Day 127 – Letter to My Teenage Self

I came across this post from The View from Five Two  where Melissa writes to her 16 year old self. It’s part of the “letter to your teenage self” movement over at Chatting at the Sky.  Go over there and read through the letters.  It will make you laugh and cry – at the same time. 

 

Dear Jeena,

First thing first. Remember the following words: “This too shall pass.” In time, you’ll meet people who will teach you the meaning of those words.

I know life really sucks right now. You’re at a horrible crossroads with mom and dad. But trust me, in 10 years, you’ll look back and realize that mom and dad were just doing what they can to protect and love you. Even if this comes in a form of “if you leave to go away to college, we’ll disown you.”

You will struggle against their strictness and rebel against it. You curse them and foster feeling of resentment and hate. This, I can understand. But despite all of their threats, you won’t be disowned.

It will be years before you can fully understand where they’re coming from. They see college as a dangerous place where kids run free, do drugs, and of course, have premarital sex. You’re doing the right thing by leaving. It will take a while before mom and dad come around, but you’re their daughter and I promise you, they will support your decision eventually. (They first need to see that you aren’t going to snort coke or run around having random sex or get knocked up.)

I hesitate to tell you but this place you’re going to – Buffalo, NY – it is really cold. Invest in SmartWool socks and silk thermal underwear early. Remember to dress in layers – lots and lots of layers. I also regretfully tell you, that your time in Buffalo will last 7 years. But you’ll move to a place where the sun shines all year round so there’s good news ahead.

You’ll eventually meet your husband but not until you’ve moved to Florida, then to California. And not until you survive what will feel like unthinkable heartache. But remember, this too shall pass.

You’ve always been an overachiever and used to getting anything you wanted through hard work. You’ve never been afraid of outworking your competition. Unfortunately, life will teach you – sometimes, no matter how hard you try, it just won’t work.

Which brings me to my next lesson – trust.

No matter how awful the situation, trust that you will survive. Trust that life may have other plans than the one you want. Trust that it may be more amazing than anything you imagined. It may also just be different than what you wanted or hoped for. But trust that you will find your way.

Go to Nice, France. You’ll regret not going.

You’re going to meet amazing people along your journey. Rolf will guide you through those times where you’re lost in the dark. He will also show you the joy of meditation and calming your busy mind. Carol will be a second mom to you.

Many difficulties you have now won’t be as difficult when you’re older. You’ll learn to accept the way you look, your scar, and your imperfections. You’ll feel more comfortable in your own skin. I’m sorry to say, that feeling of always being the awkward one will be an ongoing struggle. You were and always will be an introvert.

I know maybe a lot of this doesn’t sound that great. There are some s*itty times ahead. But someday you’ll stand in awe of your life.

You’ll graduate college and go to law school. You’ll leave New York and all the show behind. You’ll meet your husband (trust me, he’s well worth the wait). You’re going to start a law firm with him and life will be so delicious, it will feel like a dream.

Last but not least, remember that your older self is cheering you on and waiting for you.

Love,

Your 34 year old self

 

P.S. – Here is a sneak preview of your life at 32. You’re welcome.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image by Gabriel Harber

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Melissa September 15, 2012 at 1:54 am

This made me teary!! So glad you did this. Love it.

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Jeena Cho September 15, 2012 at 4:16 pm

Thanks Melissa. Yours post really my inspiration for writing mine. Thank goodness for not being 16 anymore.

Reply

StefanieYoungBrown September 15, 2012 at 2:59 pm

What a precious letter! I love the encouragement with which you opened: “This too shall pass”. When young the “end” feels so far off. The end of pain… The end of frustration… The end of loneliness. Yes, they shall pass. I wish my teenaged self had grabbed on and held to that idea. I would have had a lot less time wasted and worried.
Have a wonderful Saturday…

Reply

Jeena Cho September 15, 2012 at 4:18 pm

Thank you Stefanie. What a great project this is turning out to be. I’m still learning to remind myself “This too shall pass.” But I’ve had quite a bit of practice since. You have a wonderful Saturday too.

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