Dear 16-year-old me,
Sweet 16. The birthday you’ve been waiting years for. Now you can date – now you’re a real teenager, in the thick of it all. And it’s not everything you hoped it would be, huh? I know that sucks big time and things can be difficult these days but nobody’s 16 is really 100% sweet.
I know that so far high school has been filled with fun, lots of confusion and some pain that you still don’t quite understand, but there’s a glimmer of hope. Right now there’s a little spark of magic that you’re not too sure about because it doesn’t look like the magic you expected. But but trust your gut and go for it. It’s worth it, I promise.
Oh, and that thing you’ve been wondering and considering doing – do it. Sure, it’ll throw everyone including you for a loop, but I think it’s necessary. I’m still trying to figure that one out, but I’m pretty sure you’ll make the right decision.
You should know that life is about to get a whole lot better and a whole lot worse all at the same time but you will come out the other side of it smarter and stronger. You need to understand that these years will not be the worst of your life and that they are going to fly by and you’re going to want them back so badly – so you need to make sure you soak up every second. Write more in your journal. Keep up your poetry. Document more memories. And try to relax even though I know it’s so incredibly hard for you, and you haven’t realized that yet.
I wish I could go back and shake you and tell you to stop trying to be perfect and stop trying to control everything and be everything to everyone. You can’t. It won’t work and it will only end up pushing people away and leaving you burnt out. You still have some time to be a “kid” and to hold on tight to your best friends, your family, and your parents who are doing the very best they can. Ignore and diffuse the drama people bring, listen to the people who matter even when they can’t verbally tell you something, and for goodness sake, slow down a little.
And I know it’s a tough thing, knowing when to let people go when they leave you and knowing when to fight to get them back. Sometimes its better to just let things be because if they left, they had their reasons and holding on too tight would suffocate anyone. The people in your life that stick by your side consistently – those are the people you need to focus on. And you also need to focus on YOU. Do what you need, take time to yourself to read and write and find new hobbies. Learn self-care and independence now. You’ll need those skills later.
Do yourself a favor and hug your grandma more because trust me, you’re going to wish you had. Talk to her even more about life and beliefs and experiences than you already do because guess what – you’re going to end up being more like her than you know. And spend more time with both your grandpas. Indulge them and learn even more about their lives – tell them some about yours. They may seem simple, but those are some of the most important conversations to have and memories to make. And also, I know you’re a teenager and you’re going through a lot but try to be a little nicer to your parents.
The next couple of years are going to be a whirlwind, in both amazing and extremely taxing ways. But you’ll get through it. They’re going to shape who you are big time, so get ready. Follow your heart, listen to your gut, and try to enjoy this time in your life because you’ll never get it back.