In celebration of International Women's Day, the hashtag #DearMe has been making the rounds, followed by notes to the author's younger selves. I wanna play...
My impulse here is to say, "It gets better." The truth, though, is that it does get better and it also gets worse and then it gets better all over again. The truth is, that graduating high school, graduating college, getting married, getting a real job, having kids (all things that happen) are not magic bullets. There is not a moment when it really becomes all uphill from here or all downhill from here. It is always a roller coaster.
Some things get better: as adults, people tend to spend less time making a concerted effort to make you feel bad about yourself. Some things get worse: after all that, you can do a delightful job on your own. Some things just change: you will need glasses and your hands will get cold. Some things never change: you still love to write and sleep late.
One of the things that will never change is that people will always want you to be something else. They'll want you to be dumber or prettier or smarter or funnier or lazier or more athletic or more together than you are. If you don't play along, it will make them uncomfortable and they will probably just pretend you are anyway.
Don't play along.
Don't ever pretend to be anything other than what you are. And stop right now lying to yourself about who that is. You are a pretty fabulous kid. You are unstoppable. Stop telling yourself that you're not all that smart and that you're not as pretty as your friends. Stop telling yourself that no one will ever fall in love with you or that you'll never get that book written. Stop saying that you're just not that special, that you're just like everyone else, that you're more or less normal. You. Are. Not.
You are amazing and talented and you don't need any of them. You don't need anyone who doesn't treat you like a totally phenomenal human being, because that's what you are. You need to stop believing what they say and standing up for yourself.
Don't worry about not liking what everyone else likes or reading what everyone else reads. Don't worry about wearing the right things and fitting in. Don't worry so much about everyone else's feelings and worry just a little more about yours.
It's tempting to just fit. I know that. But I am here to tell you, there's a lot of pain coming your way and most of it is down to settling and believing that you aren't worth better. You are. You are worth so much better. Don't let the assholes win.
P.S. Really, love yourself. You're pretty lovable.