Dear 15 year old self,
I’ll go easy on you to start, because I know how hard you are on yourself. First off, blonde is NOT your color. I know everyone else is getting blonde highlights, but unless you keep that tan up year round (you know, the one responsible for the wrinkle lines I have now), blonde just washes you out.
Second, it’s important that you begin to understand that people-pleasing is not a mantra for life. Don’t worry, eventually you will understand this. Until then, don’t base your worth and identity on being whatever you perceive you are supposed to be for other people’s sakes. Be you. I know it’s hard to accept, but “you” is not so bad.
Stop it with the boyfriends already! You really don’t need to be in those dramatic, energy-sucking black-holes. In fact, you should probably just have fun dating without getting serious. What will really be your parachute when you get that daily feeling that you are falling off a cliff are your friends, not your boyfriends. In fact, Junior year of HS is going to be your favorite. You will be single, have stellar best friends, a rewarding and challenging academic curriculum, and a blast going to several different proms with several different, nice, fun, NON-boyfriends. But you will still have bad skin. Learn to roll with it.
I know you think everyone keeps you around simply because you are “nice,” but there is a whole lot more to you than that. Nice is not bad, but as your dominant, one-dimensional personality trait, it is going to suffocate you. It is going to make you compromise on things that are important to you, and make you sacrifice developing your own voice. You are going to get swept up and lost in the out-going current by being strictly “nice”. Again, don’t worry, all is not lost. You’ll make a fight for your right to be something along with and other than just nice, like interesting, sometimes off-color, and IMPERFECT! I know, I know, I just said the ultimate swear word. But trust me, perfect is boring. It doesn’t have nearly as much to offer the world as the rainbow of personality where mistakes, sillyness, boldness, rebelliousness, integrity, and freedom dwell. You’ll find your way back to shore eventually. And yes, there are sharks in the water! Swim for the shore anyway! Make a big splash!
Keep it up with the morals. They really do matter, and they will help you avoid a lot of heartache in life. So will your mom, dad, granddad, and the Pentecost’s.
A couple of your best friends now will still be your best friends in 10 years. Even though you can’t see the future, you know which ones they are. It will be unspeakably gratifying to have people in your life who have known the you of years past. In fact, they will know the you in this letter, and when they read it they will probably say to me “You were too hard on yourself back then.” They still say that to you, btw. And they are right.
Keep those friends close. Be brave in a different way than you are trying to be brave now. Let your true self shine – and that INCLUDES your brunette hair for the love of all that is holy!
27 year old you