An Open Letter to my 14 Year Old Self

Dear Cassy,

I can see you so clearly in my mind right now, ten years down the road. Your favorite place to hang out is in your room, which you rearrange incessantly. Later, you’ll learn that’s because you’re a creative spirit, but your obsessive compulsive tendencies may have a little to do with it, too. You write. A lot. And that’s great. In three years, you’ll throw all your diaries away. Sometimes you’ll miss them. Other times, you’ll be very relieved those memories only exist in you.

Right now, you’re becoming very aware that your parents don’t know everything. You’re right; they don’t. But don’t let it make you angry. No one knows everything. And no one is perfect, even when they pretend to be. It’ll take you a good six years, but you’ll come to appreciate (almost) every single thing about them.

You have some great friends and some not-so-great friends. You already know that. Social pressures will keep you from letting those not-so-great-friends go. But in ten years, when you think about the friends you ultimately hurt, your heart will ache for them. Right now it seems like you’ll be able to reconcile with them later, but you won’t even believe how fast time starts to slip away.

Some time during the past year, you heard a popular guy in school say that High School is going to be the best four years of your life, and you’ll wonder if that’s true. You’ll begin to believe it and that will lead you to think that life really sucks. Spoiler alert: he was wrong. College will be a million times better, as you secretly suspect.

Ultimately, I want you to know that you’re okay. Your imperfections are okay. Your mistakes are okay (even the big ones). Things that may be disastrous now won’t even matter later. You’ll barely remember the things that you obsess over now. Here’s what you will remember: sleepovers. Mall trips with good friends. Goofing off at the football game. Playing with your two dogs in the backyard. Learning to drive a four-wheeler. Friends made on basketball teams. On softball teams. Hugs from friends. Encouragement from great teachers.

You feel like you’re waiting around to grow up, but try to enjoy what’s going on right now. You’re an incredibly lucky girl, and everyone has a hard time in high school (even when they pretend like they don’t). There’s a mantra we have for bullied kids in 2012 that you need to hear: it gets better. It really does.

Love always,

-Cassy

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