You’ll get through this, and you’ll see… you’re still around to write this letter to me.

I was stumbling along on the internet when I came across this: a collection of letters, written by celebrities, to themselves at sixteen. I’ve always been intrigued by this idea–if I could write a letter, knowing everything I know now, for my sixteen year old self to read, what exactly would I say. If our choices set the course for who we’re going to be, does that mean I would want to tell myself to be scared, to run when a certain boy came into the picture? I hail from the belief that everything–even those bad, awful things happen for a reason.

So what exactly would I tell myself?

To myself at sixteen…

Don’t fret, you’re not crazy. It’s actually me, uh, you–all the way from the future.

First things first, I know you’re sitting alone in your bedroom, the closet probably, and you’re thinking about how much you miss someone. Yeah, I know, you were so in love. But I can tell you right now–it wasn’t love, not even close. Yes, yes, it was fast, and intense, and we made some (big) mistakes. And at the time, you wanted him to be your everything so you gave him everything. But one day, soon, you’re going to meet someone who changes that, and you’re going to know real love. I promise you that. And knowing that love–no matter the ending. That’s the most important part. Don’t forget that.

You need to stop hurting yourself. I know it seems impossible that you could ever stop, and part of you probably doesn’t want to. But you can… and you need to. It takes asking for help, it takes telling yourself you’re strong, but you can. And don’t be scared if you slip up once or twice along the way. It may not be easy, but it’s worth it.

Hug Granny. I mean a big freaking bear hug. Hold on like you’re never going to let go. I know sometimes she can seem impossible, but she loves you, and… she means well, in her weird way. Someday she’s not going to be there anymore. It’s going to be sudden, and it’s going to be scary, and you’re going to feel totally lost for a while.  So her hug, every time you see her. Hard.

I know sometimes you feel like you’re not good enough. Not thin enough. Not smart enough. Not pretty enough. You’re awkward, obsessed with Buffy the Vampire Slayer, can never say the right thing, and don’t dress like everyone else. It just seems easier to hide all of that, right? But stop hiding. When you finally wake up and realize that makes you who you are, you’re going to feel so much happier, truly. The people who love you are still going to love you, no matter what and the people who won’t… honestly, they stop mattering very quickly. Embrace it all, every little flaw.

Never stop writing. Ever. Even when it seems like you have nothing to say, there is still a story brewing. Write down everything, and keep it close to your heart.

Now, put down this letter, pick up your phone, and order a nice vegetarian pizza with extra cheese. I know, I know, you think you need to lose ten pounds. Pizza is evil. Shhhhhhhh, hush now. Just order the pizza. Trust me on this one. You can worry about what you can’t eat later. And while you’re at it, there is nothing like a small cookie dough blizzard for dessert. Don’t worry about the calories or fat grams right now. Just enjoy it.

And no, your boobs are never going to get any bigger. In fact, they’re actually going to get even smaller. Sorry. You’ll learn to love them (thanks to going braless) eventually.

-Love Shannon


One response

  1. this is beautiful… i almost cried while reading this.
    what an amazing idea, writing a letter to your 16 year old self. i sometimes think about what i would do if i ever got the chance to meet myself at 18, 16. 10, 3… what would I say, what would i do…

    i think one thing you can learn from this is that this is you writing to yourself at 16 now, and a few years down the road, perhaps you’ll be writing another letter to yourself at the age you are at right now. and i wonder what you’ll be saying then? im sure you’ll still be saying love yourself. and treat yourself kindly. and that the little things don’t matter… what matters is the love that is available to you, and the life that you are privileged to lead.

    this made me inspired to write a letter myself.. i think i may do that today.

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