I just found this Youtube initiative called #Dear Me in honor of International Women’s Day. Women talk about what advice they would give their teenage self looking back on those maybe sometimes difficult years, in hopes to “inspire and empower young girls everywhere”. I absolutely love the idea and also the video they made for this initiative (go watch it here!) and since my teenage self could really have used some advice, I wanted to share my Dear Me-letter right here.
hey, could you look up from that book for just one second? I know you love to read, you love getting lost in that world of letters and mental pictures, it lets you forget your own life and things you think you screwed up. That’s awesome, keep up that reading, there’ll be a time where you’ll find it hard to make time for it. I think you’ll be proud of me for still keeping all the books you read, they’re still at home sitting on those shelves. I even took our favorite Bille + Zottel books with me to college, I can probably still recite most of those since you read them like twenty or thirty times without ever getting bored. Anyways, actually I’m here to give you some advice that could impact your future life, so you might want to pay attention to this.
First of all, listen to your mom. Don’t go out in the sun without a hat and sunscreen because sunburns cause skin cancer! I mean it! Scary movies will still give you the creeps years later, so don’t even bother watching them, you’re never getting used to it! Whatever your mom tells you, she has a good reason for it and she loves you, so go do it. And help her out more, don’t roll your eyes when she asks for help in the kitchen, don’t complain when she needs the garbage taken out or the bathroom cleaned or the wash folded. She’s freaking trying to keep you alive, so go help her! And tell her that you love her more. She deserves that, and she needs to hear that. Tell your dad and your sister, too, because they all should know it, so don’t you dare ever let them forget!
Don’t worry about clothes or make up. That’s just the outer shell and doesn’t mean anything. Be comfortable with who you are, even without eyeliner and mascara and trendy clothes. Work on your character instead, be kind to other people, be polite, be curious and don’t hesitate to ask questions, even if it drives your teachers crazy! Don’t be scared of failure because failure is the road to success! Try not to dwell on mistakes or embarrassing situations too much, learn from them and then move on! I know it’s hard, I’m still struggling with that sometimes even now, but remember that the mistakes are the ones that prepare you for life! So go out there and fail! Fail a couple times, so you can be sure to get it right the next time!
Choose your friends wisely. Don’t hang around people that actually bore you to death and make you feel bad about yourself, just because you’re afraid to be alone. Move on! Find people that don’t drain your energy, that make you laugh and inspire you to be the best version of yourself! Surround yourself with people smarter than you and learn from their experiences. Surround yourself with positive people and stop talking negative just to fit into a group or start a conversation with someone! I know you’re shy and introverted and that high school doesn’t exactly give you a lot of choices concerning friends. But at least try! And if all fails, remember you are going to meet some amazing people during your travels later!
Stop trying to fall in love so hard. It’s never going to work the way you’re trying anyways, so don’t bother wasting your time on it.
I know you’re thinking about quitting ballet because it’s not exactly the most popular hobby, and I also know you feel like you’re not part of the group – don’t worry about it, stick with it, it’s great exercise and will keep your body in shape! Seriously, it’s going to be tough to stay fit once you quit ballet due to the amazing traveling you’re going to do. And about that not fitting in thing: Get used to that feeling. It’s for the better, it’ll make you more independent and most of all it’ll make you an independent thinker. So push through it, shake it off! Same with anything negative anybody ever says to you, it’s their problem and not yours, so just let it slide off your shoulder!
No matter how terrible things might seem, don’t ever even think about killing yourself, dammit!! Hurling yourself out the window of your third-story classroom or jumping off the balustrade facing the school hall? Not funny, girl, don’t go there! Life is too damn beautiful to end it, so shift your attention to all the beauty around you, take a walk through the forest and admire the wiseness of the trees, go watch the sunset, spend time with your bunnies, you know they always make you smile! Go look on the bright side and never forget to count your blessings!
I guess that’s all for now. Just remember to keep kicking, there are so many awesome and gorgeous and beautiful things you’re going to experience real soon, so don’t you dare give up now! Oh, and if you’re feeling down in the dumps go do something that makes you happy. Don’t go bathing in self pity, it’s a waste of time, work on climbing out of the hole instead of complaining about the hole being in your way in the first place. Go watch Ellen, go ride a horse, go read your favorite book! Hang in there, kid.