Hey, Younger Me!
I hope you are well. I hope you tell people how you feel instead of masking it until you cannot take it anymore. I hope you love and treat yourself because sometimes everyone needs a little extra TLC. You’re about to find out that what you have been feeling has a name, Depression. Not so uncommon. At first, this will scare you; it will make you feel isolated from your friends and family, but know this – many of them are struggling too. Good for you for being brave enough to say, “This isn’t right; I deserve more.” There will be times in your life you needed to have that mentality but didn’t. Be proud when you do.
I know you feel ready to be an adult, but you’re not. You don’t want anyone (friends or family) to see because they might think you’re crazy. I promise you they won’t. They will be impressed by your confidence to own it and communicate it to them. That takes some big guts, especially for a high school student. Enjoy this time and soak everything up like a sponge. Believe it or not, this time will be something you look back upon and miss. Hold on to those memories as tight as you can. As soon as you walk out that door, they fade quicker than you imagined.
Don’t be afraid to be yourself. How cliché, right? I know you’re rolling your eyes, but I mean it. It is hard for some people, even those in their mid-twenties, to be themselves, doesn’t follow that trend. Yeah, so you’re quirky and a bit of a nerd – people will like that because you’re authentically you. If you are undeniably yourself, you never have to be worried if people love you for you because you know they will. And how could they not – we’re pretty awesome ;). No, I don’t want to toot our own horn here, but I want to encourage the timid high school girl in the same position to be unapologetically herself. It is hard, especially in today’s social media age, for kids to be themselves because they constantly wish they were someone else. The comparisons that social media emits are almost more dangerous than old-fashioned jealousy. All you ever see on social media are the good parts. At least in person, you can see the whole package.
You can’t wait to go to college, and then once you’re in college, you won’t be able to wait to graduate. I get it; you’re ready for the next adventure, and believe me, there will be plenty of time for that, but make sure to leave the current adventure early. Enjoy the present moment, and take each day as it comes. Your strength will be tested within these next few years. Hold on tight to yourself, your values, and your beliefs. Letting life shake them out of you is easy, but that lessens your individuality. That would be a shame. We need your uniqueness because how else will we continue to grow and better this world?
Finally, if I can leave you with nothing, let me leave you with this – live your best life. If you have an opportunity, seize the hell out of it. You never know what tomorrow will bring or where one chance could lead you. Never take a second for granted because before you know it – you’ll be me, 25, and adulting. There is a season for each chapter of your life – let them flow as they come.