An Open Letter to My 13-year-old self

Subject: An Open Letter to My 13-year-old self
From: An 18-year-old college freshman
Date: 19 Nov 2018
The friends who inspired this letter (Brendon, right and Mackenzie, second to the left, among others)

You're in college now. You love it more than anything in the entire world. The past few years have been rough- you went through a lot and learned some lessons. Most importantly you learned to love yourself.

13-year-old me, you will make so many new friends who you love unconditionally- and they love you, too. They forgive you for your wrongs and love you for them just as much. You and your sister will be best friends again. You'll show off all of your friends to her and be so proud of them, and yourself. You'll talk every day and learn new things every week. You won't believe how much you can learn about someone you've known your entire life.

You never knew you could be so happy.

You've never been more comfortable in your own skin- you wear what you want and what you like and you no longer care about other people's opinion. You don't even care that your skin is breaking out or your hair doesn't always look good. You love yourself too much to break yourself down again. You couldn't hurt your own feelings if you tried.

You will meet Brendons and Mackenzies who teach you there is nothing wrong with being yourself and they show you that you are who you always thought you were. You will meet Lucys who teach you how far a, "How was your day?" Can go. How much it can mean. You never imagined these kinds of people- the ones that make you feel better no matter what.

You never realized life could be this great.

13-year-old me, you've never more proud of yourself. You didn't know what it felt like to be proud until you got that 93 on your art history midterm and a 95 on that essay and 100s on those quizzes in math. You never knew pride until you got to the summit of Snake Mountain. And then again when you summit Grandfather Mountain. And when you finally get that yoga pose after 4 weeks of trying. You realize you can do anything you set your mind to and you have never felt so proud of yourself before.

You will radiate love and happiness.

You will feel freedom for the first time in your life. You will feel fear- a new kind that you've never felt before. You will feel and give more love than you ever thought you were capable of. You will love your new friends and your sister and brother and you will never be more excited to see your mom and dad because you never realized how much you appreciate them.

You will learn that nothing can make a bad day good like sitting in a room and talking to your new best friends for 5 hours.

13-year-old me, you will learn how much life means. You will never feel the happiness you do when you think about being alive- how lucky you feel to be yourself. Nothing has ever felt this right.

So please, 13-year-old me, stick around and see how good it gets.

an 18-year-old college freshman, who has never known happiness until now.