"I don't think that being a strong person is about ignoring your emotions and fighting your feelings. Putting on a brave face doesn't mean you're a brave person. That's why everybody in my life knows everything that I'm going through. I can't hide anything from them. People need to realise that being open isn't the same as being weak."

- Taylor Swift

Friday, January 25, 2013

Never Grow Up: A Letter to Fifteen Year Old Me

Now Playing: Fifteen by Taylor Swift (when you're fifteen don't forget to look before you fall)

You've made it. Year Eleven. It's all you've ever wanted.

Dearest Fifteen, you're finally becoming the kind of person I always wanted you to be - the happy girl, the bubbly smiley girl, the girl who has finally found her place in this world. This is the first time in the long time you've finally felt happy - not lonely, or lost, or confused, or hurt. You're surrounded by people and they give you the strength to move on, from the tiny little big huge momentous problems of yesteryear, from the depression that crippled you, from the insecurities that kept so much of your free spirit caged. And I'm still angry at the people who took this happiness away from you, too fast too soon. If there was anyone deserving of a few friends and a few glorious moments it was you, dearest Fifteen. You never deserved to have something so precious robbed from you so cruelly.

But you live in the moment, dearest Fifteen. You live those precious moments with your friends, sprawled across the lawn next to the war memorial. Every class is an eye opener, your hand flies up in class more than anyone else's and you've got the best English and Lit teachers in the world. And the rewards start coming thick and fast, dearest Fifteen. Numbers mean nothing and certificates are just paper, but that feeling...that feeling of accomplishment, of learning something meaningful, of finally feeling respected and acknowledged for your work, is euphoric. Feeling like your life didn't matter killed you five years ago, but now you've got the drive you've never had before. I'm so proud of you, dearest Fifteen, what you've achieved this year.

You made so many friends this year, dearest Fifteen, but I hate to tell you that only a few have stood the test of time. You're not really quite sure how and when you became friends - it sort of just happened; from little things big things grow. Some of my best memories is all the fun we have together in class, during breaks, laughing our way home. Belephant stays, dearest Fifteen, and even though you trusted her as much as anyone else she's one of the only ones who didn't let you down. Of all your friends, most of them will lie to you, tell you you're not good enough, stab you in the back, blab your secrets. Dearest Fifteen, enjoy their friendship whilst it lasts, but I wish you hadn't confused it with the kind of unconditional love you extend to them - it's as ephemeral as a pumpkin coach, ever subject to trend and time. Belephant is still one of your dearest friends, dearest Fifteen, and I think you can count on her. I'm glad, though, that even though you're deliriously happy you never quite lose sight of reality. You never quite trust anybody. Even though this is a good year I know a part of you knows that this is the calm before the tempest, and you can't let your guard down completely.

You're finally comfortable in your own skin, dearest Fifteen. Two years of drowning your sorrows in food has taken its toll on you, dearest Fifteen, but I'm glad you've given yourself the chance to love yourself, and you're not agreeing with the judgement of a selfish childish little boy who broke your heart. But you've finally realized that it's more than thirteen year old boys getting you down - you've got a problem, but it's not a problem you're too afraid to solve. For two years you battled your demons all by yourself and looking back I have no idea how such a scared little girl had the guts to do that, but what doesn't kill you makes you stronger and that's a battle I'm proud of, even if I've still got the battle scars. And you've finally realized that you're not supposed to look like a supermodel, or a movie star, or even the pretty blonde girls in your grade. You're beautiful in your own way, dearest Fifteen, and you're finally old enough and wise enough to understand that. Your beauty isn't what you see in the mirror, or measured by how many boys you have falling at your feet - your beauty is how you write, how you think, how you feel, what you believe. Your love is imperfect and tempestuous, dearest Fifteen, but your beauty is in how you treat those you love. Nobody can ever say you didn't love them enough, dearest Fifteen. And even though sometimes I feel cheated and bled dry, never lose that. Love isn't barter, or currency, or a finite resource. In you, it is boundless and unconditional and so exquisitely beautiful. I hope you know that, dearest Fifteen.

Dearest Fifteen, most of my strength comes from the happy moments of this year, this year when you were finally happy to be you. It gets harder and heartbreaking from here on in, but you'll get through it. For now, enjoy the good grades, the friendships, the delicious happiness of being fifteen. I miss you - I miss simpler, wilder, happier days. But I haven't lost hope that one day I will be you again, dearest Fifteen. I haven't lost hope that one day I will be happy again.

Nearly Seventeen.

No comments: