I am participating in the #DearMe campaign for International Women’s Day. I love this idea and it’s something that I’ve always wanted to do, I’ve just been waiting for the right opportunity to do something like this. I am addressing this letter to my 15 year-old self, during that certain period when everything just sucked for me.
Dear 15 year-old Claudine,
Surprise! I know you won’t believe this because you’re just not the type to fall for such things, but I am the future Claudine, and I am here to congratulate you in advance for surviving your treacherous teenage years.
“What surviving? I am literally dying out here!” Oh dear, I know life sucks for you right now, but everything will get better, I promise. Now, before you dismiss this whole thing as a lie, I’ve got a few things to tell you and I hope you take them seriously:
First, come out of your shell. I know you know you are awesome, so why are you hiding it? Come on out and show everyone what you’ve got. Tell them your thoughts, show them what you’re capable of. People are not as judgmental as you make them out to be. Don’t hide that voice because soon enough, everyone who hears it will love you for it. Remember that.
Second, don’t worry about having only a few close friends. So what if you’re not popular? All the popularity and the number of your friends doesn’t matter, because one of the most important things you’ll learn as you go through life is that not everyone stays by your side. Some people naturally drift apart and some people will leave you when things get rough, so choose your friends wisely. (And you know what? The friends you do have right now are the best you’ll ever have. Take care of them.)
Third, don’t be afraid to say no. I know you are kind, but don’t let other people take advantage of your kindness. It’s not your obligation to please other people so don’t ever let them pressure you.
Finally, don’t ever think that you are not worthy of love. That is simply not true because you are wonderful in every way. Don’t feel pressured just because you haven’t found that kind of love yet; you need to love yourself first and be confident in your own skin. I know this sounds cheesy but he’s definitely out there, and you’ll meet him someday when you’re ready. He’s also pretty messed up right now just like you, but when you meet him, you will realize that he was worth the wait.
Yes my dear, your life is not and will never be perfect, but you can make beautiful things out of those imperfections. Stay awesome because everything will be so much better in a few years. Trust me.
Your 21 year-old self