Dear 16 year old, Victoria
I write this letter to you as I sit at a coffee shop, trying to hold back the tears that threaten to spill from my eyes. I take sips of my tea thinking about my life and all the different you’s I have been. Different yes, a lot different, but somehow still the same. Everything has changed, the more we realize how little we know or understand how we cannot control change. That being said, please leave behind what you cannot change. You will create your own journey which makes you unique.
By the way, we’re quite stubborn and it is possible you won’t listen to the advice below. Regardless, you will live a good life. So as I picture you sitting here across from me, fidgeting with your fingers, anxiety kicking in and nervously looking around wondering if people are staring at you. Don’t worry, I’m here, I will keep you safe.
You are going to learn so many good things. Loving yourself will the one of them. I look at you and wish you knew how much I love you now. I don’t fully love you yet. I’m still working on loving you passionately, whole-heartedly and without regret and without thinking I don’t have the right to love you. Because I do have the right, I wish you knew that. I still remember the times you were made fun of for being who you are. It still continues now, but you have learned how to NOT let it affect you as much as you did. You are being you, and that’s a major step forward from where you were. You are still in the process of it all, regardless of that. You love who you are, flaws, imperfections and how you are slowly becoming the person you were born to be.
Don’t let people rent space in your head for free. It’s valuable real estate. What other people think or say about you doesn’t worry you as much anymore. You don’t care if people like you or not. It’s their loss if they don’t and a great thing if they do. Because you are a magnificent human being. Let people hate. It will make you the strong person you are now. Be you and make no apologies and let go. Repeat. This is a tough one for us. It requires constant practice. We struggle and trip over it at times. But, you are getting there slowly.
Learn to make yourself happy. Enjoy your own company. Don’t make people your source of happiness. No matter who they are. Be it family, friends, work people. When they leave, your happiness will leave with them too. Find happiness in you. Even if it’s a small bit, it will get you by.
I wish I could hold you right now, as you cry knowing you don’t know what the future will be like in 8 years. But hold on tight, with everything you’ve got. Because you don’t want to miss out on the lessons you will learn up till now and the experiences you’ll go through.
Don’t compare your life or yourself to the lives other people lead. Focus on you and making yourself happy. That is what counts the most!
You’ll find your voice. It may have been soft back then, but now it is sounds like a roar of a lion. Keep using your voice, no matter what it may be for. Stand up for what you believe in, what’s wrong and right. Don’t let what other people think, make you think that you shouldn’t use your voice to express how you’re feeling. Don’t let them tame that lioness inside of you! Let her free and allow her to run wild.
Read. Read. Read. Make it part of your life. Surround yourself with books. As many as you can. The benefits of reading are unmatched. You will escape from reality to an another world. Where you are just let go and be present in that moment.
You are going to lose two people who you loved with you entire heart. Your grandmother and grandfather. Who has and always will be like a mother and father to you. It will feel like your entire world is crashing down, your heart will be shattered, and everything just doesn’t make sense anymore. You’ll feel lost at times, but just remember how it felt to be held in their embrace. You find a way to go on again. Always keep them close to your heart. They are your guardian angels.
You’ll learn how you enjoy smiling and being kind. You have a lovely smile. It’s good for the soul, it’s a mood changer, it’s contagious… it attracts. Kindness and a smile are the ultimate positive boomerangs. Your kindness and free giving spirit will be taken advantage of, by people who you thought were real and love you. But sadly that isn’t the case. They used you and you were thrown to the curb once they didn’t get what you gave out so willingly and stupidly. But don’t fret little bug. You learned who you can count on and who won’t use you to their advantage. That person is yourself.
Friendships are few and far between. You’ll have a friend that chooses a boy over you, just because she got some regular dick and blames you for the friendship ending. But it’s not all your fault. You were you and that wasn’t enough for that person to appreciate. You’ll get used to not have anyone around, and you’ll end up enjoying being alone.
You will develop strong female friendships, where these women uplift you, empower you, love you and treat you with respect. They are the greatest females you’ll have in your life and that is what you must focus on. Love them, support them and protect them at all costs. They’ll do the same for you.
Last but not least,
There’s a beating in your heart that takes you everywhere. Don’t lose yourself. Don’t keep fighting your heart, stay as you are. Don’t change for anyone else. And you’ll find someone who loves you just as much as I do.
I wish you knew what I know now. That everything that you had to go through, good and bad. That will take you to the place you are now. I love you and I hope you learn to love yourself at earlier stage than I did.
You’ll be fine, more than fine actually. You’ll be great.
I know it.