Dear younger me,
I just wanted to share with you a few things about your life. A life filled with incredible experiences of joy, loss, love and hope. I want to share with you the lessons you’re about to learn and the difficult road you’re about to drive down.
Your teenage years are going to feel like hell, but hold on tight because it will get better. In school you’ll be bullied for wearing glasses, having pale skin, having black hair, having an unusual taste in music, being too quiet, being weird. All of the things that you will learn to embrace about yourself in the future. Things that other people will embrace about you too. You will use bathroom breaks as an excuse to hide from the other kids at school, you’ll hurt yourself because you believe that every bad thing they say about you is true, you’ll take an overdose and ultimately leave school at 14 having learned nothing real or valuable.
What you don’t realise then, is that it ends up being the best decision you’d ever make. You use the free time to learn a skill that later down the road turns into a career. School is not for everyone, it certainly isn’t for you. Your passion and creativity will give you something much more than a qualification can.
You will embark on a significant journey to overcome your social anxiety, through therapy, self determination and 9 years of solid hard work. There will be times when you break down completely and spend weeks in bed because it’s all too much, you will get back up again and carry on however because you know what you want and you are relentless.
You’ll forgive some of the people that tortured you in school as you watch them grow into kind, compassionate human beings, some of them parents. It will warm your heart and teach you to let go of bitterness.
You’ll have some unfortunate relationships that will break your heart, some of them dangerous, some of them that will haunt you for years. Each one of them will teach you something about yourself and will make you a stronger person. Yet, none of them will stop you from being vulnerable and open to love, which eventually leads you to finding that one amazing person who treats you like a Queen, who helps you see a future you weren’t sure you’d ever have.
You’ll run your own business, which will not be easy by a long stretch. It’ll keep you awake at night, make you more anxious than you’ve ever been before, present challenges that you won’t be able to back out of and it’ll be exhausting… but it will be your biggest achievement and no one will be able to take that away from you. It’s the one thing you have control over.
You’ll never stop being challenged in life but you stop seeing this as a bad thing and begin to embrace whatever life throws at you. It makes things interesting.
You’ll develop real, solid friendships with good people and you’ll party hard. Everything you feel you missed out on during your teenage years because of Social Anxiety, you WILL make up for it, you’ll make up for it all because there is no limit to when you can have fun or learn new things or meet new people. Time stops mattering so much to you and that’s when you start to feel truly free.
I won’t tell you how to live your life differently, or what I would have done if I could go back to being us at your age because I wouldn’t change a damn thing. Not any of it. Every single thing you go through will make you into what I am today and trust me when I tell you, it gets really really good.
Lots of love & courage,
Your older self.