It is your eighteenth birthday in half an hour, that milestone you’ve been waiting your whole life for just because you were told that you should. In a few months, little me, your life is going to get very difficult. I won’t lie to you. It’ll get seemingly impossible for a long time. But as all of those things have already happened to me, I have to reassure you that you are much much stronger than you believe, even if nobody else ever tells you that. Your determination that often comes just from the desire to prove everybody wrong is going to be your best friend for the next 8 years and I daresay it’ll still be important for us for another few years to come.
You’re going to be making some incredibly enormous decisions- and I want you to know that you know yourself much better than anybody else and to trust your gut. It may feel like a mistake at the time, and you’ll ask yourself ‘Why the hell did I do that?’ but I promise you there was a reason you made the decision in the first place.
I hope you’ll learn quickly that the beauty of life comes from not knowing, from making these spontaneous and unpredictable decisions and riding them out until you change your mind again. I’m really excited to see what happens over the next eight years, although I can’t say I’m excited for the inevitable bad. But there has to be some good, because as I’m sure you’ll soon agree, we are well overdue for some happiness.
You aren’t disappointing people baby. If I could I would be right there with you giving you every huge hug that you need and all the support you aren’t getting. But you are amazingly strong, and you just need to have faith that you will be OK.
You do not need to shoulder other peoples burdens, especially not while you’re still so small. It’s OK to be young, I promise. You’ll miss it soon enough, but then you’ll realize that we’ve always been a little overly concerned and that’s just how we are and that’s OK. Take some time to go outside in the sun, feel the sunshine, and take some deep breaths. Also a hint: look up ATL. You’re welcome.
Don’t be afraid to be a girl. Being a girl is AWESOME. Just admit it, you love pink and there is nothing wrong with it. Support that girl in your class who gets called a slut by your fellow 11-13 year olds, and when that boy tells you that you ‘aren’t like other girls’ shut him down.
We made it baby, we’re here, about to be legal adults. Unfortunately, we haven’t yet gotten a publishing deal or a boyfriend, but we’ll meet up with our 21 year old self soon and see how that’s going.
Last but not least I need to tell you how much I love you little me. Read that over and over and let it sink in because it is so true and even though you feel like you don’t have a friend in the world you make it through OK and you are allowed to like yourself. I love you I love you I love you and you are so brave. Nobody has ever told you that, but you are, you are so brave baby. You are weird and that’s wonderful- take advantage of it. Be proud to be clever, it’s not the end of the world even if your classmates tell you it is. They’re just kids too kid, and kids don’t understand lasting effects. They aren’t thinking as hard about the mean things they’re saying as it seems,
and they probably don’t actually hate you that much.
I love you little me. We’ll talk again in a few years when we get to meet our 21 year old self.
All the love that I possess,
Your 18 year old self.
PS: enjoy not wearing bras while it lasts, and enjoy pop music. Don’t be a music snob, the existence of fun music doesn’t negate the existence of ‘meaningful’ music!