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A Letter to My Past Self Who's Afraid for the Future

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Dear Lauren,

I know right now it seems like there’s no way out. It seems like no one cares and you are all alone in this battle with yourself. Right now you can just barely see the light at the end of the tunnel. I know right now you feel like you’re at a dead end, but this is just the beginning.

In the last year, you have come so far. You started at rock bottom and it was only up from there. There may have been times when you thought you weren’t going to make it, but look where you are now. One piece of advice I have for you is to speak up. Speak up when you want to be heard and don’t be afraid to speak what’s on your mind. It doesn’t matter what people think about you right now; what matters is what you think of yourself. You have to stop being so hard on yourself and thinking that if you aren’t perfect, that means you’re not good enough. You’re going to have slip ups, you’re going to make mistakes, but that’s OK because that’s how you’ve made it this far. You are never going to be perfect, and the sooner you accept that, the sooner you’ll be able to let go and do what you want to do.

I know right now you’re scared about going to high school and you don’t want to accept the fact that you’re getting closer to moving out and going to college away from home, but you don’t have to worry about that yet. Just be present, and enjoy right now. You aren’t always going to control the situation you’re in, but you can control how you act. I know you’ve already been through so much and you’ve lost so many friends who you thought you would never part with, but that’s OK because you can make new friends with even tighter relationships.

Also, being popular isn’t as big of a deal as you think it is. You don’t have to like everybody and not everybody has to like you. Don’t worry so much about pleasing everyone, because if you keep worrying about pleasing everyone else, you’re going to forget about what you want and what makes you happy. Don’t forget about yourself, because you have one life to live, and it should be lived for you, not for anyone else.

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Thinkstock photo via peshkov

Originally published: March 8, 2017
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