Dear Teenaged Self,
I know what you’re thinking. You think you have all of the answers. You think life is so easy. You make fabulous money for your age and you don’t really have any bills because you’re still living with Mom & Dad. You have a brand new car that you only have to pay for half of and you can cruise around in it with your friends whenever you want. It’s okay, because you have the money for gas and all the time in the world for fun.
But what if I told you that you are taking life so, so much for granted. What if I told you that one day, a man will come along and he’ll be terribly wrong for you? He’ll hurt you and he’ll find a way to take everything away from you that you love. One day, you will be nearly 30 years old and you’ll be carless, make less money per hour than you did at your age when you were bagging groceries and life will be so super hard – so much harder than anyone ever told you it would be.
What if I told you that a man abused you and you took it – despite the many times you swore up and down that no man would ever be allowed to treat you like that or hurt you? What if I told you that he took away the most important gift that life ever gave to you?
Do I have your attention yet?
Stop rolling your eyes. You don’t know how good you have it and one day, you’ll understand. You’ll be basically friendless and you will eventually reach rock bottom. You’ll consider killing yourself more times than I even want to admit. I know how unlikely and crazy this all sounds. You have so much going for you right now – stuff you won’t even realize until you’re older. But believe me when I say that it can and will be taken from you and you need to be ready for it to happen.
And one day, you’ll be okay. As I write this, you are still alive. You have a good job and a roof over your head. Maybe you could be doing better but know that you’re on the way to doing so. You have learned so much and have more life experience than most. That pain? You’ll learn so much from it. You’ll eventually be a better person for it. Unfortunately, a hole is going to be left in your heart and you will struggle to find something to fill it with. Don’t. Nothing will ever fill that hole. You will to learn to live with it and figure out how to heal it.
You have an incredible man in your life and a lot of great friends who have really helped you make it through. Life isn’t perfect, but you’re happy and loved. You have a beautiful daughter who will bring you the greatest joy you have ever known. Cherish every second with her because you won’t get nearly as long as you deserve with her.
Most importantly – Try not to be too hard on yourself. You have a lot to go through yet and you need to appreciate yourself more. Trust me.