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The Letter to Teenage Self

by Grishma Indap
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a letter to teenage self

Dear Teenage Me,

Hey, I hope you’re doing great! Do you remember when you had short hair and you would always stutter while talking to people?

I always wished you could see what I see now. Somethings are not the way I thought it would be. It’s so much different now. There is so much, I want to share with you. There are many things I could understand in my teenage years. This letter might sound silly to you but I’m going to write it anyway. I know, it won’t be delivered to my teenage self but it might help someone else.

When I look back, you were someone who would love to dance, but I also knew the other part of yours where your days and nights were filled with worry and confusion about relationships and career. You always wished that everything would be okay someday.

You believed that whatever happens will stay with you forever, from relationships to friendships. But, never realized somethings don’t stay the same. You defined yourself with what people around you told you or believed in. I wish I could tell you right away to stop listening to negative people. People love to comment or taunt about your attitude. But you know, the attitude you had is really gonna help you in the future. Don’t hesitate to use your voice against what’s wrong. Try to stand up for every injustice you see or feel, you don’t have to do something just because some cool kids do.

Every time your heart was broken by a boy who didn’t love you back as you did, or when you thought people whispered about you, you felt like it was the end of the world. I know you gave your 100%, you couldn’t eat or couldn’t sleep, because love was all you thought about. I wish I could tell you to not let your boyfriend treat you badly just because he’s better than you with grades. You always thought he’s the one and he’s your forever. Honey, I’m sorry, but your first is not always true love. Teenage love is nothing compared to adult life.

Many friendships broke up in your journey, losing a friend is the worst thing that ever happened to you in life. When in reality you were just growing resilient. Look, life is full of disappointments, breakups, and broken dreams, You will find your true friend in your adult life who dealt with your ups and downs of life.

Stop worrying about what people think about you or about your picture on social media. I know some called you ugly because of your curly hair and uneven skin tone, I wish I could tell you that people are obsessed with curly hair now and all skin tones are gorgeous. Stop letting people tell you your worth, you know who you are and you gotta learn to believe in it. Love yourself unapologetically!

You won’t achieve all your dreams and that’s totally OK. You will fall down many times but you will make new dreams and you will learn a lot of things from your mistakes. Don’t compare yourself with anyone, just believe in yourself. Believe in your ability to talk to people, which you weren’t confident enough. There’s more to life than your exam grades. It’s ok, to not know what you want to do with your life. Look up, feel good about the pretty stars, moon and sky. Take a break and breathe more!

Please, Please take care of your health because that’s important right now. Stop stress eating, it’s gonna make things worse for you in the future. Go play. Go dance, participate in events. Keep yourself active! If you’re a victim or your friend is a victim of sexual assault, don’t sweep it under the carpet, speak up! Have a chill relationship with your parents, trust me they’re gonna stick with you in your adult chaotic life. Don’t take them for granted. Accept your mistakes, even your parents make mistakes.

Thank you for teaching me the best lessons from breakups to gaining confidence again. In my adult life, I realized I became more confident and strong than I ever thought I could be. I learned to pick myself up and continue to move forward through difficult times. I learned the meaning of true friendship and love. You won’t believe it, I have very few friends and finally one true love now. Forever love does exist just its a little hard to find. Usually, it needs efforts and maturity from both the side, but it’s totally worth it.

Those are the years of your life that will teach you how to love, enjoy, and live an amazing life!

Your,

23-year self still making tons of mistakes and embracing it.

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