To My 14 Year Old Self
If you could go back in time, what would you say to 14-year-old you? Would you offer warnings or advice or hope for days past teen angst?
I would tell that girl on the left to love herself more, to prioritize her own self-care, to focus on her health because her body is her only place to live, not to look a certain way or to attract boys (and definitely not to try and keep a high school boyfriend who is absolutely not the love of her life).
I would remind her that she may not always be able to find a reason in the way that things happen. Sometimes, life will hit her, and those around her, in ways that will escape explanation. I wouldn't offer specifics; the details don't matter. But I would tell her that she will find her purpose in the difficult things that she faces, even in the absence of rational reasoning.
I would tell encourage her to keep writing, to keep showing up for all the things that matter to her. I would tell her to care less about what she sees in the mirror or in some classmate's blog that speaks negatively about her, and to focus more on how the world sees her good intentions, her heart, her passion to change the world.
I'd let her know that Okinawa will shape her and that motherhood will change her and that she's going to make the first move when it comes to meeting her husband and he will be the most handsome man she's ever seen. I would teach her a thing or two about make-up, to save her the trouble of learning in her 20s.
I'd tell her that high school is never going to be the best time of her life, although someday teaching in high schools will give her some of the best moments and memories. I'd offer her hope and love and a little pep talk to have confidence, to have faith, and to have a good time because her life is going to be better than she has even imagined.
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