Within the past few months, there have been 5 suicides in our small town. Please consider forwarding this to any young students you may know.
A letter to my high school self ~
Hey there. I am writing this letter to you, fully aware that you are going to scoff at almost everything I say. From where you are looking, none of this will make sense. In fact, you may accuse me of being full of crap and of looking through rose-colored glasses. That’s okay.
First and of most importance, thank you. Thank you for sticking out the tough times. You have taught me so many lessons and given me a foundation of courage, love, adventure, and endurance that has allowed me to create and live an extraordinary life.
I want you to know that you will grow up. The things that seem intolerable now will provide you with great lessons and alternate paths that lead to a great life. From your breakup with your first true love, you will learn to love people with your heart broken wide open. Because you got caught drinking, you will learn to manage your behavior to support all the things you are committed to accomplishing. Even though you were not asked to a dance until your senior year, you will learn to be satisfied with spending time with yourself; your happiness will not depend on what others think. That may be the most important lesson of all for you.
The teasing and bullying you experience now will make you a compassionate adult, seeking those most in need of care and admiration. And your willingness to confront your problems will suit you well when you move across the country by yourself to pursue college, law school, and your career.
Finally, you will learn to express yourself in a way that intends to communicate to others, especially young people. You will reach out, share, and be vulnerable, giving others permission to do the same. Your experiences will give you access to empathy and understanding when things seem intolerable for others. You can listen at my age because you stuck it out at your age. Even when things got very dark and you planned how to end your life, you sought out help and stepped back from the brink. You stuck it out ~ and for that, I am eternally grateful.
Thank you for hurting, for struggling, for suffering ~ and for living through it. We make a great team ~ and we are thriving.
Now, let’s support others to do the same.
All my love and admiration forever,
My present self.