Letter to my Future Self: 16 to 21
Today I turned 21.
It's so mad that 9 years ago I wasn't expecting to make it to 13, but here I am... 21.
when I was 16 I wrote a letter to 21-year-old me and I'd like to share it with you. It said:
Congratulations, today you turn 21.
I hope you found what you’ve been looking for, on the inside if not in every way. I hope you know what happiness means to you. I hope you have known the purest love as a flowing give and take, a living, breathing thing. I hope you can look back on all this time and sigh, and say, “But my heart is not weary, it’s light and it’s free.” (Bob Dylan said that.)
I hope you found courage where you thought you had none. hope, too – that things can be different, even better than you thought you deserved. I hope you know that you belong here and that you treat everyone else like they belong here, too. I hope you can look inside your heart and face your past, your mistakes, your losses and everything that’s brought you to your knees, and stand taller than ever. I hope you’ve felt the kindness of a stranger. I hope you’ve smiled in a room all by yourself. I hope you’ve learned another thing or two about the power of forgiveness. I hope you found strength in movement, peace in your own company, and purpose encircling your most conscious decisions. I hope you know by now that you’re enough and more, no matter what you did or didn’t achieve. I hope you’ve come to know yourself as a friend, once and for always. I hope you can see more clearly than I all the ways a person can live with integrity. I hope you elect your own kind of success, one that's inclusive of your wholeness and rooted in joy.
As you’re reading this, I wonder: who do you care for? what are you proud of? what love have you done? how is your heart? do you still believe in the place where joy grows like wildflowers? what warmth have you been surprised to feel? what beauty have you been glad to find? beyond everything, I hope you know just how important you are. how the thought of you glad is like sunlight to me. Until we come together, It's you who has kept me going when I felt like letting go.
Thank you. You belong in the light, too.
When I just read this, I cried tears of both joy and sadness.
Joy because of how much I've grown. I've become the person I've always wanted to be, and I'm so grateful for that. I've overcome a whole lot and I'm so proud of myself.
but I'm also sad because that 16-year-old girl did not deserve half the shit she went through. I'm sad because if it wasn't for that poor girl holding onto hope, I wouldn't be here today. I wouldn't have experienced half the things I have and it's so heartbreaking to know that fate really is in my hands.
I'm staying strong for the past me, present me, and future me. That's a promise I'll try very hard to keep