If I could meet the girl I was when I was 16, there’s so much I’d tell her about the decade to come.
I’d tell her to stop worrying about how she looks. None of the people who like her for her beauty during her five minutes of fame will stay. That will be a bitter pill to swallow, but it’ll cure her of her vanity that she doesn’t even realize she holds dear.
I’d tell her that she would fall in hard in love. That there would be a destructive love and a redemptive love. Both won’t last, but she won’t regret either. The parts of her that will be ruined don’t belong to her anyway.
I’d tell her that she already is and has everything she will ever need to do what she wants to in this world. The years that follow will only teach her to eliminate the noise and channel her truth into louder megaphones.
I’d tell her that she was going to take turns that others would call wrong. But I am proud of her for all those turns she’ll take over the next decade, never listening to any voice but that of her heart. All those turns had to be taken for her to get to me.
I’d tell her that the person she hopes will understand and save her — that lover, that best friend, or that God does exist. But it isn’t outside of her, it’s within her. It’s me. She is my person.
I’m the person she hasn’t reached yet who will love her more than anyone else ever could. And I’ll be waiting for her, to catch her, hold her, and love her like no one else would know how to.
I’ll be listening to every single nerve of hers wailing in agony. I’ll never forget her cries. I will joyfully carry each of them and spin them into golden threads of magic. She and I will create cloaks of healing, and we’ll throw them out into the world together.
Sometimes I think of my 36-year-old self — the only person I aspire to be, the only person I want to make proud. I wonder if she will accept and love me for who I am today.
That’s when I look at my 16-year-old self, and I instantly know — we are one soul strung together across time on a thread of love. Our narrative will never be one of disappointment. We belong to each other.