Dear me at 17,
I know how miserable you are right now. You’ve just dropped out of high school. All of your friends deserted you after a slew of rumors were passed around the school. Your heart was broken by so many boys you’ve lost count.
You’re feeling useless, unwanted and forgotten.
I remember that feeling. Not understanding why you’re feeling so depressed. Confused about how people could treat you so cruelly. Trying to find some reason why these injustices were done to you. Wondering what you did wrong.
But I’m here to tell you that you did nothing wrong. The boys are just immature jerks who don’t know the extent of the harm they have done. Your friends don’t realize yet how much you need them or how much they in turn need you.
And most of all, you are not a failure for dropping out. I know it feels that way. And it will for a very long time. But I don’t think it was a mistake.
You are a very smart young woman. Never doubt that. You have enough imagination and creativity to accomplish anything you set your mind to. You are talented in so many ways and you can use those gifts to the benefit of so many people, including yourself.
I don’t want to ruin the future for you. But I will give you a few helpful and hopeful tips.
Don’t be afraid to work. It is the most rewarding thing you can do for yourself. Be dedicated to the things you try, work hard and you will be astonished at the things you will accomplish.
Not all men are jerks. There are so many that are, so be wary. Remember your experiences so far and they will serve you well. However, do not lock your heart away or be afraid to love. There are quite a few good men as well, and you’ll want to be able to give them your heart when the opportunity presents itself.
Take chances. Don’t be afraid to do something because you are afraid you will fail. Setbacks are a part of life. But if you hide yourself away you will never experience anything.
Don’t be afraid to be yourself. Don’t strive to be anyone else. The sooner you learn this, the quicker you realize how wonderful you are when you are just being you; the easier life will be. Don’t live for anyone else. Don’t strive to be what others want you to be. Just be you. You’re wonderful.
And most of all, remember that you are loved. You are so lucky to have people in your life that will never leave you. Your family is your greatest support, and they will always be there for you.
Life won’t always be easy and there is a lot that I don’t know yet. But I’ll tell you that it’s not all hard. It’s not all mean. It’s not all scary. There are so many good times ahead of you.
Don’t let yourself get lost in this hard time.
But then, I already know that you are stronger than you think you are. Trust me.
And one peek at the future: You’re very happy.
Katie is the writer of Simply Kate. She is exploring her life in Las Vegas, is currently editing her first novel, has a wonderful boyfriend and is very happy.