These next four years will be a lot- more than you could’ve expected. See, you’ll fall in love. Actually, you’ll fall in love with the idea of love. But you’ll realize you don’t need external love. I know it seems like a necessity and that having a boy will fill what’s missing. But it won’t. It didn’t. You are okay. You’re more than okay without romance.
You’ll have to face loneliness in a match. And you’ll lose several times. Loneliness will knock you down so many times. You won’t be able to see it at the time, but there were people helping you up to face it again. And sure the loneliness won so many times, but it’s a tough opponent. You’ll always have people in your corner.
You’ll be really lost. You won’t know who to listen to or who to follow. You will wander that metaphorical forest for years. But I’ll let you in on a secret that seems obvious now- above all, listen to yourself and follow yourself. You know what you want to do with your future. Let yourself believe in yourself.
You’ll be really afraid. You’ll fear death, you’ll fear life. You’ll fear the dark, but you’ll fear the light. You’ll be so afraid and a lot of times you still are today. We’re still working on that one. But just know that it’s okay to be scared. It’s scary to face the world some days, but it’ll get a little easier. I promise you.
You’ll feel really wrong. You’ll feel unhinged. You’ll feel not normal and you’ll feel other. But you’re going to find a way to communicate those weird things that you’re thinking but you don’t know how to say without sounding insane. But you’ll also kind of embrace your insanity. You’ll channel it and you’ll use it. You also don’t need to worry about those secrets you have. Those secrets that you can’t even rationalize right now. You’re not as screwed up as you think. It’s okay to be known.
You’ll feel discouraged. You won’t get it. You’ll get tunnel vision. You’ll find it difficult to balance between not seeing far enough into the future and seeing too far. If your perspective is too small you’ll feel hopeless but if it’s too big you’ll get anxious. Be patient with yourself and with the universe.
You’re still struggling with these things. Love, loneliness, confusion, fear, insanity, and anxiety are difficult emotions but they have a purpose. You’ll become more focused. You’ll focus on wearing what you want, being with who you care for, saying what you think and doing what you love. You’ll stop hanging out with those people who bring you down. You’ll work up the courage to wear flannel and dye your hair dark. You’ll develop your own thoughts and opinions on the world and modern culture. And you’ll find that thing that lets you out of your mind. You’ll find your passion- but I won’t spoil it for you.
It was rough, but you’re okay now.
Me at 18