Dear teen me,
I wish I could send this letter into the past somehow. I really do.
This letter is not meant to list all the good things that will happen in your life. It's meant to tell the truth in order to prepare you. I'm sorry.
Looking back, it's tempting to tell you where I made my mistakes. To say what I could've done different. But you and I both know you would follow my exact footsteps either way, mistakes or not. Even so, I will tell you these things because I have no one to say them to except for myself.
There will be bumps on the road, and you won't have an easy time getting over them by yourself. So please, please, don't be a fool like me and think you can handle everything alone. You can, and you will. I know that. But it's going to cause you problems. The sadness and emptiness inside you aren't going to go away. It's going to grow. You will become numb and it'll take hard work and time to open up a little bit again, even if that only means being honest to yourself. Don't even get me started on anything beyond that. I've yet to attempt that myself. I'll let you know how that goes.
You're probably right in the middle of what I remember being one of the best things of my teen years – being with them. Cherish it. We're silly, the two of us, but they didn't mind. It was nice. It felt like home.
Also, get braces. No, really. You're going to regret it when you don't. (I still don't have mine.)
School will be tough. They will bully you and crush your self-esteem, bit by bit, day by day. But you should know I am so proud of you for just keeping on going and living. It's only afterwards, when it's all over, that you see how bad it truly was. Good thing you've gotten numb by then.
Just a few more years and you'll be done with that school. I guarantee you, university will be one of the best things to ever happen to you. It's something to look forward to. The people there are such an improvement. Nobody cares about anything. Wanna go to school in sweatpants and look like you just crawled out of a hole somewhere? Sure, who the hell cares? (I wouldn't do so myself, and neither would you, probably, but it's liberating to know all the same.)So whenever you feel bad, remember this. It will be over one day. You'll be free. Also, you're not stupid and you're perfectly capable of having normal conversations with people. Don't forget that.
By the way, find a way to cope with being a high-sensitive person, but don't use it as an excuse. Because it's not.
Here's something very important. Tell mom. Tell her how you feel. She doesn't believe me any more, but you might still have a chance. What's happening is not normal, and there's professional help for it. I beg you, tell someone. Please. You're the only one who can help me now. You know what it does to you when people don't believe you? When they shrug it off as hormones, or normal teen insecurities? It makes you keep your mouth shut, that's what it does. I'm afraid to tell anyone. What if they don't believe me, either? Or what if they were really right all along, and I have been overreacting? It will take me a few more years to find that out, I'm afraid. I hope it won't be too late by then.
By now, your parents have most likely divorced already. I'm going to be blunt – things will not get better between them. He will get a new girlfriend. She's not evil at heart, but she will aid in your dad making the wrong decisions. Don't depend on him to help you pay for university. Start saving up while you can, so you'll have an easier time later.
About our mom and dad... They will fight and fight until you want to move far away just to avoid it. Hang in there. I mean, they've gotta stop someday. Right?
Well then. Let's talk about something different, something closer to your heart - writing. For the love of all that lives, start working on that book. You've had the basic idea in your head for so long now. Don't give me that 'I never finish anything!' You know what I did? I wrote a hundred-and-fifty-thousand words. Bam. You're going to get great ideas. You're going to rework nearly the entire book because your characters tell you you've got them all wrong. And you'll love it, even when it makes you want to pluck your eyebrows in frustration or drown your sore fingers in ice cold water. So please start. I know how you secretly hope your main characters will come pick you up and take you away, to their world. We've always liked to dream, haven't we? Dreams are one of the greatest treasures in the world. I'm happy that we wrote them all down. There is nothing wrong with remaining a child inside, as long as you can act responsible when needed (I'm working on it, I swear!). And who knows, maybe they will come get you one day? We can hope. But most importantly, we can dream. Embrace your creativity because it's something you'll never want to lose. Don't worry. You're never truly going to run out of ideas, even if it seems that way. Nurture it and love it, and it will become one of the things about you that make you say: 'Yes, I'm proud of being me.' And there are only a few things better than acceptance of who you are.
I know what you think when you look in the mirror, because it has only been until recently that I no longer thought the same. You're not a tragedy. You're not so worthless that no one could ever love you. Sure, you may have imperfections. Your cheeks may be rosy all the time, and you might look half your age. But listen to me. You have pretty darn awesome eyes. I know you secretly really like that golden ring around your iris, and your bright smile. So chin up. One day you will meet the perfect person for you, and all the days you waited will be worth it. I've managed so far. You can do it, too. We'll meet him together. Don't stop hoping.
Whew. That was quite the long letter, wasn't it? I'm sorry for not being what you hoped to become. But you still have time that I've used and chances I let float by. You're tough, I know. You'll get through everything, even if it means standing alone. Even if it means taking your own path straight through the wilderness. I just wish I could go back to see you and help you. Just listen to your problems. And maybe my future would be changed along with yours.
Stay who you are, but don't be afraid to reach out. That is the best advice I can give you.
Best of luck,