A Letter for my 16-year-old self

Dear Jerica,

So, you’re 16 now. Isn’t it crazy how time flies? Remember when we were younger and we use to wonder what we would be like when we were a teenager? And then when we did become one, it was awful.

My teenage years were not very happy, as you well know. I spent the end of junior high and beginning of high school feeling extremely self conscious of my body. Right before freshman year, I had summer school and I wore that ugly Barnie the dinosaur purple sweater, even though it was hot. I suffered because I was too ashamed to show myself. Man, teenage me was miserable.

And you, 16-year-old Jerica figured it out. You figured out that I didn’t have to be so hard on myself. You woke up one day and asked yourself, “Why am I so damn miserable?” You realized that you were going to have to live your life differently from your friends and family. You told yourself that even when you fuck up, it doesn’t mean you’re worth any less.

So, I wanna thank you. Thank you for being wise beyond your years. Thank you for asking for help when you needed it. You were so brave and so smart and so beautiful and you didn’t even know it. Thank you for not ending your life. My life.

You’re 16 now. Things are only going to get harder. You’re going to question your worth and your purpose. You’re gonna hate yourself and have a strong desire to give up. But, you don’t. But, I didn’t. Never give up. Never let the negative thoughts control you. Never stop learning and living and loving.

Love,

26-year-old Jerica

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