Dear Sixteen Year Old,
I have been struggling to write this letter since the morning. I have been trying to find the right words, because I know somewhere in this world, a scared, terrified sixteen year old needs to read these words.
Listen to me.
Right now everything that is happening to you will feel too much. There will be people in your life who are going to make you feel like you’re nothing. But you’re going to put those years behind you. You’re going to shine so bright. You’re going to become happiness personified. To the outside world that is.
Inside – the battle will always rage on. You’re going to run into the shadows from your past and it will affect you pretty badly. It will mess up your mind and you will go back to feeling insignificant and sixteen, and want to curl up on your bedroom floor that night.
Here’s the part that I want you to read more carefully now.
Do not fight that feeling immediately. You deserve to feel however way you want to feel. But once the thoughts begin to scurry away from your head, you will begin to realise what an idiotic thing this whole ordeal was. If you make it through a night, when the voices in your head have been screaming at you to give up, my dear, that’s the bravest thing you’ve done in a long, long time.
Remember if no one else in this world is willing to help you up, you’re going to have to do it for yourself. Because even though I want to believe that every single person who has crossed my path has something good in them, I cannot deny that we live an inherently selfish world. Every one of us is too busy trying to save ourselves.
As a sixteen year old, I remember feeling so diffident. I remember feeling not pretty enough, not smart enough. I remember never having a line of beaus while most of my friends started going out with people. Had someone to hold onto when their worlds went dark. I remember being hopelessly in love with someone who perhaps didn’t even know who I was. I remember my heart breaking, and sleepless nights. I remember the poetry that came from the anguish of never being loved in return. And here’s the saddest thing I remember: being happy when someone gave me a scrap of attention.
My darling – you are so much more than that! You deserve to be at the top of their priorities. You shouldn’t be an afterthought.
Right now, you’re sixteen and you’re scared and you’re shattered. You’ll learn an important lesson as you grow up. Don’t take yourself too seriously. No one else does. And stop trying to save every lost soul that wanders your way. You’re too good for half of them anyway.
I can tell you that as you grow up, life gets better. I am not saying it’ll be easy. But it will definitely be better. You’ll perhaps still be over trusting and naive. And maybe you’ll never really grow out of being who you are right now. But please remember that you’re a good human being. Maybe you’ll become good at hiding who you are. Or maybe you’ll emerge, stronger than anyone else thought possible.
But right now at sixteen – enjoy your life. Enjoy school. Be wary of the company you keep. You won’t realise it now but you’re only sixteen once and the time will go by rather quickly. And there’s just only so much you can do when you’re sixteen. J
Twenty Seven Year Old
P.S. – You’re going to remember the bad days some times. Try not to dwell too much on those memories. Because, like all good things, even the bad things end!