A Letter To My 16-Year-Old Self

When you’re feeling dark, use your voice to let other people be the light for you.
brookeekelund
brookeekelund

Dear sixteen-year-old me:

• You know that cute boy who made you cry today? He won’t compare to some of the men you’ll meet in your twenties.

• Everyone will tell you that it’s a mistake to run from your problems. It isn’t. Follow your heart and run if you need to. Just make sure to return home.

• You’ll love a few times—each one different and each one beautiful. The first cut will hurt the worst, so just enjoy the ride.

• Always remember that just because you meet a great man doesn’t mean he is necessarily great for you.

• Set your standards of how you expect to be treated, and be a hardass with enforcing them.

• Set your standards of how you expect yourself to treat others. Be a hardass and enforce those, too.

• Not everyone will see the world the same way you do. Be tolerant of them.

• Don’t give into peer pressure. Eventually it’ll be cool to say that you didn’t always fit in.

• You can show your love by letting people go.

• You will hurt one day. I don’t know when it’ll pass, but it will. Just keep breathing.

• Don’t be in a rush to find love, but please, don’t be afraid of it.

• Nothing is worth numbing you—no job, no man, no friend.

• Don’t let your anger eat you alive forever. Resentment is a waste of time.

• Next time your mother does something to make you angry, let it go. Eventually you’ll catch yourself doing the same things. I don’t say this to scare you, but to excite you. It is a privilege to be half the woman your mother was.

• You can be it all. You can be the dark girl and the lightest one. When you’re feeling dark, use your voice to let other people be the light for you.

Love always,
Twenty-two-year-old me. TC mark

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