To the Girl I Was 4 Years Ago...

Hey Elz,

Right now, you are a sophomore in high school. You go by “Liz,” and you hate it, but that’s how everyone knows you, so you don’t really see the point in changing it. This year is about to suck for you. I still refer to it as the worst year of my life -- and I’m a sophomore in college now. I know how hard you are about to struggle, and I know you are going to try and do it as silently as possible…only letting your mom subtly know that something is wrong by mentioning “I don’t want to go to school today” every morning when she drops you off. You aren’t going to tell her until the last minute what is going on. I know. 

I can’t change the past, even though I want to so badly… So I’ll leave you with some words of advice instead.

Firstly, never ever apologize again for being sensitive and empathetic. You carry a trait that so many people will never have. Right now, I know you see it as a weakness, but it is such a strength. You care about others. Your sensitivity gifts you with a better moral compass for what is right and what is wrong. It makes you a better person.

Next, stop holding every thought you have inside. Mental health is just as physical as it is mental. Your toxic mentality will hurt your body. Everything is connected. Holding everything in and neglecting to talk about how you feel will cause every negative feeling to bubble over and eventually cause you to explode. Try not to pick yourself apart. It gets harder, so you really need to work on it.

This one is very important because you still rarely do it. I’m going to put it in caps. IF A PERSON MAKES YOU FEEL LIKE SHIT, REMOVE THEM FROM YOUR LIFE.

You are not obligated to tolerate it when somebody makes you feel inferior. I feel like as women, in general, (and this goes hand in hand with the sensitivity paragraph) we are taught that in order to be accepted in society, we are supposed to accept things that offend us. You are sensitive because you know when something is wrong. You know when a sentence is inappropriate or when someone’s tone of voice is condescending. You have every right to stick up for yourself. Do. So.

Lastly, people are going to hate you for no reason. It’s inevitable. They are going to make comments about you no matter what you do, what you wear, or what you look like. So go dye your hair purple. You won’t regret it. It looks amazing. It will bring you lots of serotonin because you will stand in front of your bathroom mirror and play with strands of purple hair every morning. 

See you in a few,

Elz 

BTW, you are not perfect, but you are perfect to the people who love you.