The following is a response to The Lightning and the Lightning Bug's Flicker of Inspiration prompt. This week's prompt was to write a letter to yourself at age 16.
Dear That Girl,
I don’t know what to say to you. I don’t even know who you are. If we were to meet, would you know me? I don’t think so, and I know I wouldn’t know you. You, trying to fade into the background, to go unnoticed. You, constantly worrying and dreaming for the one thing you’ll never have. Acceptance. Why do you want it so bad? From Those People, People like that? Why do you even waste a second of your time thinking of them? Wanting to be like them?
I want to tell you a story, a story of a girl a lot like you but different. Fundamentally different, and thus to you, unrecognizable.
This Girl waited to start living her life until a lot of that life had already passed her by, but she’s not into regrets, so don’t worry about that part. Many times during her misspent youth, This Girl thought that life might be over, maybe even wanted life to be over, but trust me when I say she was just being overly dramatic. This Girl was like that, and she’s still like that. It’s a big part of Who She Is.
Who She Is is something that This Girl embraces, which is something you need to learn to do. Embrace yourself and all of the things that make you different; you’ll feel better once you do. This Girl is different, too, a little weird maybe, but who the hell wants to be normal? You do, I know, but normal isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be, and besides that, who decides what’s normal anyway? You’ve decided, I know. You want to be blonde and big-chested and empty-headed. You think that’s normal? Well, maybe it is, but that’s all the more reason to embrace Who You Are.
Stop looking at just the surface. Stop seeing only your flaws. This Girl looks beyond her flaws. Sure, she may get caught up on them from time to time…she spends lots of time obsessing over grey hairs for instance, but This Girl realizes that this is a complete waste of time, and so should you.
Who is This Girl, you ask? Well, allow me to introduce you. This Girl is actually probably not much of a girl anymore at all, a fact she may sometimes regret. This Girl eats a lot and writes a lot and spends time with her family a lot. She’s a girl overwhelmed with happiness; she takes time to appreciate and enjoy the simple things in life, like a garden in the backyard, a yummy meal with her husband, and a glass of wine on the front porch. She loves her cats, loves her husband, and loves herself…most of the time.
This Girl still has moments of self-doubt, to be sure, but the difference between you and her is that she doesn’t let that self-doubt consume her. She overcomes her self-doubt and moves on to do amazing things.
You’d probably be surprised to know that This Girl is actually a lot like you, and even more surprising? One day you’ll grow up to be This Girl. You just have to get through a couple of more years of being That Girl. So don’t feel disheartened. Your happiness will spread its wings and fly one day, and you’ll become everything you dream of being, except now you’ll have new dreams. Dreams that don’t include Those People or silly things like Acceptance. You’ll find Acceptance for yourself and for Who You Are and that’s worth a whole lot more than the Acceptance of others.
But the thing is, That Girl: you already have the Acceptance of Those Who Matter, even now. You just have to find it within yourself.
No worries though. You will, and you’ll be This Girl, the girl you always wanted to be.