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Dear 18-year-old Self

Dear 18-year-old Self

Dear Eighteen-Year-Old Me,

You don’t consider it to be true, but you’ve got a long way to go. The things you worry about now won’t matter in the future. But what do you know? You’re fifteen and insecure.

While it’s more fun now to just lounge around and talk about mundane things, you’ll learn that it’s more important to read.

You’ll realize that your worries are nothing compared to what others are struggling with. You are selfish because you are young, but you’ll meet people and gain experience to help you see that you shouldn’t think about yourself too much. You’ll learn to care more about other people’s feelings and welfare.

I know your parents expect a lot from you, and you are not one to do what other people tell you. So, I understand how you feel conflicted about things. It’s alright that many of your teachers have told your mother that you’re not living up to your potential because someday, you’ll find out that it’s not the accolades and the medals that make work and learning satisfying.

It’s hard to always think that you’re not enough, but you’ll learn that you don’t have to prove yourself to anyone. And even if you’ll still struggle with your insecurities, you’ll know what you’re worth deep in your heart, and you’ll rise above the cloud of doubts.

You’re clueless why you’re always out of the loop in your circle of friends, and it makes you feel lonely. Someday you’ll get over the need to always be part of the joke, to hear stories firsthand. You’ll realize that friendships need to be worked on, and you can’t just wait to be remembered. You’ll learn that you should reach out as much as you are searched for. And you’ll learn along the way that even when you change, your real friends will understand and they won’t leave.

You try to fit in but you just don’t know how. People don’t get it when you get real. Someday you’ll learn about John Lennon’s idea about friendship. You’ll learn that it’s important to always be true to yourself and even if your opinions aren’t popular, you’ll find people who will get them or won’t but won’t leave you anyway.

I know it’s hard to have grown up without your father, and it’s made you crazy for attention, especially from guys. Someday you’ll realize that you don’t need to put yourself out there and wait for someone to take notice of you. You’ll learn that someone who wants to be with you will always make an effort to do so. And you’ll meet someone who will love you just as you are, even at your worst. And you’ll love that person, too, for all that he is, even at his worst.

Someday you’ll have a child, just like you always dreamed of, and you’ll love her just as she is, even at her worst.

And you’ll learn that you still have a long way to go. But you’ll learn to hope and work for the better because you have a great man by your side and a wonderful child staring up at you.

With love and hope,

Twenty-Eight-Year-Old Me