Letter to Past Me

Dear Past Me,

I know it seems hard now. Balancing all of your feelings and trying to deal with the actions of others on top of your own. You struggled with yourself in so many ways. You had so many voices in your head telling you about how you should change, about who you should have been in the moments so real to you that hung over you like ropes from bars in gym class. None of them were louder than what you thought was your own. It tells you that you need to change, be better, be more like your sisters, be more like the cool girls in school, be totally different from you who were. You felt the need to be skinnier, prettier, have less acne, have lighter hair, have straight hair. It scares you because you think that the voice is the real you,buried somewhere down deep inside but you can’t get to her, always going to be out of reach.

That voice that makes you doubt yourself, that makes you hear everyone you trust, every person who care for secretly hates you, it isn’t you. It tells lies, tricks you, tries to make you believe that you aren’t enough. It disgusts itself, fills the cracks, coloring itself to appear as a natural mark on your skin. The voice is the cracked mirror of society that distorts your image as you look back. Its a combination of society, of those who have expectations of you, of people who have and those will come and go in your life without a second thought that leave you wishing it was different, that you could have done something different to keep them.

I wish I could say it goes away but it doesn’t. It’s still here, echoing in the ears of the present, But its getting quieter with every step you will take to come closer to being okay with you, with your faults, with your strengths, and with the world around you. Other voices are there to help you. You will meet friends who you think will be temporary that stick around you when you don’t deserve them and will love you for all you are. Your family as flawed as it is and through all the problems, they will stick by you even though you argue and feel like you don’t fit in. You still struggle with feeling like no one actually likes you but you learn to tell who is a real friend who you want to keep in your life and you started to learn to let go of those who hurt you again and again because they make you feel like a back-up plan. You’ll start to see yourself in a new way and find you are more than you think.

There is a bravery in you that got me here, brought me through all the detours on the road between my current state. I know you think you don’t matter a lot and though you wouldn’t hurt yourself, you often feel like you are just going through with what is expected of you. It may seem like nothing, it may seem like it doesn’t really mean anything in the long run to anyone. I want you to know it does. I’m not sure it means something to others- I like to think it does.But I can guarantee you, it means the world to the most important person in the equation- you, me. Who I am for all my faults, all my issues I am trying to deal with, you brought me here. You carried me through almost losing my sister, the guilt of not being able to help. You swept the shattered pieces of my heart in a dustpan and glued them together when I realized those I thought were best friends were the ones hiding nails in the dirt for me to stumble and all on.

You dreamed of who you wold become. I hope who is writing to you isn’t a disappointment. You will get through all the pain and heartache; you’ll experience things you never dreamed of and feel joy you always wanted. You will change and grow. Your faith will evolve and your beliefs will shift a bit. You’ll find your own voice and struggle to own it but never let it fade. The journey here will have its ups and downs but you will get through and there will be possibilities that await you and friends you could not be more thankful for as you start a new journey and open yourself up to the world around you in a new way.

Until you get here, I will be here watching out for you,

Tessa- age 23



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