A Letter to My 15 Year-old Self

Another cycle around the sun. So much has happened that I would never have imagined. Nothing has gone to plan – and for that, I am grateful.

10 years ago I would have never believed what I am able to do now. If I could tell all teenage girls trying to find their place in the big wide world anything, it would be everything in this open letter to my 15 year old self:

Dear Sarah,

You’ve just turned 15. Happy Birthday.

To say the past couple of years have been hard on you might feel like an understatement, but trust me, you haven’t seen anything yet, kid.

You’re trying to get out, get away. To be older. To find a sense of freedom and autonomy.
You will, in time.
But first, you will fall. Hard.
You will try so hard to be somebody else.
You will open yourself up in the worst ways.
You will be so willing to please that you lose yourself.
This is necessary.

High school still sucks, but you’ll look back on it fondly.
You will fall in love.
You will rebel. You will run.
You will have to choose between what you want and what you need. You will get those two confused.
You will break hearts trying to find your path – even those closest to you.
You will feel alone in the world. Scared and unsure.
You will feel like no one cares. They do.

You will have to start over again. And again. And again.
You will be the new kid in school for the first time.
You will feel like an alien for a while… and a little bit lost in life.
And you will find a community. One who loves you and lifts you up to the greatest heights.
You will push like you’ve never pushed yourself before.
You become stronger than you could ever imagine.

You will get your degrees, though not the ones you were hoping for.
It seems futile at times, like you were never meant to be here. You knew you wouldn’t fit in here.
But, you will find someone who makes you want to stay.

Your body will break and you won’t know why.
Well…you do, but you won’t accept it.
This, my dear, becomes your biggest purpose.
To learn, to help.
You find a tribe, nothing like you ever expected.

You uncover your why.
You grow up.
You find your freedom. You stop wanting to escape.
You will own that business, the one you’ve always dreamed of.
You make a mistake – a few in fact.
You hurt.
But you also open up your heart.
You learn to let the chips fall as they may.
You take things one day at a time.
You find gratitude in the smallest things – you’ll probably snort at this.
Those people whose opinions seemed to shape your world?
They’re gone. They no longer matter.

It all seems impossible now and you probably won’t believe any of this.
The world seems so big where you are, but you’ll come to realise that it was such a small bubble.

Don’t regret the choices you make; even if they feel wrong, they craft you into who we have become.
Enjoy the now. It doesn’t seem like enough, but it is everything you have.
I am proud of everything you have done, and everything you will do.
We have so much of ourselves to offer.

Love,
You, 10 years older.

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