Dear 12-year-old me,
I want you to know, that despite what any mean kid says about you, or what your own anxious mind tells you, you are good enough. You are good enough with your lanky arms, legs and neck that your friends make fun of you for. You are good enough with your new wide hips that seemed to come out of nowhere. You are good enough with every freckle, scar, crease and crevasse that you think is out of place. Every single part of your body is exactly where it is supposed to be, just like you are exactly where you are supposed to be.
You are going to spend a lot of time wishing you were someone else and wishing you were somewhere else, but every breath that fills your lungs was entirely meant for you to breathe it and every step you take was perfectly designed for you to step it. Enjoy who you are right now, because this is the only time you get to be this version of you, and as soon as you blink, you’ll be gone, and I will be missing you.
You have already spent so much time worrying about the future. You sit in front of the mirror every morning, crying and wondering when you will be pretty. The answer is now. You are pretty for the kindness that you show others. You are pretty for the spark that ignites inside of you when you open a new book. You are pretty for the art you make and the freeness that overwhelms you in ballet class. “Pretty” is not defined by what you look like, it is not defined by any silly boy or any fashion magazine. It is defined by you and you alone. One day you will model for a lot of photographers and a lot of designers. You will be featured in Vogue Italia and you will walk the runway in sold out fashion shows. Although the opinions of those who cast you will mean a lot to you, the only opinion that will really matter is your own. The love that you are so helplessly looking for in someone else, is a gift that only you can give yourself.
Somewhere along the lines someone told you that in order to be considered successful, you have to be good at math - that person was a liar. You cannot and will not be good at everything, and believe me when I say, that it is a blessing to be bad at math. You could be bad at critical thinking, or you could be bad at considering others’ feelings, or you could be bad at standing up for yourself… but you are bad at math. You are going to graduate on time, with honours, completely debt-free, and with not only a job in your field, but literally your dream job. You will never have to do mental math again, and even though you scarcely admit it (because we are still working on not being so hard on ourselves) you will become a pretty successful 22-year-old. No, you will not be a millionaire, and no, you will not be a Victoria’s Secret Angel, but you will learn that success is less about having shiny things and titles and more about how fulfilled you feel.
Please know that no matter how low you get, and no matter how many lies your anxiety tells you, things will always get better. Sometimes you will need a helping hand from someone else to understand this, and that is completely okay. You are never a burden to a real friend, and you will make plenty of these kinds of friends along the way, by just being little ol’ you. Even on the days that you don’t love yourself, these friends will love you unconditionally, without being asked and with no strings attached. “Bad days” are a healthy and natural part of life, although they rarely seem like that when you are faced with one. There will be days when it will be difficult to get out of bed and there will be days that it seems like the whole world is collapsing around you- I promise that it never really is. Positive thinking will quite literally save your life, and although there may be days when it seems impossible to do it, do it anyway. It may not be easy and it may take some hard work, but it will always be worth it. You will always be worth it.