I'm a dreamer. That shouldn't be a profound statement, but it's quickly becoming one. Why? People in our world like to cut other people down. I'm not sure why. I'm not sure when cynicism became the standby, the go-to answer for every problem. Instead of trying again and again, instead of getting back up again when we get knocked down, we say "It's easier to count on failure. It's easier to expect the worse." Then you're never disappointed, right?
Then you're disappointed because you never jumped in the first place, so there was no way you were ever making your dream a reality.
When I was a senior in high school, just a few weeks after graduation, I wrote my sister a letter. I never gave it to her, but I thought that if she read it, maybe I could spare her from making mistakes. It was the kind of letter I wished someone wrote and handed to me. A guide I could tuck into my pocket and pull out, smoothing it down to read whenever I needed some reassurance that I was on The Right Path. I just read a blog post that inspired me to share that letter, with the hope that it will offer guidance to someone somewhere. Maybe even just one little sentence.
Dear (your name here),
I'm only now starting to realize the sheer volume of growth that I've had over the past two years of my life, and I realized today if I were you I'd be thankful to have someone to share a little bit of that knowledge with. So here goes. It's okay to feel emotions other than hate or resentment and to let yourself cry (not just because of a fight with your mom). You have to allow yourself to like boys, to put your heart out there. Vulnerability is quite possibly the scariest yet most exciting feeling you can allow yourself. And if you like a boy, tell him, but try not idolize anyone. Guys make some of the best friends, too. Most of them won't admit it, but they are capable of feeling weak and they listen. Not just about the new jeans at Hollister, but they have this intuition that I could never grasp and can help you gravitate toward the girls who won't put you down so they feel better about their own lives. Make a lot of mistakes, but make sure they're worthwhile. And when you're done, learn from them. It's okay to drink every once in a while, but not every day and don't go around flaunting it. Stay modest but take compliments. It seems easy enough but you're hard on yourself. Keep dancing (or whatever you love to do) because I know you love it. Know that answers will rarely come to you so keep guessing. Tell your mom some things, not all, or she'll grow suspicious. And know that the best way to live is that you can't stop crying on the day you move away. Take advantage of these last two years because as much as you'll love senior year, it goes too fast and you'll want another one. And last, don't be afraid to blast my car stereo while I'm gone because music was meant to be played loud with the windows down. I love you and know I'm only a phone call away.