Dear younger self,
You are more than the names that they call you, so let them pick on your clothes, your weight, and your hair. You are more than the number of friends you have, so let them exclude you. You are more than the people who failed to stick up for you, so let them betray you. These people may never remember the things that they did, or the way that they made you feel, but you will, and it will become part of the fire inside of you that makes you ambitious, courageous, and persistent. One day these people will come back, and when they do, be better than the way they treated you.
When your first love breaks your heart, it will feel like the end of the world, but I assure you, it’s not, it is the beginning. You will pick yourself back up and meet life-long friends you would not have met without that breakup, so let him go. One day you will understand why it was not meant to work out, but for now, do not blame yourself, because you are and always will be good enough.
You will have times when you will doubt yourself. You’ll analyze the way you look, act, and think. It will be hard, but try to believe in who are you and the decisions you’ve made, because you are a smart and kind girl.
Try to practice understanding how to let things be as they are, and not how you think they should be, because this will be a necessity in your career, in your relationships, and in your life.
I know you like to plan things out, but most of the time you will have to wing it. There will be times when you will have to say goodbye when you’re not ready, but you will be welcomed with so many more hellos.
You will discover depression and anxiety, and some days you will let it defeat you, but that’s okay. You will feel isolated, tired, and frustrated, but you will be constantly learning how to work with these waves of emotion in ways that they will not hold you back. It is okay not to be okay, but it is not okay to stay that way. In time you will see that you are not alone, even when it feels like you are. Your mental health will a big piece of you, but it will not BE you. Every ounce of pain and struggle you endure will be turned into inspiration, and it will be yet another contribution to the fire inside of you.
It will be hard, but try not to envy others or compare yourself or your life to anyone else’s. The grass is always green where you care for and water it.
Discovering ways to practice self love will be one of your favorite and defining journeys. You will start to call yourself out on self destruction, and understand that you deserve more than negative things you let your mind tell yourself.
You will learn to say no.
You will learn to say yes.
You will learn that you cannot protect everyone.
You will learn to be loved.
Your ambitions are not ridiculous, though people may make it seem that way. Your true friends will stick by your side even when you make mistakes and have trouble balancing life. Some of these friends will move to different states, and it will be hard to find the time to catch up, but this is a part of living, and you will figure it out as you go.
You will learn that distance truly does make the heart grow fonder.
You will fall in love.
There will be times when people will turn you away and tell you no, but this does not mean you have failed, because there is no such thing as failure, it is all part of your process, so trust it.
You will eventually begin to understand why certain things did not work out, and why certain people do not stick around. You will start to see that all of the miniature disasters you go through are the universe's way of keeping you on your path, and them on their's, even if it’s not what you want in that moment.
Sometimes you will be the one who will walk away, and sometimes you will be the one who stays.
When it feels like no one is on your side, remember feelings are just feelings, so let them come and go.
Do not let social media gauge your self worth.
Do not change yourself to fit society’s trends.
Most importantly, do not let strangers change the way you look at yourself in the mirror.
You are pretty enough, you are strong enough, you are talented enough. You are enough.
And the people who matter will remind you that when you forget.
I know you get scared sometimes of growing up, but every year brings something new and more amazing than the last, so enjoy the time you have, but don’t fear letting it go, and try not to dwell on it once it’s passed. It is what it is, and it will be what it will be.
Try to enjoy the moment.
Allow yourself to celebrate little victories, and don’t be ashamed to celebrate the big ones too.
You will choose your career over a lot of things. When you’re feeling down or guilty, remember you never have to justify chasing your dreams. You deserve the happiness you crave.
There will be times when others will think that they know best, and sometimes they do, but sometimes you will need to have the courage to recognize and say that you disagree. It is okay to have different opinions and visions, it does not mean you are wrong.
You’ve been through a lot already, but because of it all, you will know to stand up for what you believe in, even if it means standing alone.
And when you turn it all into music, people will listen.
I’m so proud of you.
Elizabeth Mencel, ROZES
Elizabeth Mencel, better known by her stage name ROZES, is an American musician, singer and songwriter from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.