Since Dane wrote a letter to her 16 year old self, I'm posting a letter I wrote to MY 16 year old self a couple years ago. :) Happy new Year Everyone! To 2016 and beyond!
It's me, your super un-cool future self, at least based on your expectations and image of coolness at sixteen years old. I am twice your age and a year old right now and boy, have I been through a lot-YOU will go through a lot. Currently, I'm living in a three bedroom apartment with my boyfriend and my 8 year old daughter (Yes, you will have a daughter. Papa kept telling you to be safe, be careful, and even if you did listen, you weren't careful enough!-Anyway, she is a blessing and you will love her. Don't be scared!) but between then and now, a whole other lifetime took place. I don't even know where to begin.
Right now, your permanent state of mind is "Fuck the World", you feel no affiliation to anyone or anything, except your boyfriend and the few friends that are cool enough to be part of your life (equally troubled, by the looks of it) Interestingly enough, you will never like anything that is too ordinary or normal, so even when you snap out of this horrible way of viewing society, you will always gravitate to people who, similarly, have the same deep rooted desire to be different and set themselves apart from the rest of the world, but in the future, it's to be unique and find your life purpose, and not just to hate everything, just because.
The way you view the world at this age is also very telling of the kind of guys you are going to be attracted to for the next few years. You don't need to apologize to me, I know where you were at. I just wish I was there for you from 16-26 so I could keep you out of trouble. The battle scars those years left still hurt on occasion, specially with one particular guy, whose own issues ran so deep, it's like he almost didn't have a choice but to dump it on you. He projected all his problems on you and made it seem like you were the crazy one. He treated you like dirt, called you dramatic when you cried and was so ice cold sometimes, you would find yourself apologizing for things that were HIS fault and for speaking your mind. I wish I could have taken your hand and run as far away as possible from there. You will become adamant about saying exactly what you feel after you leave this person, and you won't let anyone stifle you or leave you out to dry, at least not without a lot of noise.
You feel like the "bad" kid in your family right now. You know, the one always getting in trouble and never getting anything right. You play it off like you are some crazy rebel chick, but you are 16, and anyone 10 years older or more will know that all of these little antics you pull are part of a big cry for help. Mom and Papa knew that, so they found you someone you could talk to. Listen, you will think of yourself as this disappointing child way into your older years. I wish I could have told you at some point to stop blaming yourself and get passed the guilt, but it's something I shouldn't impose on you. You're a kid, after all. It's something though, that has never fully gone away, but really should. There are moments I find myself so angry I can't talk properly. Mom and I still don't know how to properly fight to this day. I think that whenever we start arguing, I morph back into YOU, but with the sound mind of a 30 + year old. When Mom starts pushing my buttons though, you, in all your childish glory, will eventually come out. I'm 33 now. I need to let go of you. I need to stop trying to please my parents. I am my own person. If they don't agree with my views, whether on marriage or religion or whatever else, well, tough on them. I can't go back to being you anymore every single time.
Everything you did from where you are at now to ten or so years later have made me come to the conclusion that:
- I can't make decisions. I'm always making the wrong ones.
-I cry too often, too easily. I'm too sensitive and emotional.
-It takes me a long time to let go of things and transitions and changes really take their toll on me.
-I can't commit to anything. It's too scary. Mostly because I'm such a bad judge of character and always end up with the wrong people.
Reading all of these right now, I realize, you know what I WAS a bad judge of character, I WAS indecisive, I WAS afraid to commit to anything, and you know what, there is nothing wrong with crying or being emotional (note: not emo)
But that isn't me anymore. I am not you anymore. I am not even my 20 year old self or my 29 year old self anymore. I CAN make decisions, It just takes me a long time, but once I have made them, I don't look back. I have no regrets. I still do cry often. I AM sensitive and emotional, but what's wrong with that? It's not being dramatic. I feel things- very strongly in fact, whether joy or pain, sadness or excitement. I'm not a stoic, and never will be. I can't hide how I feel, that is something that probably will never go away, but now, I realize that THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT.
It takes me forever to let go...of places, people, experiences, but that's only because there is no such thing as half-assed for me. It's 100% or forget about it, so when things go wrong and people expect you to move on with lightning speed, well, I can't. I give a lot of myself in every relationship, situation, whatever, so it takes awhile to get it all back. I analyze to death, overthink, go back and forth over and over, but once I'm done, I am SO done. No looking back. I need to be kinder to myself. I am not crazy.
Lastly, I CAN commit. I have a million tattoos and a little girl, I don't see how much more committed I can be. This just goes hand in hand with my decision making- I need time. The more I am forced to, the less appealing it is to me.
So, 16. Here's the thing. I still have your smile, that mischievous glint in your eye, your crazy ideas, your taste in music and your presence, but if you survived through your issues, it's about time I get over them too. I haven't changed at all, and yet I've changed so much. Does that even make sense? So, what you say, 16? We're good right?
I never told you this, but I love you. You are awesome. Your life will be a crazy roller coaster ride of emotions, sometimes you'll be cruising, others you will be frantic, but you wouldn't have it any other way.
Chin up, little girl. I gotchu.