Dear sixteen year old me

Hello, beautiful,

I know your life sucks right now. You lost a loved one. Terrible things happened to you. You detest high school. You miss your friends, a lot. And you are falling in love.

Let me start by giving you answers. You will learn that sometimes a sudden death is better than a torturous life. The scars on your body will remind you of your strength and courage and make you a brave, independent person. I know you feel weak right now, but believe me, you will grow and you will heal. School will pass, and you’ll make an amazing friend and still keep in touch with your old ones. She will be the one you will celebrate your birthdays with and talk to at 2 am when the person you fell in love with breaks your heart. I’m sorry, darling, you’re going to have to go through heartbreak and hurt and horrible things at 19. I’m hoping a 21 year old me tells me I survived it as well.

But fall in love, because it’s important you do. You will see happiness and you will see bliss and you will see innocent, raw feelings. You will learn the importance of not letting the world define you or make decisions for you. You will learn not to let others see all your insecurities. You will learn to be a rebel and go against the cultural norms and not regret it. You will learn to trust you instincts more the next time. You will always remember the first time you said ‘I love you’ and it will always make your heart flutter and eyes tear up.

But mostly, please be you. Don’t try to be like the other girls, don’t dumb yourself down or pretend to be someone you’re not. Don’t tell them you love make up if you don’t care about it enough, or don’t tell them you love Star Wars if you haven’t even seen the series. Don’t let them make you feel insecure about yourself – about your body, about your mind. Be proud of that brain, it’ll get you accepted into all universities you will later apply to. And love, that body, it’s your to love and protect. It’s beautiful, and although the society is going to tell you to be thinner and taller and whiter, screw them. You look damn fine.

Try and refrain from questioning everything in your life. I know life kicked you particularly hard this year, but you will make it through. Beautiful things will happen, just wait and watch. You did good by yourself, in the end. You will make some awful decisions, but I won’t tell you not to. They will, in the end, build you.

Read more Salman Rushdie and less of Nicholas Sparks. Winged eyeliner looks good on you. You should try out Body Shop products for your hair because they slay. Try breaking some rules and have fun. Talk to more people. Try finding music other than the stuff on the charts, because when it is 1 am in Bali and you’re breaking, you will find solace in it.

Most of all, you’re going to survive this. I can promise you that, because I am here, listening to Taylor Swift and dealing with a broken heart while telling you that it’s going to be just fine. We will both be okay.

Love,

Vee

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