1. I hope you realize how strong you are. I hope you realize that you will make mistakes, bad things will happen to you, and your life won’t always be easy. But the strength inside you will carry you through. Remember who you are, more importantly, remember who you want to be. Remember that your past doesn’t define you, and that nothing can take away from the beauty that is your soul. Sometimes it will be too painful to look behind you. That’s okay. Look forward – that’s where you are going anyway.
2. I hope you know that you are never stuck. You may feel stuck, you may think there is no alternative but there is always an alternative. If you are in a relationship that is unhealthy, a job that is slowly killing you, school that is putting you through more angst and debt than you are comfortable with, a city that you hate – you can make a change. Always.
There are obstacles that make changing these things difficult, of course, but THIS IS YOUR LIFE. You are in control of what happens in it. If you are struggling with one of these things and you don’t believe that you have options – reach out to the people that care about you. That is the greatest resource you have in this life. I have many tricks up my sleeve (that I have learned from experience) and most of your loved ones will too.
3. I hope you always strive to be valued, rather than desired. You do not need to be the person that everyone wants. Not only that almost always exclusively based off superficiality – it ultimately does you no good. So I hope you strive to be the person that is valued. The person that people cannot afford to lose. The person that people refuse to lose. You are a unique human being and your existence in this world is one of a kind. What you can offer this world is one of a kind. Being wanted by everyone has an expiration date. Strive to be valued, not desired.
4. I hope you believe in yourself. Self-doubt will only hold you back. Trust yourself, trust your abilities. If nothing else, trust that if things go wrong you will be able to navigate through it and get to the other side. Keep in mind that failure is absolutely, positively not the worst thing that can happen in this world.
And even if it were, you cannot fail if you do not give up. Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team. Jerry Seinfeld was booed off the stage the first night he did stand-up. Bill Gates started Traf-O-Data. Never heard of it? That’s because it was one of Gates’ failures that preceded that little thing called Microsoft. You get the idea. Do not give up on yourself. Believe in yourself with intent and fervor. That alone makes you a success.