I’m sorry for the way I treated you. I’m sorry that it took me this long to acknowledge you.
I’m sorry that you felt most comfortable blending in against walls and making yourself small enough to be overlooked.
I’m sorry that you thought love was about making someone else happy rather than expecting joy and affection yourself.
I’m sorry that you felt embarrassed by your gifts and hid your words from the world, only letting dust and your AP Lit teacher see them.
I’m sorry that you only learned how best to blend in instead of feeling empowered enough to stand out.
I’m sorry that you felt ordinary and sometimes even less than. I’m sorry that your barometer for confidence wasn’t just broken, it was thrown into the ocean.
I’m sorry that you didn’t notice your wings growing and your heart swelling. I’m sorry you didn’t learn how to fly over your fears.
I’m sorry that you let friends make you feel unworthy and men make you feel unloveable.
I’m sorry you thought that it was your fault and not the fault of simply choosing the wrong people.
I’m sorry that I didn’t smile back in the mirror or whisper something encouraging in the nights you couldn’t sleep.
I’m sorry that you so badly wanted to be accepted without ever learning how to first accept yourself.
I’m sorry that you felt so left out and didn’t know how to be in your own company. I’m sorry that you were lonely.
I’m sorry that you felt like you always needed to be a part of something but also didn’t feel like you belonged wherever you wound up.
I’m sorry that you were so lost and only knew to follow the path that society told you would bring you success and happiness.
I’m sorry that I didn’t let you be seen. I’m sorry that I didn’t let you shine. I’m sorry that it took this many years for me to apologize.
I hope that you can forgive me. I hope that you can find it in your heart to accept this apology. I hope that somewhere in another lifetime, you can be happy.
In the meantime, there are some things that I thought you should know.
Know that you will rise. Know that you will overcome everything. Know that you will alchemize all of your weaknesses into strengths.
Know that you were always enough — more than enough. Know that you can be both sensitive and tough.
Know that you created a beautiful fantasy within your heart and that one day you’ll get to live in all of its wonders.
Know that all the years you played pretend were building you into someone who’d never give up on chasing crazy dreams.
Know that the nights that felt long will prepare you for the days that will take your breath away.
Know that there is more than what you feared would be it. Know that your future is well lit.
Know that you are powerful. Know that you matter. Know that I am sorry.
Know that the woman you have become is proud of the girl you once were.
Know that woman is me and she is healing. Know that one day, we’ll be free.