I realize that the #DearMe campaign was for International Women’s Day, but I still wanted to write a letter to myself because I want to see just how much I’ve grown and how happy my younger self would be to know that. So here goes:
You will be happy to know that future you is happy, right now, in this moment. Future you tries your best to be present in the moment, to be happy with what you have while wishing for that happiness to intensify. You might not understand this right now, but you will.
You’re worrying about a lot of things right now: school, grades, the future, boys, fitting in, and allowing yourself to just be.
You’re gonna laugh, but school will become the last thing on your mind in the future. You’ll have other things that are actually worth your time: work, writing, spending time with family and friends, and educating yourself on things that matter.
You might hate to hear this, but you will receive a C during your first year of university. It will undoubtedly crush your spirit, but you’ll still be alive. In fact, that C will propel you to choose courses that you will actually like. You’ll even learn that grades should take a backseat, especially since you’re not going to grad school (spoiler alert).
You’re not going to work for the UN. In fact, you’ll lose interest in geopolitical problem-solving altogether – and realize that you were never that interested in the first place. You’ll be focused on other ventures, like non-profits who prioritize empowering youth, or writing a blog about why you don’t want to work for the UN.
And – get this – you’ll still be single, and you’ll be okay with that. Nuts, right? I know! You’ll learn to nurture your relationship with friends and family, and, most importantly, with yourself. You shouldn’t worry about finding a guy who likes you, because frankly, teenage boys are kind of idiots. You know this, deep down inside, but you won’t admit it. And you know you want to have a loving relationship with a man who appreciates the things about you that make you different from your peers.
You’ll find other people who will appreciate those things, too! Your nerdiness for pop culture and fiction, your compassion for others, your yearning to make a difference and bring peace to the world, your preference for words, your hesitation towards technology and reality TV – all of it. You are so loved right now (past and future).
You’ll become confident with your body. All of the hangups about fat, hair, scars, shapes, and size will diminish. Not quite disappear (I think that’s for your 40s), but that’s okay. You’ll feel beautiful, and others will notice.
And you’ll be doing things that are good for your health. You’re going to become one of those spiritual junkies who practices yoga, meditates, and loves Elizabeth Gilbert and Pema Chodron. And you won’t care what others have to say about that. Why would you? You’re awesome!
You probably feel that this seems so far away from right now. You’d be right about that. But I want to let you know what you shouldn’t worry too much about the future. Don’t plan too far ahead. Don’t let what you think others think of you mess you up.
Stay in the present moment, because you won’t be able to be a teenager for much longer. Your body will grow sideways. You won’t fit into your teenage clothes anymore (and thank God for that, really). Your youth will be a thing of the past. So stay smart, focus on the things and people who matter the most, and you’ll be just fine.
See you on the other side!