Earlier this year I got a high school degree and I couldn't be happier, and (not to sound too self absorbed) more proud of myself. For me this day was a big deal because I thought that I would never experience this day. I really thought that I couldn't do it but I did. If you had asked me over a year ago about how my school life was I would shrug and say fine because it was one big mess mixed with tears and worries and hate. I was struggling with some bad social anxiety issues, low self-esteem and isolation. My grades were bad and my school absence even more bad. I was feeling lonely even though I knew I wasn't. I've never been but for some reason I felt it and I ate me up. I saw flaws in everything that I did and everything that I said. I passed on invitations to parties or get togethers and I made up excuses not to go because of how insecure I felt about myself. I felt like I didn't fit in where I was and what people thought of me was the only thing that filled my mind. All I wanted to do was to be by myself and a book to burry my mind into. I just wanted to escape to another reality just to avoid my own. That kept ongoing for months until I opened up about it and got some help. I didn't get better over night but day after day I felt the light slowly coming back in my mind and in my heart. That's when I wrote this letter because I needed something to keep me going. I wanted something to hope for and something to keep whatever spark left in me, glowing and fighting. It was a long process that I'm still, this day today, working on. I don't know when or even if this journey has an end but the only thing I care about is that everyday I am trying, and doing the best I can.
Written on June 18th, 2015
Dear Future Me
First of all, CONGRATULATION! You did it. You just got a high school degree, and I am so proud of you. You thought you couldn't do it but you did. You’re probably sleep deprived due to the sleepless nights and you constant state of worrying but you're on the other side and YOU MADE IT. It’s over, it’s done and you’re okay.
I am writing to you, to show you that there is a life ahead of you. A good life. You just have to keep going, which you did, because everything good never comes easy in life. You have a family who loves you and friends who make you laugh.
I see you smiling, and sitting peacefully. But getting here has not been easy, and you know that more than anything. You have watched me cry myself to sleep far to many times, and feeling so lost whatever I have done. You have seen the loneliness in my eyes, and my daily struggles while trying to make it through the day. Your problems are not what define you. Remember that.
I have a few wishes for you and the years to come. Be who you are and who you want to be. Be the best you. I hope you have a bright outlook on life. I also want you to go through heartbreaks and caught between cross roads because you and I know that’s what makes us grow and learn more. They turn us into a stronger and better person. I know the things you've been through and I can't promise you that life will get easier. But what I can promise you is that whatever may cross your path, you will learn from it and you will get through it like you do everything else.
Most importantly, I want you to be happy in this exact moment. I hope you have found yourself, and still are. It is a long road, but you have to keep going. I hope you spend some of your weekends out with your friends, and not staying in and reading books. Not that you should stop reading books, ever, but you should go and be with your friends. You need friends to share your secrets with, to laugh with and just have fun.
You are my guide and you show me what is possible for your life. Our life. You see that I am showing up and doing the best I can. Day by day, I’m trying and you see I’m still learning. Don’t let insecurity stop you from doing anything. Be stronger than that, and believe in yourself. And be kind to people, even if you don’t like them. Everyone you meet is fighting a battle that you know nothing about. Just be there for people. I am still working to make myself better for you, for us.
I need to end this letter because it is getting way to long and you need to go enjoy this day. Go enjoy this moment as much as you can and remind yourself you're good enough as you are. Be happy with who you are and go do great things. Travel whenever you can, work hard to get where you want, fall in love, appreciate the friendships that make you happy and make new friendships that will stay forever, love your family because they're always there for you and always will be, take some chances now and then, be spontaneous and get out of your comfort zone. I really want you to go do all these things because limiting yourself gets you nowhere and you know it.
Your younger, not-so-together, sad and lonely, insecure, yet doing the best she can and hopeful self.
Published by Pernille Ravn