Dear 15 Year Old Me,

May 2nd 2017

Dear 15 year old me,

Get ready for some of the best and some of the worst years of your life…

I want to tell you that high school will be all sunshine and roses and that the first relationship you have will be healthy and magical and fun, but I would be lying. Now, don’t get the wrong idea, your life is not terrible and a lot of the bad parts will make so much sense when you’re my age and you’ll be grateful for the experiences to grow. However, in order to grow, you need to get knocked down a few times.

So, for starters, teenage girls aren’t nice and teenage boys aren’t much better. You’re at a point in your life where people care more about their self interest than they care about you…or anyone for that matter. You, on the other hand, care a lot, which isn’t bad in the grand scheme of life but right now you’re not going to get back nearly what you put in with anyone. But that’s totally fine because nearly 100% of the people from this point in your life will no longer be in your life when you’re my age. That may sound incredibly sad, but please don’t feel discouraged. Life will take you to places you’d never think to go and you will meet people you’d never expect to meet.

You’re going to spend a lot of time beating yourself up over things you have no control over and I wish I could tell you not to do that, but you can’t change the past. Just know that one day you will realize that you don’t have to feel guilty when people leave and things change. Life is just preparing you for something new.

Constantly remind yourself that your feelings are valid. People are going to try to go to the ends of the Earth to prove to you otherwise, but everything you feel is completely valid and you own every bit of it. Feel everything, even if people say it’s dumb, it’s better than feeling nothing at all.

What people say will impact how you see yourself, but you’ll outgrow that too (mostly). People’s words do not define you and you may feel hurt hearing what people say behind closed doors, but their words have no impact on your future…even if you feel like it will now. People are going to say some pretty harsh things, but never lose sight of what makes you beautiful and unique.

You are worth it. There are going to be times where you feel like a face in a crowd and nothing more but remember your worth. Remember that you are strong and beautiful and intelligent and wise and you push yourself to take on every little thing the universe throws your way. People will praising you for the same things you spend so much time being insecure about.

Before I go, I guess I should tell you where you…we… are now. You are graduating college on Friday. You are the first person in the history of your family (both sides) to ever get their masters. That is something to be so proud of. You finished college a whole year early and you did so while still having so much fun in the process. You’ve gone to about 50 concerts and have traveled quite a bit. You’ve met tons of new people from different walks of life and learned so much from them. You found passion through yoga and writing and you are working to rekindle the love you had for photography and film. You’ve pushed boundaries and found great experiences outside your comfort zone. You got a tattoo (it took a lot of convincing but it happened). You’re with a guy who loves you and treats you right, and you’re working hard to make new friends any chance you can get. You’ve let toxic people go and move on faster and stronger than ever before. You realized that you have a whole life in front of you and now you’re making every minute count.

I’m so glad you didn’t give up on yourself.

Jess

 

 

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