Dear Sixteen Year Old Me…
Hey 16 year-old Hannah,
That guy that you’ve been texting feverishly under the assumption that you were meant to be together forever, yeah, he’s not a big deal in the scheme of things. In fact, the most contact you’ll have with him in ten years time is the occasional Facebook comment.
I know it’s been tough moving cities, leaving your friends and starting a new school. Really tough, actually. You don’t know anybody, and you feel like a complete outsider.
But it’s OK – you’ll make a few friends at school that you’ll have a lot of fun with, and you won’t be alone for long.
Even though you feel a little sad and lonely, you’ll have a lot of great moments, starting this new part of your life, being in a new city, surrounded by new people and new opportunities. Just try and be present and enjoy those moments. Get out of your head and stop worrying about whether everyone likes you or not.
It’s kind of inevitable that your skin’s going to flare up. You’re going through a lot of stress. But, the good news is, you’ll find a great dermatologist that will help you a lot of the next few years.
Losing your grandmother is one of the hardest things you’ll have to deal with as a teenager, and through your early 20s. It still hurts ten years later. Be there for your mum. She needs you, and she needs you to be strong.
There will be times when you feel like you’re just not good enough. The people around you are beautiful, they’re wealthy, they’re talented, and you’ll feel like an imposter. You’ll wish you could be like them, just be carefree and have the experiences they’re having. You’ll wish that you could just go to the beach in a bikini, wear cool clothes like them, get into trouble like them. But you won’t. And that’s OK. You’ll finish out school, and you’ll start to take control of who you are, and after a little longer, you’ll start to realize how special and unique you are. You’ll start to become grateful that your skin impacted your actions, because you’ll end up in a really good place, and everything will be great.
P.S. Your skin isn’t magically going to heal itself one day. I’m sorry. But it’s OK. It’s totally OK. You’ve been given a kind of twisted gift, and it’s up to you to make the most of it. Most importantly, it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. You’re beautiful – don’t change a thing!
This post was inspired by the Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge 2012