I’ve wanted to write something along these lines for a while, but I was inspired to finally do it thanks to this post from Seventeen Magazine. The post is by Sara Bareilles, and it honestly made me tear up because some of her words hit close to home. If you want to read it..you can find it here
Dear 17 year old me,
My first instinct and desire is to write something that will make things easier for you. I know that right now, you are struggling so deeply and that sometimes you even wonder if life is worth it. If I could, I would go back in time and tell you that starving yourself or harming yourself is not worth it, it never will be. There are a thousand things I would do if only I could erase your pain, and strip you of the many nights of darkness. The nights where you stared at the ceiling and felt so lost. I would do all those things in a heartbeat.
I would love to go back and tell you that you can survive heartbreak, even when you believe you may just die from it. People will come and go. You will spend a lot of time alone at 17 years old. You will find comfort in books, notably Harry Potter. You will escape into another world, and that will take you away from the hurt for a while. You will learn the valuable lesson of how important stories can be. When you see the last film in the series, you will sit there and cry, realizing you are no longer truly a child but also not an adult either. Ultimately, you learn the lesson that you can survive alone. Or seemingly alone, because if you hopefully open your eyes a little more, you will see that some people never left you.
The most important thing, I would want you to know, is of your own resiliency. You have already endured so many painful things. I wish I could tell you that those are the worst things that happen in your life. They are not, but you will make it on to 18 years old. You will make it because you have a fight within you. Deep down within you, beyond the fear and feelings of depression and worthlessness, there is a fire that burns. The fire burns, showing a passion and fight, that still exists within you.
The summer you are 17 years old, the one right before your senior year of high school, you are told something important. It is a quote by Rumi, and a very important person who is still in your life shares it with you.
“Perhaps strength doesn’t reside in never having been broken, but in the courage to grow stronger in the broken places.”
17 year old me…pain is inevitable but you are brave, and that courage will take you far.
And I promise you will survive.
You will survive.