Saturday, March 22, 2014

A Letter to My Former Self


small_X36foU.jpgDear Me,

First of all, I wish you would realize that your high school is like 0.00000001 % of the world. What happens there really isn't going to affect you that much in the long run, so stop worrying so much.
In 11th grade English, when you decide to say out loud that you think the book your class is reading is really good, ignore those people who make it a big deal and try to make you think you’re weird. You’re not weird. You’re smart, and you happen to enjoy English class because you understand the subject. Stop being ashamed of that. Stop trying to be less smart to fit it. That's such a waste of energy. In college, you will be able to enjoy your English class and no one will bother you about it. You’re a good writer, you should realize that and take advantage of it. But please stop trying to make people think the school newspaper is cool. You’re not going to convince anyone, and you look silly. But it’s what you enjoy, so shut up and enjoy it. It’s ok to be a “nerd”. Nerds accomplish things. I wish you wouldn't worry so much about what your classmates think of you. You’re not going to see most of them after graduation anyway. Also, not having a boyfriend in high school is not going permanently scar you, I promise.
I wish you knew that when someone tells you two days after one of your best friends dies that “these are the best years of your life” they are wrong. That’s something adults like to say to high school students for some reason, and you don’t need to believe it. It is ok to be sad over the loss of your friend for as long as you need to be. It’s a really sad thing, and no one is going to be able to give you a reason why. Stop trying to “get over it” and realize that it’s more productive to try to be at peace about it. Learn to accept that there will always be those fleeting moments when you pick up your phone to text him, and there will always be that moment of pain when you realize you can’t. Some days you will catch a glimpse of a tall, curly haired boy or a red truck, and forget for a moment that he’s gone. He was such a genuine friend to you, and you will always miss him, but you will eventually be able to be at peace about him being gone. Cherish his friendship, it’s one of the best you will ever have.
    Enjoy the time you spend with your parents. Thank them for the things they do for you. When you have to start doing things for yourself, you will get a new appreciation for all they did for you. All those things they tell you in your most insecure times are so true, even though you don’t want to admit it. You will find yourself one day sitting in college psychology listening to a professor with a doctoral degree talk about self confidence, and you will realize that she is saying the exact things your mother told you a million times. Realize that your parents have something many college professors and other adults in your life will never have, plain old common sense. That's important. Also, Believe me when I say that your mom telling you to clean your room is nowhere near as annoying as random people showing up unannounced to see if your room is clean at 11 pm the day before you have a test. All those Friday nights you wished you were doing something other than having dinner with your parents are nights that you will miss. You may not always admit it, but you’re lucky to have them. They raised you so well, and you have no idea how ridiculously stable your childhood was.
    Spend more time with your grandparents. Soon you’ll realize that they won’t be around forever, and it will be hard to deal with. Play with your dog. OK, maybe that won’t work knowing him, but appreciate all those times he comes and lays down in your room, and even all those times he stares at you for hours for no particular reason. He won’t be around forever either. Stop trying to control you’re friends’ relationships. You're hurting your friendships by doing that. Let people think for themselves, and stop thinking you know what they should do better than they do.
    Your brother is a great guy. You should stop resenting him for all that he’s accomplished. He got into a good college because he worked hard in school, and he deserves to be there. He has nice things because he works hard, and he works a lot. Be proud of him, and realize that he’s proud of you. Your brother is one of the nicest guys you will meet, it just takes you a while to realize that.
    I guess what I’m trying to tell you is that you’re worrying about all the wrong things. The approval of your peers shouldn't be so important to you. You should focus on God more and realize that a relationship with him is more fulfilling than being accepted by people. Stop wishing away your childhood, and learn to live in the moment, because you can’t get those moments back. Learn to have real conversations with people, even those people you don’t find particularly interesting. That’s a skill you will need later. Stop worrying so much, everything turns out fine. The things you worry about now won’t matter later. Learn to accept compliments instead of thinking they are lies. You’re not weird, you’re not ugly, and you’re not stupid. Stop letting yourself believe that you are. You’re going to like who you become. I know, because that’s who I am right now.  

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