I really want to share this letter I wrote to myself my senior year of high school (3 years ago), to my 13-year old self. If I can say anything about the letter it’s very clear I had a one track mind, that I Needed myself to know. For anyone wondering, this is an amazing way to let things go or make you see facets of yourself you didn’t before. Here it is:
Dear younger self,
In middle school I know you were going through a rough time: your mind was surrounded by confusion with yourself, school, friends, trying to figure out what you stood for in life, and your beliefs. Frustration was a huge part of this awkward time, as well as anger at never being good enough, smart enough, pretty enough, etc. Fear at what was to come in high school was a huge component of this constant frustration, and we can’t forget the chronic anxiety. At. Everything. Small things that never should have mattered, especially to a middle- schooler, could make you break down and cry the moment you got home and safely into your room. Getting a “bad” grade (maybe a B on a test), or fear that your friends were gossiping about you when you got up from the lunch room table. In fact, anything that could possibly be said that was bad about you scared the hell out of you- even comments your teachers or parents said, not to mention what the “popular” people were possibly saying about you.
All I have to say is DON’T WORRY. I know that when you read this, you won’t believe me, even though I’ve been through everything you’re experiencing right now, you just won’t. You will grow up, you will make it through middle school without having anything terrible happen to you (or said to you), and the fears and worries about growing up are completely irrational. You won’t disappoint your parents and they’ll be proud at everything you’re going to do in life. Now, the anxiety, that actually is a problem, but you get some medicine for it and things will no longer be as worrisome, especially what people could be thinking about you, because let’s face it, they can think what they want. Worrying doesn’t help you accomplish anything. Like I said, I know you’re still going to scrunch your forehead and frown when you read this, disbelieving what I’m telling you, but yes! It is true. I absolutely despise how much you worry, and for all the stress, tears, anger, frustration, and sadness it has caused you. I know you had anxiety about such irrational things partially because you didn’t know how else to react, or maybe you just didn’t understand yourself and where you were going in life yet. Even knowing that, I still despise that middle school became such a mess for us. But really – worrying so irrationally about things that are NOT going to affect your entire future, but instead fearing small, minor, miniscule things is just plain stupid!! Don’t be concerned that I’m mad at you though, I know you are. I understand everything you went through, and yes it is hard, but you will get through it. You’ll discover soon enough the amazing strength you have, and people will recognize it in you too. I forgive you for anything I’ve ever held against you.
I am so proud of you. One of the things that make me most proud of what you have done so far is your perseverance. It’s hard to be strong when you’re an only child and you have such anxiety at such a young age, and no one really understands you. People will grow to understand, as you will come to understand yourself. Your strength to continue fighting a battle that seems as if it could be lost as a moment’s notice is amazing, and people will notice that too. As your mother will say, you have “chutzpah,” and then she’ll break out in laughter about the Germans on her mother’s side of the family as you stand there confused. Without that strength, you would have given up, even in middle school when things seemed impassable. Thank you.
I’ve already given you the best advice I can: don’t worry, roll with the punches, let the cards fall as they may, que sera sera, take it one day at a time, and just take a deep breath… You can do this, you will do this, just let things happen as they will, and relax. I can tell you if you listen to this at all you will learn how to relax. You won’t worry so much, you can do this, and you can be a vet. Just don’t worry so much. For now, take things at face value and don’t over analyze everything you’re told. You are truly beautiful, both inside and out, and you’ll learn to recognize it in yourself. You fall hard in love with a wonderful man who is still figuring out who he is in life and where he wants to go. You’ll be friends and lovers; at the least gain a best friend for life, and at the most, (possibly) something every girl dreams of too, I won’t give it away. Remember your mom and dad will always be there for you and support you. Yes, you will still be riding horses when you’re older, and you’ll love it just as much as you do now. The fear that I know is held in a tight little knot in your stomach will dissipate, and your anxiety will dull down. The greatest things in life (good or bad) are always unknown before they happen, so what’s the point in worrying about them?
Love & Happy Travels,