this has been something that i've been bouncing around for quite some time. it came to a head the other day while i was taking a break at one of my secret spots,
noshing on some gelato.
what would i say in a letter to the 16 year old version of me? this is an interesting exercise and i would recommend giving it a shot....if you haven't already.
here is mine...
hey there 16 going on 65.
you are into your second year of college at this point. forget double skins...you are a chameleon. you have your secrets. you have your anger. you have an unnerving and unflinching faith that the life you have now is not the life you have to have. you have patience. you have your plan.....your plan for independence and self-reliance. you look at your wall of maps and you dream of the day when you will be free and know, without any doubt, that this will happen. it is just a matter of getting your education, your job, and turning 18. at this point, you believe time is the only thing you have an abundance of.
what you don't realize yet is that you can't help people that don't want to be helped. yes, you love them. yet, they need to make choices that help themselves. within the next couple of months you will see the deterioration of pivotal figures as they make damning and damaging choices. and just when you think Jeff will make it, he won't, and this will break your heart so much that you will still feel it today. as a result, you will learn and know that you don't have an abundance of time.
speaking of heart break, you will face all aspects of heart break that you hoped to avoid. yet, the outcome will not be what you expected. despite seeing evidence to the contrary, you will not be broken. what will be broken are cycles, but again, you will not be.
what you do not realize either is that you will find your family. yes, i know, this wasn't a part of the plan....but you will. you will find an utterly amazing group of people that will inspire you with their passions, drive, and their varying quests to be the change that they wish to see in the world. you will understand what it means to love and be loved.
i wish i could see you....and talk to you....for just a moment. in that moment, i would wrap you in a hug and say
"i know that you can handle it. you know that you can handle it. this doesn't mean that it is right that you have to handle it. it does get better. you will have an incredible amount to be grateful for."