of it is fair. But you’re stronger now. So much stronger than you were, and now you’re able to see the beauty in darkness. You’ll know that darkness and light are a duet that dance lovingly through the universe, taking no breaks. You’ll trust that all is always perfect.
You’ll follow dreams, love some more, and wonder what to do next. You start to believe that no one ever really knows what to do next and you’re okay with that. You find a deep trust in your womanhood, a strength that you know cannot be destroyed. You’ll come to the conclusion that nothing would mean anything if you’re not living to help others, and so you decide to make your life one of service.
I’m here to tell you once again, that you’ll make it. Hard things are coming. But so are inexplicably wonderful things. Tilt your head back and laugh at the sky. Marvel at the beauty of what it means to be alive. Trust your darkness and learn to play with your demons; they’re here to serve you. And above all, know that all is always exactly as it should be. Everything serves its divine purpose. Bask in the wonder of that. Enjoy the ride.