dear younger me,
younger me, somewhere along the way you learned that you weren't beautiful. you learned that you were unattractive. you learned that people wanted you for your responsible qualities--not because you were fun or exciting. in fact, some people called you boring. you learned that you had to be smart and you had to work hard and you had to do everything on your own. you learned that people didn't love you for you. you learned that people didn't think you deserved some of the opportunities you received. you learned that lovers didn't like it when you showed your emotional side. you learned that you read too much and didn't stay up late enough. you learned that people assumed you wouldn't want to go to the make out parties or try that fun thing in bed. you learned that people didn't understand your depression and anxiety and called you a drama queen. you learned that people didn't love your brown skin. you learned that you will be left in a multitude of ways, by different kinds of people, and you take that to mean you are not worthy enough, lovable enough, beautiful enough, smart enough, kind enough. you learned you are not enough.
you learned a lot of things.
younger me, if we could go back in time, i'd try to be ear plugs in your ears. i'd try to distract you. i'd try to yell DON'T LISTEN so the words couldn't flow into your mind and sit there.
younger me, i know you think that you aren't bothered by these things. but you are. because i, the older me, am. i am going to try to let these beliefs go, younger me, but now they have become truths. things i take as truth. i know somewhere inside that they (well, if i am honest, most of them because some are so hardened in my heart i can't see them for the lies they are yet) aren't...but, younger me, i have learned that just because part of you believes the truth of the matter, doesn't mean your heart does. and you need your heart to be on board.
younger me, listen to your heart more. i am sad you felt like you couldn't.
younger me, you have an old soul. just accept it. you also are way more introspective than others. you won't know this until you are older, but not everyone sits and contemplates life and themselves the way you do...so don't assume they do.
younger me, if i could go back in time, i'd make sure you played more. you stopped playing way too early. you still imagined things--you are a writer now, after all--but you closed up the visions in your mind afraid to lay them out for the world. i wish you had danced more and cried less, younger me. maybe if you had danced your way through eighth grade, you would have stared less at pills and knives wondering if and how you should end it.
thank you for not ending it, younger me. i understand the struggle. i understand the urge. i still deal with it at times, younger me. i know how alone and misunderstood you felt. i know how sometimes you want to stand in the middle of times square and shout how you feel like breathing is the real death and you just need someone or something to make the pain go away. i know that feeling. its okay. it gets easier at times, harder at others. but you and me, we are together. i hear your screaming.
younger me, hold certain friends close. some because they are the ones that will be there for you years later, others because they won't be.
younger me, stop worrying about the future. it isn't going to be what you think. let me deal with that.
younger me, enjoy dancing on tables while watching dirty dancing and enjoy math class and enjoy the years before puberty when worrying about your body wasn't a thing and enjoy student government and enjoy being the narrator in plays and enjoy writing that novel (i'm sorry, younger me. i promise to go and make it better and publish it one day) and enjoy boarding school and enjoy college and enjoy falling in love and enjoy finally understanding heartbreak and enjoy watching your friend run around the house with a 3-hole punch as a weapon against mice and enjoy basing a friendship on m&ms and enjoy traveling and enjoy sitting by the water and enjoy solo walks in london and enjoy standing on that mountain in nicaragua and enjoy learning spanish and italian and enjoy buffalo wings and enjoy. enjoy. enjoy. enjoy.
younger me, i wish you had let the enjoyment fill you. you were so busy trying to get me prepared that you didn't take care of yourself. i'm sorry about that, younger me. but the good thing is that at 30 years old, and assuming the fact that we have three grandparents in their 90s and 100s means we may live a long life, we are still young. we still have time. this version of me will be younger me soon enough.
so lets try to enjoy this together, younger me.
wait. my tattoo/yoda says do or do not.
let's enjoy this together. no trying. only doing.
(this is day eight of april love)