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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at CWU chapter.

This idea came to me a while back as I was journaling. You know how you write letters to your future self in elementary school, and sometimes your teacher keeps them and gives them to you at graduation? I wanted to do the opposite here. I know little Ashley will never get the chance to read this, but writing this has healed pieces of my inner child.

Dear Ashley,

It’s hard to know where to start. Most of these will sound so cliché, but as I’ve aged I’ve realized that most are true. 

To five-year-old Ashley: Keep reading! Foster that love and don’t let it fade. As you grow up and reading becomes a chore or something you have to do for school, find joy in the pieces that allow you to escape. You might lose it for a bit, but I promise that love comes back.

To eight-year-old Ashley: Congratulations. You’re conscious. It’s scary when you realize that you’re a person who exists in a world with other people, all with their own thoughts and lives. This is an important lesson that you need to remember. The world does not revolve around you. Protect your space and your personal world, but always remember that the people around you have thoughts too that you need to be conscious of. 

To 12-year-old Ashley: I know this sounds absurd, but you won’t hate your younger sisters forever. At 21 years old, those three girls are the best friends you have in this world. The time you spend apart from your sisters in college is the most heart-wrenching thing you’ve experienced yet. Give it time.

To 16-year-old Ashley: Start. Guarding. Your. Heart. Your ability to be vulnerable is commendable, but not sustainable. By wearing your heart on your sleeve, you are allowing yourself to become a doormat. It’s not your fault, but you need to try to be more critical of the people you allow into your life. You’ll get there.

To 18-year-old Ashley: You are a victim. And you will heal. 

To 20-year-old Ashley: You are deserving of love and all things good. You will get your second shot. Your being emotional is not a deficiency. Really good things are coming really soon.

To 21-year-old Ashley: You’re doing great.

This letter was really emotional for me, and if you’re struggling to connect with your inner child or you’re fighting with regrets in life, I encourage you to write something like this to yourself. 

aquarius | english education